Mobile Carriers

Hi all,

Looking to source opinions on different carriers for when my current contract expires (and I need a business SIM from next month or so)

Any opinions?

I’ve been looking at Honest Mobile (referral link) and am thinking of going with them for the loyalty discount.

Another one I’ve been wondering about is Tesco Mobile, but they seem to be pretty expensive for what they are, although I like that for the entirety of your contract they don’t increase the bill.


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Before you start looking at pricing you need to check each network’s coverage in the areas you’ll be using it. Don’t rely on their coverage maps - check it yourself with a PAYG SIM from each network.

Where I live, all the networks show excellent 4G coverage and three of them show good 5G. In reality, only EE is reliable for 4G and 5G - the others suffer from oversubscription and have very poor data speeds and constant dropped calls.

It’s worth taking the time to check before you commit to a contract.


Useul table on this page that shows you underlying coverage provider eg Giff gaff is on O2’s network, VOXI ois on Vodafones network.


In addition to checking real-world coverage consider your needs. Data is one thing, but also I have an Apple Watch with cellular connectivity and only the major carriers support esim. So I use O2 for my personal line and Apple Watch on esim, and a traditional Lebara sim for my business line. Both services combined cost around £21/month.


The same thing goes for features like Visual Voicemail and even Wifi calling. You can check network compatibility here:

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Absolutely 100 percent :point_up_2:

When I lived in the Midlands, I was on a Three contract. When I moved back to the SouthWest, Three was just no good at all where I live and so I swapped to Vodafone, which has a much better footprint. I pay £6 a month, which includes 3.5GB of data, more than adequate for my needs as I’m definitely not a data hungry user. I also run a PAYG o2 sim which still only charges 3p per min for calls. Wife is on o2 contract, which was quite handy when we were in Sweden because she didn’t get any roaming charges. I believe most of the rest of the carriers are now charging for roaming in European countries? and o2 have apparently said they are not going to stiff customers with the roaming charges in the EU either now or in the future.

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I’m not sure that’s true. I know that they all (except O2) said they would start charging for roaming in the EU, but I think they did a reverse ferret when O2 didn’t fall into line.

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Definitely this. In particular, don’t rely on Three’s mapping. They tell me I have good 5G coverage at home (I don’t have a 5G phone , so can’t check), but when I look to getting a 5G router, they tell me that they hope to have 5G in my area soon.


To be fair, I’ve not looked completely at all of the carriers, but I found these articles:


Ah right. Thank for the correction. :+1:

Yeah I’m being mindful of this.

Generally I think I only need physical SIM support as I’m going to modify my iPhone into physical dual-sim instead of 1-eSIM 1-nano SIM

My Apple Watch has cellular support too, but I never leave without my phone so it’s not an issue if there’s no support

Roaming is somewhat important to me, but I’m not interested in O2 as Virgin/O2’s bill hike is “3.9% + RPI” which is extortionate; this is my problem with most of the main networks honestly

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My Wife’s o2 contract went up recently, but I think it amounted to about 60 pence increase, hardly a deal breaker for her moving to another provider.

Roaming isn’t exactly a big issue for us personally. For starters, we rarely visit anywhere in the EU these days and when we go to other places in the world, we’ll often just buy a local SIM for our stay and pop it into a MiFi. Egypt particularly has some good data SIM deals on some of the local networks. Any calls we make, are generally via WhatsApp and with the MiFi device, it’s easy and a whole lot more secure than using hotel WiFi etc.

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If you’re already looking at honest mobile, you might be interested in registering for their smart signal beta.

This is the only realisation of the rumoured Apple endeavour from a few years back. Essentially an MVNO that piggybacks on all the networks for an optimised always best connection. Google Fi for the U.K. in a nutshell.

It’s a slow starter though. I’ve been on the wait list for months. Invites started going out last month, and I’ve not been invited yet despite being among the first in the queue.

Otherwise, in terms of pricing, features, and value I’ve been a fan of Sky mobile since that launched and have remained so ever since. I’ve been with Sky Mobile now longer than I have with any other network.

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If you do need to call U.K. mobiles or landlines from abroad, Skype is reasonably priced.

I’ll be honest here, I didn’t even realise Skype was still a thing. The last time I used Skype, was circa 2008 I think.

As I say, we generally use a MiFi abroad for data only sim so we can make calls via WhatsApp. South Africa is a bit of a pain buying a SIM because of RICA and we usually buy a SIM at Cape Town International airport and the guys at the Vodacom desk sort that out for us, but still a mild faff.

I’m the opposite to you in that I don’t travel outside the EU, and still have some Skype credit from back in the days before free EU roaming.

The change isn’t applicable to contracts already in service, presumably your wife is on the old system which is lesser than the next set of increases; but it’s not just about the material value of the increase: I don’t really like the idea that the networks have pretty terrible ethics and are expensive and have bad contract terms, with garbage support to boot

My mother’s bill though, FWIW, just rose 11%.

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In which case, you might as well resort to two baked bean tins and length of string :rofl: This is after all, 2022 and prices on everything are only going one way, UP!

Not really, you can have decent support and non-repulsive contract terms.

E.g. why are they building in 3.9% + RPI (which is a bad measure of inflation as it measures retail prices and isn’t really applicable to network rising costs)

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I didn’t know Lebara offered business connections.

I use Vodafone (for my work number) and O2 (for my private number) but neither are formal business connections.

Every time I’ve tried EE, I’ve been very unimpressed as they seem to have variable coverage with indoor being poor and relying on Wi-Fi calling alot.