TalkTalk Mobile: The Mobile Network Exclusive For TalkTalk Customers

May 17th, 2015

TalkTalk offers low-cost mobile phone and SIM-only deals. The service is exclusive to customers who have TalkTalk home broadband.

TalkTalk For Everyone LogoIf you’re currently a customer of TalkTalk home broadband, you can now take advantage of low-cost mobile deals on TalkTalk Mobile, the exclusive mobile network for TalkTalk customers.

TalkTalk currently offers 24-month contracts with a new handset included free of charge. They also have a number of SIM-only deals: an airtime-only package for customers wanting to keep their current handset. TalkTalk Mobile uses 2G and 3G coverage from the Vodafone network.

In this article, we review the TalkTalk Mobile service. We’ll look at the offerings from TalkTalk Mobile and the requirement to have TalkTalk Broadband at your home. We’ll also look at the coverage on TalkTalk and how you can keep an existing mobile number when moving to the network.

TalkTalk Brand Image

TalkTalk offers both Pay Monthly contracts and SIM-only deals from £5/month.

TalkTalk currently has two types of tariff on their network.

For customers wanting a new smartphone, there’s a choice of Pay Monthly contracts where you get a new handset included in your tariff. Pay Monthly contracts are 24 months in length and start in price from £5/month.

For customers wanting to keep their current smartphone, TalkTalk also has a choice of SIM-only contracts. A SIM-only contract is designed to be used in your existing unlocked smartphone: tariffs start from only £5/month on a 30-day contract.

At present, TalkTalk Mobile doesn’t offer Pay As You Go or mobile broadband tariffs.

Pay Monthly With New Handset

Price Plans: S, M, L & XL

For customers wanting a new smartphone to go with their tariff, TalkTalk’s Pay Monthly plans are the most suitable option. There are currently four types of tariff with differing allowances. The tariffs are known as Small, Medium, Large and Extra-Large. Higher level tariffs include more data as well as additional minutes and unlimited texting.

Tariff Minutes Texts Internet Monthly
Cost
Small 300 250 300MB* from £5.00
Medium 500 Unlimited 1GB* from £6.25
Large 1,000 Unlimited 2GB* from £8.75
Extra-Large 2,000 Unlimited 4GB* from £11.25

* The data allowances shown in this table assume you order your phone via the TalkTalk Mobile website. If you order the tariff elsewhere, you’ll only get half as much data (i.e. you’ll get 150MB on Small, 500MB on Medium, 1GB on Large and 2GB on Extra-Large).

In general, we’d typically recommend against choosing the cheapest tariff. The ‘Small’ tariff only includes 300MB of data every month (this is only really suitable for very occasional usage). A better option for the average smartphone user will be the 2GB/month ‘Large’ tariff. Customers mainly using wi-fi can save money on the ‘Medium’ tariff (1GB/month) whereas heavy users can upgrade their plan to ‘Extra Large’ (4GB/month).

Additional usage outside of your monthly allowances will cost 40p/minute, 15p/text and 15p/MB when you’re accessing the internet. Picture messages (MMS) are excluded from your allowance: they’ll cost you 35p each.

Finally, all phone calls within your household are totally free of charge (i.e. any calls between your TalkTalk mobile and a TalkTalk SIM card or TalkTalk landline linked to the same account). Phone calls within your household will not be charged to your monthly allowance.

Pay Monthly Handsets

Galaxy S6

The Galaxy S6 is one of the handsets available on TalkTalk Mobile.

The actual cost of your Pay Monthly contract will depend on the handset you order from TalkTalk.

At the time of writing, there’s a choice of 50 handsets on the TalkTalk Mobile website. They include the latest high-end devices like the Samsung Galaxy S6 (from £30/month) and the Sony Xperia Z5 (from £35/month). At the lower end of the price range, a number of handsets from Doro, Samsung, Huawei and LG are available on the network for only £5/month.

View Handsets on TalkTalk Mobile »

All handsets on the TalkTalk Mobile network are provided by the Carphone Warehouse. Uniquely, there’s never an upfront cost when buying a contract from TalkTalk Mobile (unlike other networks, you’ll only ever need to pay the monthly line rental).

Each household is allowed to have a maximum of two handsets on TalkTalk Pay Monthly. You can also add three additional SIM cards to give a maximum of five devices on the TalkTalk Mobile network.

Unfortunately, it’s not currently possible to buy an iPhone on TalkTalk Mobile. If you’d like to use the iPhone on TalkTalk Mobile, you’ll need to buy it SIM-free and unlocked. You can then use it on TalkTalk Mobile with a SIM-only contract.

Comparison To Rival Networks

As previously discussed, the cost of getting a contract on TalkTalk Mobile depends on the handset you choose to take with it.

At present, customers wanting a 32GB Galaxy S6 on TalkTalk Mobile are able to choose from the following tariffs:

TariffMinutesTextsInternetUpfrontMonthlyTotal Cost
No tariffs could be found matching this criteria.

In general, this is fairly competitive against the major networks. However, it won’t always be the cheapest available option.

The following table shows a price comparison for the Galaxy S6 on TalkTalk Mobile and on other networks. We’ve shown the cheapest available tariffs on each network for a user requiring 2GB of data every month:

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetUpfrontMonthlyTotal Cost
No tariffs could be found matching this criteria.

For this reason, we would still recommend shopping around as other mobile networks can sometimes offer a cheaper deal.

SIM Only Deals

Overview of TalkTalk SIM Cards

If you’re happy to keep your current smartphone, TalkTalk’s SIM-only deals will normally be a more suitable option. You’ll get a new SIM card that slots inside your existing unlocked smartphone.

For SIM only, TalkTalk currently offers a choice of 12-month and 30-day contracts:

12 month contracts 30 day contracts
TariffMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
Small250Unlimited300MB£7.90
Small300Unlimited250MB£7.90
Medium400Unlimited1GB£13.00
Medium750Unlimited700MB£13.00
Large950Unlimited2GB£15.50
Large1,000Unlimited1.4GB£15.50
TariffMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
TalkTalk Mobile200Unlimited500MB£5.00

View SIM Only Deals on TalkTalk Mobile »

When ordering your SIM card from TalkTalk, you’ll need to choose the right type of SIM card (either Standard SIM, Micro SIM or Nano SIM depending on your handset). You should also make sure your handset is unlocked (otherwise, it might not accept the SIM card from TalkTalk). For more information, you can see our step-by-step guides to unlocking an iPhone and unlocking a Samsung Galaxy handset.

Each household is permitted to have a maximum of three SIM cards from TalkTalk Mobile.

Plus TV: Free SIM Card with TalkTalk TV

TalkTalk Plus TV Free SIM CardCustomers choosing a Plus TV package from TalkTalk will get a free SIM card included in their plan. The free SIM card includes 100 minutes, 250 texts and 200MB of data every month (it’ll normally cost £5/month on a 30-day contract). According to TalkTalk, the free SIM card is worth £90 (calculated as £5/month over a period of 18 months).

While the Plus TV SIM card is a nice bonus, our view is it’s not particularly suitable for use in a smartphone (the 200MB monthly data allowance is incredibly restricted and will typically be used up very quickly). If you’d like to use the tariff in a smartphone, it’s probably worth adding the £2.50/month Double Allowance Booster. This will upgrade your allowances to 200 minutes, 500 texts and 400MB of data per month. The Double Allowance Booster can be added and removed at any time.

The Plus TV SIM card counts as normal towards your limit of 3 SIM cards per household.

TalkTalk Home Broadband

Requirement to Have TalkTalk Broadband

TalkTalk Broadband RouterThe TalkTalk mobile service is exclusive to customers who have TalkTalk Broadband installed at their home.

Each household is allowed a maximum of five contracts on TalkTalk Mobile. Two of these can be Pay Monthly contracts with a new handset: the other three can be SIM only contracts.

From the terms and conditions of the TalkTalk Mobile service (see “the small print” at the bottom of the TalkTalk Mobile website):

Family members must each have a TalkTalk mobile package charged monthly and linked to the main residential fixed line account.

Each additional mobile service will be charged in full on the monthly bill. Households limited to no more than two handsets (incl. SIMs) and 3 individual SIMs.

Home Broadband & TV Packages

If you aren’t currently a TalkTalk home broadband customer, you’ll need to sign up for one of their broadband packages.

TalkTalk’s basic broadband package is their SimplyBroadband service. It’s £3.75/month for the first 18 months. You’ll also need to take landline rental from TalkTalk (£17.70/month). SimplyBroadband has unlimited downloads with a maximum download speed of 17Mbps. For faster home internet, you can upgrade to their Fibre Broadband service which give a maximum download speed of 76Mbps.

TalkTalk TV

With Essentials TV and Plus TV, you can take a quad-play product from TalkTalk.

For quad-play (where you get home phone, home broadband, TV and mobile from the same company), TalkTalk currently offers the Essentials TV and the Plus TV packages. With Essentials TV, you get a YouView set-top box which gives you seven-day TV catch-up on demand. With Plus TV, there’s also the ability to record live television. There’s also additional channels from Sky including Sky 1, Sky 2, Sky Living and Sky Sports News. The Plus TV package also includes a free SIM card with 100 minutes, 250 texts and 200MB per month.

Cancelling Your Home Broadband

You can only sign up to TalkTalk Mobile if you have a TalkTalk Broadband connection at your home.

The requirement to have TalkTalk Home Broadband doesn’t preclude you from later cancelling your home broadband. If you were to change your home broadband to another provider, you’d still be able to keep your TalkTalk Mobile contract. The only thing you wouldn’t be able to do is to renew your contract at the end of its term.

For customers who have an All-in SIM card, special rules apply when cancelling your home broadband. For customers who change their broadband provider, the All-in SIM card will double in price from £12/month to £24/month. Your allowances will also be reduced to 2000 minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB of 3G internet.

The exact rules about cancelling your home broadband connection can be seen in clause 2.5 of the TalkTalk Mobile service agreement:

2.5 To become a customer of the Mobile Services, you must be an existing customer of TalkTalk or AOL TalkTalk for fixed line services (line rental, calls and / or broadband). Our Mobile Service Plans are provided to TalkTalk customers with a built in discount for purchasing our fixed line services. As such, all TalkTalk customers who sign up and take our Mobile Services from 1 March 2013 must also remain a customer of TalkTalk for fixed line services at all times to continue to be eligible to receive our Mobile Service Plan at the same discounted price. For any of such customers who subsequently cease to take our fixed line services, but wish to continue to take our Mobile Services, we reserve the right to remove the discount from your Mobile Services Plan and transfer you to our standard rate from the date you cease to be a fixed line services customer. For pricing details please visit talktalk.co.uk/mobilepricing. Please note that if you are still in a minimum contract period for your Mobile Services Plan at the time you cease to take our fixed line services and you also wish to cancel that Mobile Services Plan at the same time, you must pay the applicable early cancellation charge which will be calculated at the existing rate of your plan before removal of the discount. If you leave our fixed line services and transfer to the standard rate for your Mobile Services Plan and then later decide to cancel your Mobile Services Plan before the end of your minimum contract period, your cancellation charge will be calculated by reference to our standard rate and not the discounted rate.

Coverage & Network

2G & 3G Connectivity

Vodafone CoverageTalkTalk provides 99% population coverage for their mobile service. They’re using Vodafone as a network coverage provider. Customers using TalkTalk Mobile will get the same coverage as customers on Vodafone.

Before signing up to TalkTalk Mobile, we strongly recommend checking the coverage for your area online. You can do this on the TalkTalk Mobile website:

Check TalkTalk Mobile Coverage »

At present, the coverage on TalkTalk is limited to 2G and 3G.

4G Connectivity & Move to O2

In November 2014, TalkTalk signed an agreement to use O2 as their network coverage provider. As part of the forthcoming transition, customers on TalkTalk will gain access to the O2 4G network.

It’s not currently known when the transition to O2 will occur. It’s also unknown how existing customers will be affected by the transfer.

Tethering

TetheringTethering or portable wi-fi hotspot refers to the process of sharing your smartphone’s internet connection with other devices (e.g. a laptop or a tablet). Typically, the tethering feature is used to gain access to mobile broadband on-the-go from other devices.

In general, tethering is permitted on TalkTalk Mobile. There are no additional charges for using the feature: any data included in your tariff can be used as normal when tethered to other devices. The one exception is with the £12/month All-in SIM card. The terms and conditions of the All-in SIM card specifically prohibit tethering on the tariff.

Keeping Your Phone Number

TalkTalk Website 2016

It’s easy to move an existing phone number over to TalkTalk Mobile: grab a PAC Code and submit it on TalkTalk’s website.

If you’re switching from another network over to TalkTalk Mobile, it’s a straightforward process to keep your current phone number.

To begin the process of moving your mobile number to TalkTalk, contact your old network and ask them for a PAC Code. A PAC Code is nine-digits long and will authorise the transfer of your number to TalkTalk. It’s a legal requirement for your old mobile network to give you a PAC Code within two hours of your request.

Once you have the PAC Code from your old network, you should order the new phone or SIM card from TalkTalk’s website.

After the new phone or SIM card arrives through the post and after you’ve had the chance to make sure everything works properly, you should give the PAC Code to TalkTalk Mobile by submitting it online in the TalkTalk customer area. After you do this, your phone number will then normally be transferred on the next working day.

For step-by-step instructions on moving your number to TalkTalk Mobile, please select your current network provider:

PAC Code Finder: Transfer Your Phone Number to TalkTalk Mobile

Your current network provider:

  More Options

If you’re changing your landline or home broadband to TalkTalk, a different process applies for keeping your landline number. A PAC Code is only applicable when moving your mobile number.

Popularity & Number of Subscribers

At the end of 2014, TalkTalk Mobile had approximately 400,000 customers. This represents just under 10% of the TalkTalk’s broadband customer base (4.2 million). The company claims it’s currently taking around 13% market share of new SIM-only connections. With the rapid growth in the network, we’re now expecting subscriber numbers to be substantially higher than 400,000.

More Information

For more information, please see the TalkTalk Mobile website. You can also see the main TalkTalk website for information about their broadband and TV packages.

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About Ken

Ken Lo

My passion is helping people to get the most out of their mobile phone. I've been blogging at Ken's Tech Tips since 2005.

Aside from writing about mobile technology, my interests are in software development, digital marketing and physics. Outside of the blog, I work with numerous technology companies helping them to explain their product and helping them to market it to consumers. Please get in touch for more information.

Your Comments

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. You can add your own comment here.

  1. Peter Queen said:

    ****** DO NOT PURCHASE THIS *******, We Had Broadband installed which I paid 12 months up front this enabled me to get this deal, we do not own a house phone so the house phone was never used, I have now been charged for phoning the speaking clock, and more, the contract which I paid for 12 month up front has suddenly changed to a 9 month contract !!!, we purchased the unlimited mobile data sim card to use at work to stream the radio or youtube videos, we now have a bill for over £800 pound, when i phoned talktalk i was passed from person to person and then accused of tethering my phone to use the data, by the I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computing, and worked as a software developer for many years so I think I would have known if I accidentally tethered my mobile sim to other device. By the way they also changed my sim contract!! PS Happy Surfing, If I treat my customers this way I would be arrested for fraud )

    1. Briar replied:

      I just had the same. Tried to take £154 out my account yesterday. Payment recalled and I’m switching phone broadband and mobile. Absolutely ridiculous I’m connected to my Wi-Fi 90% of the time

  2. sarah Hadley said:

    I am currently on all in sim for £12, but i have received this email but really dont want to change from this, but according to this email if i do nothing they will automatically change me over…..please advise…..i want to have all in sim as i have been shocked to recieve large bills when i have gone over…please help:

    We’re writing to let you know our introductory All-in SIM will soon be removed from our SIM range. Reviewing the offer over a few months, we saw that most of our customers were using much less data than they were entitled to, and would actually be better off on a different plan. So we’ve made the decision to bring the All-in SIM offer to an end.

    We know value is important, so based on your usage we have two SIM offers that’ll keep you talking, texting and internetting just like before, for the same or a little less each month.

    • Option 1 – Large 30 Day SIM
    If you don’t want to commit to a contract, then this brand new SIM’s for you. It comes with 3GB data, 2,000 minutes and unlimited texts and you’ll stay on a 30-day rolling contract at £12 a month.

    If you’d like to swap over to this SIM, you don’t need to do anything – we’ll automatically move you over on 7th January 2015.

    • Option 2 – Large SIM
    This SIM will do it all and comes packed with 3GB data, 1,000 minutes and unlimited texts – on a 12 month contract. The cost? Just £10.50 a month compared to the £12 you’ve been paying.

    You’ll find more about it online at talktalk.co.uk/largesim

  3. Davie said:

    I have 2 sims with talktalk and love it I was previously with ee who were a joke. since changing to talktalk I have much better signal for calls and data and getting much better deal for my money… will be ordering another 2 of these sims for mum and dad

  4. Dean Evans said:

    I DO recommend the talk talk mobile £12.00 sim.
    (BUT the customer services team are a joke)

    Unlimited calls “fab” (not 0845 and so on)
    Unlimited texts “great” (not mms photos)
    Mobile signal is the same strenth as Vodafone.
    Data coverage is almost identical to Vodafone but set slightly slower by Vodafone but no tethering).

    I have swapped my vodafone contract at £90 a month.
    and my wife talktalk phone at £50.00 to £80.00 a month.
    So far so good bills at £12.30 and £12.00 a month.

    I might get two more for the kids as soon as the talktalk web site is back up and working.

    If you have a mobile on Vodafone you are silly not to (unless you use sky go).

  5. Karen said:

    I would not recommend talk talk mobile to anyone. I recently moved from Virgin to talk talk for the all inclusive SIM and it’s been an absolute disaster. The mobile signal was extremely poor and at times I couldn’t even receive or make calls, when I called the customer services team, they only checked the area coverage and stated that as long as I could make calls even if the signal was very poor then the service was working. It took me an hour to speak to someone regarding technical issues and when I finally spoke to someone they had no idea how to resolve the issue so they escalated the complaint twice with a promise of a call back within 24 hours which never happened. Eventually the service was completely disconnected for a whole week whilst I waited for a replacement SIM, when the SIM arrived it was faulty and still I could not connect to the talk talk network.
    At this point, I decided to terminate the contract to which they responded that I had to pay a further one month’s notice (for a service I did not receive) and that I should pay for last month as well since I had received “partial service” albeit poor. I am currently preparing a formal complaint to OFCOM. There’s a reason why this contract is cheap and for the customer service you receive the price is definitely not worth it. In my opinion, talk talk doesn’t have the necessary infrastructure or staff to provide an adequate mobile service. If you want to save yourself from a huge headache stay away from this deal.

  6. Seb said:

    I am using this sim now. I tried to turn sharing router on my s4 and its works so I connect my tablet to the network immediately. So can anybody tell me how does this restrictions work? Will I pay any extras for using this tetering which is prohibited. I thought that I cannot use this option on my phone but I can and thinking only about additional charges…what do you think?

    1. Lauren replied:

      Beware of tethering u will breach terms of use and all sims you own will no longer have unlimited data(30gb) they will have just 2gb and if one goes over fair usage of 30gb they will all be suspended

  7. David said:

    Been on three for 2 years now with constant network problems and was locked to them on contract.
    but my wife was on pay as you go on three and had the same problem so I got her the all in one sim from talk talk. 12 quid a month… once I installed it into her device, BAM!!!! signal everywhere in the house, at her work, basically everywhere she couldn’t get a signal now she can. my contract has also now ended so I’m going in the same SIM deal because it ROCKS!!!!
    thanks talktalk we can finally use our phones as phones now and not just game players and camera hahahahahah 10/10

  8. Faisal said:

    I’m very happy with talktalk internet is amazing 100 time better then 3. I’m in manchester, internet working absolutely fine, I recommend to join talk talk

  9. Michael said:

    Don’t buy it.
    I’m using this sim at the moment, The data speed is very slow I know that the don’t support 4G but I actually don’t need it . All I need is 3G, H or H+.
    But often I’m receiving 2G only (Never received G or E sign in my phone until I got Talktalk ). Shame!!!!!!!

  10. spotify95 said:

    The major problem that TalkTalk has is that it uses the Vodafone network. Vodafone is absolutely awful for 3G coverage. They were pushed by Ofcom a couple of years ago just to get to 90% coverage.
    It should also be noted that proper coverage is only available on Vodafone in densely populated areas. Otherwise, your data is pretty much useless because there is no 3G coverage. In fact, on a 16+ mile stretch of road near where I live, Vodafone has no coverage. O2 partially covers the same stretch, and EE/3 fully cover it.
    With regards to switching to O2… O2 is slightly better but still nowhere near as good as EE or 3 in terms of 3G coverage. I would not recommend Vodafone, or any network that uses Vodafone, before Voda manage to get to 97% 3G coverage or greater (the same amount that EE/3 have). I would, however, recommend the £22 SIM with Three – 600 minutes U/L texts U/L data 4GB tethering (plus you can buy more tethering if required).

  11. Dave said:

    I’m on this SIM. Data coverage is identical to Vodafone. It IS Vodafone, just labeled differently. My previous provide was Talkmobile, and was on Vodafone before that. All behaved identically.

  12. David said:

    Hi Ken
    I’ve been a TalkTalk mobile customer for a couple of years or so. I’ve had no problems at all with voice calls and SMS, but data coverage (particularly in the area where I travel mostly, i.e. north-east England and the Scottish Borders) is virtually non-existent. I have a tracking app on my handset which proved useful when I dropped it when cycling, and I was able to locate it and retrieve it. That, however, was with my previous provider O2. I’m doubful if I could do that with TalkTalk. I know that TalkTalk “piggyback” on the Vodafone network, and I don’t know if this means that they are only given spare capacity by Vodafone; but in my experience, away from major cities, the data coverage is bordering on useless. For this reason, I would be reluctant to recommend them as a mobile provider, at any price. I’m actively considering a move! I’d be interested in comments by other users.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi David,
      Thanks for the feedback regarding TalkTalk Mobile. It’s a shame to hear they have really poor data coverage up in your area. Do you, by any chance, know how the data experience differs from Vodafone? i.e. I’m interested in hearing whether this is simply because Vodafone has poor coverage in your area or whether it might be due to a poor experience on the TalkTalk end. I suppose it’s difficult to really know if you haven’t tried both of the networks (would also be incredibly interested in comments & feedback from other readers).
      Ken

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