Unlimited Mobile Data Plans: The UK’s Cheapest Deals For Your Smartphone
July 15th, 2015
In the UK, unlimited data is available on your smartphone from £20/month on Pay Monthly and Pay As You Go.
In the last few months, unlimited data plans have seen a resurgence in the UK. Now available from two different networks, an unlimited data plan is perfect for heavy users. There’s no longer any need to worry about how much data you’re actually using and there’s no risk of your data connection being cut off mid-month. It’s perfect for download apps and games, for watching videos on-the-go and for streaming music from the internet.
At present, unlimited data plans for your mobile start from £20/month on both Pay Monthly contracts on Pay As You Go bundles. Ordinarily, unlimited data is only available from giffgaff and Three but it’s also available for the first two months when joining selected tariffs on Vodafone.
In this article, we review and compare the best unlimited data plans available in the UK.
Overview of Unlimited Data Plans
On Pay Monthly, unlimited data currently starts from £20/month.
On Three’s £20/month SIM card, you’ll get 200 minutes, unlimited texts and all-you-can-eat 4G data (but there’s a maximum of 12GB of tethering each month).
giffgaff has a similar £20/month tariff with unlimited calls, unlimited texts and Always On data (tethering and 4G speeds are only offered on the first 6GB per month).
The following table compares the cheapest available unlimited data plans on giffgaff and Three:
The cheapest available Pay Monthly contracts with unlimited data.
Pay As You Go
Unlimited data is also available on Pay As You Go bundles from giffgaff and Three. Our recommended deal is giffgaff’s £20 goodybag on Pay As You Go with unlimited calls, unlimited texts and Always On data (only the first 6GB/month will allow tethering and be at 4G speeds).
The cheapest available Pay As You Go bundles with unlimited data.
Read on for more information and for an in-depth review of unlimited data on each network.
Unlimited Data Plans By Network
giffgaff has a £20/month Pay As You Go bundle with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and Always On internet (the bundle is known on giffgaff as the £20 goodybag). With this, you’ll get unlimited downloads. However, only the first 6GB/month will allow for tethering and you’ll be dropped down to 256Kbps if you go over this limit (only the first 6GB per month will be at 4G speeds).
A major advantage of giffgaff’s goodybags is you’re able to change them on a month-by-month basis. For instance, you could later downgrade to the £15 goodybag (1000 minutes, unlimited texts & 4GB of internet) if it later turns out unlimited data is unnecessary. Because it’s a Pay As You Go service, there are no credit checks and there’s also better control over your spending.
For more information, you can read our in-depth review of the giffgaff network.
|Coverage Provider:||O2 (99% coverage – check coverage here)|
|Download Speeds:||2G, 3G & 4G coverage|
|Limitations & Restrictions|
|Tethering:||Only on the first 6GB per month.|
|Traffic Management:||Heavy users may have speeds capped to 300kbps between 3pm and midnight. Speeds are capped at 256Kbps after the first 6GB/month.
See giffgaff’s traffic management policy for more information.
Advantages include the use of 4G at no extra charge and the ability to tether up to 12GB/month on Pay Monthly contracts. You can also use your phone abroad at no extra charge through the Feel At Home offer (up to 12GB/month in a Feel At Home country).
All-you-can-eat data is available on both Pay Monthly and Pay As You Go tariffs. Prices start from £20/month on both Pay Monthly contracts and Pay As You Go bundles.
|Monthly Price:||From £20/month|
|Coverage Provider:||Three (98% coverage – check coverage here)|
|Download Speeds:||3G & 4G coverage|
|Limitations & Restrictions|
|Tethering:||12GB per month on Pay Monthly.
Not permitted on Pay As You Go.
|Traffic Management:||See Three’s TrafficSense policy.|
On their Pay Monthly SIM cards, unlimited data currently starts from £20/month. On a 12-month contract, you get 200 minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited internet at 4G download speeds.
|12 month contracts
|1 month contracts
There’s 12GB of tethering per month included on Pay Monthly SIM cards.
Pay Monthly with New Handset
Three is also unique in being the only UK network to offer 24-month contracts with unlimited data on a new smartphone. For a high-end smartphone like the iPhone 6s or the Galaxy S7, you’ll typically pay around £55/month for an unlimited data plan. On lower-cost devices like the Moto G 3rd Gen, all-you-can-eat data is sometimes available from £37/month.
|Apple iPhone 6s
The following unlimited data tariffs are currently available for the iPhone 6s:
|Samsung Galaxy S7
The following unlimited data tariffs are currently available for the Galaxy S6:
A full list of available handsets can be found on the Three website. Pay Monthly contracts with all-you-can-eat data come with 12GB of tethering per month.
Pay As You Go
Three also offers an unlimited data plan on their Pay As You Go tariff. With the £20 All-in-One bundle, you get 300 minutes, 3000 texts and unlimited data at 4G download speeds. Unfortunately, tethering is not permitted on the Pay As You Go service (choose a Pay Monthly contract if you’d like to tether from your phone).
Unfortunately, other UK networks don’t currently offer a plan with unlimited data. The largest data allowance available on other networks is:
|Mobile Network||Largest Data Allowance Available|
|ASDA Mobile||Up to 4GB per month|
|BT Mobile||Up to 20GB per month|
|EE||Up to 50GB per month|
|iD Mobile||Up to 10GB per month|
|LIFE Mobile||Up to 4GB per month|
|O2||Up to 30GB per month|
|Tesco Mobile||Up to 20GB per month|
|The People’s Operator||Up to 6GB per month|
For more information on how much data you need for your smartphone, please see our full guide to mobile data allowances.
I'm a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology. I've been blogging at Ken's Tech Tips since 2005 with the aim of demystifying mobile technology for the rest of us.
Before writing about mobile technology, my background was in space & atmospheric physics. I have also worked in software development. Nowadays, I help companies to explain mobile technology to their customers. Please check out my portfolio or get in touch for more information. I'm also on Google+.