UK Cell Phones, Carriers and Networks Guide

Cell Network

The cell phone went from being a luxury to become a necessity for everyone.

In order for you to get the best of it, besides all, you need to choose a perfect mobile network, which offers you excellent services.

Fortunately, in the UK you have a bunch of options on the table to choose between.

But since it’s that important you need detailed information of mobile networks so you can get the best deal.

  • You’re going to need internet access while you’re in the UK, especially in the first few weeks while you’re settling down and getting to know your city. We highly recommend you order a pre-paid SIM card, so you can start using your phone as soon as you arrive. We highly recommend you check out these prepaid SIM card with Pay as you go plans.
  • If you’re going to visit other European countries as well, we recommend Europe travel SIM card with a data plan.

Below are the ten biggest and highest rated cell phone networks in the UK:

  • EE
  • Vodafone
  • O2
  • Three
  • GiffGaff
  • Sky mobile
  • Tesco Mobile
  • BT Mobile
  • Virgin Mobile
  • Talk Talk

Note that aside from the main mobile networks in the UK there are many smaller companies that work under their umbrella while offering their communicating services.

For example, the GiffGaff is owned by the O2 company which is one of the four main and biggest mobile network service companies in the UK along with Vodafone, EE, and Three.

The performance of a mobile network can be evaluated in many ways, including its SIM-only offers, the network coverage, downloading speed, its customers’ satisfaction and the service’s price.

In the Which?’s annual survey, which aims to evaluate the customer satisfaction with their cell phone mobile network services, for seven years in a row the EE operator has been an unprecedented leader.

Clients value its broad range and the quality of services it offers, its coverage and its reasonable prices.

All these traits make the EE operator one of the most highly rated network carriers in the UK.

The EE represents a blending of T-Mobile and Orange and is part of the BT Group. This company was the first one to introduce the 4G network in the UK back in 2012.

The EE’s 4G service is available to 99.6 % of the UK population and in 75% of the UK’s territory, making it a leader in this aspect among UK cell phone networks.

However, its double speed of 4G and 4G+ is limited in some major cities.

The speed of this network depends on different factors like the area, the proximity to the mast, the plan you have on your phone or the number of people connected.

In terms of overall coverage, the company’s services cover over 90% of the entire territory of the UK, while its goal is to increase this coverage 95% within this decade.

For example, if you’re running an EE 4GEE Essential plan you can have a speed up to 60 Mbps, while with a 4GEE Max Plan you can expect to have a speed up to 90 Mbps.

You can use EE service plans abroad in 53 countries of the world at the same cost as within the country.

Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, USA and European countries are among those countries.

The company’s future goal is to expand its network in more countries.

You can choose to pay your Roaming service monthly or pay as you go.

The EE users have a free access to Apple Music for 6 months.

The UK is one of the 26 countries where the Vodafone company runs its activity in the telecommunication field.

It is one of the biggest cell phone network provider in the UK, boasting 19.5 million clients.

Its 4G network covers most of the British territory, but their goal is to expand it even more at.

Also, the company is looking forward to introducing the 5G network in the near future.

According to a report by P3 experts, the Vodafone is the network with the best voice calls in London, Belfast, Birmingham and Bristol.

Additionally, its 4G network in Glasgow and Liverpool is said to be the best among all its rivals.

Allowances can be paid monthly or pay-as-you-go.

If you want to check the status of your monthly allowance expiring date you can download the Vodafone app or you can open an account on their website.

Furthermore, to avoid any expectancy when you’re on the move, you can make a check on their coverage checker.

As for its SIM-only plans, the Vodafone is a very good choice.

For example, you can get 50GB on your phone mobile for just £20 including the Vodafone Global Roaming and unlimited UK minutes and texts.

The O2 is yet another big cell phone network provider in the UK.

The O2 brand came into existence in 2002 and since 2005 it’s owned by the Telefonica UK.

Once its rival the operator Three aimed to merge with O2 but the move was interrupted by the EU Commission.

Other smaller network companies the sort of Tesco Mobile and Sky Mobile use the O2 network to reach their clients.

Despite being young compared to other operators in the UK, the O2 is one of the most well-known and widespread cell phone networks in the island.

Moreover, it is known as one of the most expensive.

For example, you can get 20 GB data and a limited number of text and minutes (3,000 for each) for £30.

With over 15,000 Wi-Fi hotspots all over the country, the O2 users will certainly have an internet connection wherever they go.

Also, its users have the priority of buying tickets to important music events for up to 48 hours before they officially go for sale to other people.

The Three is the company whose coverage is expanding at a faster rate, covering 97% of the UK.

Currently, there are over 10,000 masts stretched all over the country to keep people connected.

However, at the present, the Three 4GB network is limited, mainly in major cities but is expanding fast.

In 71 countries of the world, including USA, Australia, France, Singapore, Spain and Brazil, you can use your Three phone allowance with no extra costs.

When you make a call or send a message back in UK from a Feel at Home country you need to replace the first 0 in the number with +44.

The Three SIM-only plans are not too much expensive.

With £20 per month, you can get 30 GB with an unlimited number of texts and minutes.

If you need more you can pay £31 per month and get 100GB of data including 30GB of personal hotspot.

In addition, the Three has in stock a lot of wonderful phones for selling at a reasonable price.

The GiffGaff operator is owned by O2 and its uses its network.

Hence, its 3G coverage is almost 100% in the UK. Its 4G network, on the other hand, is not that widespread yet but is improving.

Customers willing to buy a mobile phone have a rich options list, which comes at a reasonable price.

Furthermore, there are many practical ways on how to pay for them, making it easier to buy one.

What makes it a more attractive operator is their low-cost calls, text and data.

For just £18 per month, you can 8GB of data and unlimited text and minutes.

Years ago the Sky company has widened its activity, adding cell phone network to its TV, broadband and landline offerings.

In other words, the Sky Mobile is the youngest mobile provider in UK.

But, in spite being very young in the business, the Sky Mobile has a become a nice choice for its clients.

The Sky Mobile uses the O2 network, that means its 3G network is stretched almost in every place in UK.

Those who are already using the company’s TV services, get free calls and messages.

Also, the Sky Mobile offers a lot of good SIM-plans so its clients can choose what it suits them.

For example, you can get 10GB data if you pay £20 per month.

To those who look to save a good amount of money, the Tesco Mobile is a fantastic choice to make.

With only 25 pennies per minute, you can make a call to every standard UK mobile operator or UK fixed line number 01,02,03 and between Home From Home Destinations.

The Tesco Mobile, similar to Sky, it uses the O2 network so its 3G coverage is almost 100 %. Currently, it boasts over 5 million satisfied customers all over the country.

Besides regular cell phone services, the Tesco Mobile has a lot of different mobile phones for selling.

If you choose to get one and pay it monthly, as part of your payment you’ll get many minutes, texts and data for free.

  • You’re going to need internet access while you’re in the UK, especially in the first few weeks while you’re settling down and getting to know your city. We highly recommend you order a pre-paid SIM card, so you can start using your phone as soon as you arrive. We highly recommend you check out these prepaid SIM card plans. This prepaid UK SIM card gives you cheap international calls from the UK and abroad.
  • If you’re going to visit other European countries as well, we suggest to get a prepaid Europe travel SIM card with data plan.

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