1p Mobile offers flexible Pay As You Go costing 1p/minute, 1p/text and 1p/MB. Customers get 4G coverage from EE.
In the UK, 1p Mobile currently offers the lowest Pay As You Go rates for calling, texting and browsing. With an eye-catching tariff of 1p/minute, 1p/text and 1p/megabyte, you’ll only need to pay for what you actually use on the service. There are no regular monthly payments and no commitments to use the service every month.
An important requirement of 1pMobile is that customers are required to top-up their phone with at least £10 of credit every 120 days.
1p Mobile is offered by Telecommunications Management Limited, the sister company of Utility Warehouse and a part of the FTSE 250-listed Telecom Plus PLC group. They’ve offered 2G, 3G and 4G coverage from EE since September 2016.
- 1 Pricing & Tariffs
- 2 Comparison to Alternatives
- 3 Network & Coverage
- 4 Keeping Your Phone Number
- 5 About 1p Mobile
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
- 7 More Information
Pricing & Tariffs
Pay As You Go
1p Mobile’s namesake is their Pay As You Go plan, where customers pay just 1p/minute, 1p/text and 1p/MB for usage in the UK. These low Pay As You Go rates make 1p Mobile significant cheaper than other Pay As You Go networks.
The following table shows a list of 1p Mobile’s rates in the UK:
|Voice Calls||1p/minute (any network, any time)|
|Calls to Voicemail||1p/minute|
|Calls to Special Rate Numbers||20p/minute access charge
+ service charge from the company you’re calling
|Text Message (SMS)||1p|
|Picture Message (MMS)||30p|
|Mobile Data||1p/MB (or buy a 30-day Data Boost from £6)|
There’s no need to pay a regular monthly fee on 1p Mobile, but you’ll need to top-up your SIM card with at least £10 of credit every 120 days. 1pMobile has an optional auto top-up feature which can add credit to your account every time your balance drops below £2 or when 120 days have passed since your last top-up.
You can check your Pay As You Go balance at any time by calling 150 from your 1pMobile handset. It’s free to call 150.
Smartphone owners who regularly use mobile data on their phone can buy one of 1p Mobile’s Data Boost bundles. These 30-day boosts can be purchased from your Pay As You Go credit and give you a discount of up to 75% on the normal 1p/MB rate.
You can buy a Data Boost at any time using your Pay As You Go credit. However, any unused data remaining from the Boost will expire after 30 days and won’t carry over. For this reason, if you’re a light user not needing very much data, you might still be better off on the normal 1p/MB rate.
The following Data Boosts are currently available to buy from 1p Mobile:
|Data Boost||Cost||Potential Discount*|
|1GB Data||£6/month||Up to 40% discount on standard price (£10)|
|2GB Data||£10/month||Up to 50% discount on standard price (£20)|
|4GB Data||£15/month||Up to 62% discount on standard price (£40)|
|10GB Data||£25/month||Up to 75% discount on standard price (£100)|
You’ll normally be better off buying a Data Boost bundle if your mobile data usage exceeds 600MB (0.6GB) per month. At this threshold, you’ll pay £6 for 600MB of data at the normal 1p/MB rate (or you could get a 1GB Data Boost for the same price).
If you use up the entirety of your Data Boost, further usage is charged at the normal 1p/MB Pay As You Go rate. For instance, a customer using 1.2GB of data would pay £8/month for their usage (£6 for the 1GB Data Boost and then a further £2 for the remaining 200MB at normal Pay As You Go rates).
Data Boosts can be combined with the usage of minutes and texts at the normal Pay As You Go rate. For instance, a customer using 200 minutes and 1GB of mobile data would pay £8 per month (£2 for 200 minutes, and £6 for the 1GB Data Boost).
In general, however, if you’re buying a Data Boost bundle, you’ll normally be better off on a different mobile network where you’re able to get all-inclusive bundles with minutes and texts. For instance, giffgaff offers Pay As You Go bundles from £6/month with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and an allowance of mobile data:
Minimum Top-Up Requirement
Before joining 1p Mobile, it’s important to be aware of their minimum top-up requirement. 1pMobile requires you to top-up your phone with at least £10 of credit for every 120 days of usage. If you don’t do this, your account will be closed and your phone number will be lost.
Beyond the minimum top-up requirement, there are no further requirements to actually spend your credit every month. The credit you add to your account is non-refundable, however, so will eventually need to be spent on 1pMobile at some point (it isn’t possible to transfer your credit to other networks).
Customers can use 1p Mobile’s automatic top-up feature to ensure their account is topped up by at least £10 every 120 days. The automatic top-up will activate when either the balance on your account drops below £2 or when 120 days have passed since your last top-up.
As of 2018, “early top-ups” and top-ups larger than £10 are now taken into consideration and extend your “next top-up due date”. For instance, if your next required top-up is due in 40 days time, a new top-up of £10 will extend your “next top-up due date” by a further 120 days, so you won’t need to top-up for another 160 days. Similarly, top-ups larger than £10 will extend your “next top-up due date” in proportion (e.g. a £15 top-up will extend it by a further 180 days, a £20 top-up will extend it by a further 240 days, etc).
Prior to the 25th April 2017, 1pMobile had a minimum spend requirement of £5/month. This requirement is no longer in place and the only requirement is now to top-up by at least £10 every 120 days.
If you’re only planning to use a 1pMobile SIM card in a spare or emergency handset, the requirement to top-up every 120 days can make it a fairly expensive option. Most other mobile networks don’t have a minimum top-up requirement: they simply require you to use your phone at least once every 180 days (including the use of Pay As You Go credit that’s already on your account).
For customers wanting the ability to choose their own phone number, 1pMobile offers a choice of paid-for memorable numbers. It costs £20 to buy a memorable gold number, or you can choose a regular phone number for £2.
You can search the list of memorable numbers on the 1pMobile website.
You can always join 1pMobile without paying for a memorable phone number. In this case, you’ll be automatically assigned a phone number by them for free. You can also keep your existing phone number at no extra charge when you’re moving from another mobile network to 1p Mobile.
Comparison to Alternatives
At present, 1p Mobile has the lowest per-minute, per-text and per-megabyte rates of any Pay As You Go mobile network in the UK.
The closest alternative to 1pMobile is probably something like ASDA Mobile. On ASDA, you’ll pay 8p/minute, 4p/text and 5p/MB. The rates are a lot higher than on 1pMobile but the benefit is there’s no need to top-up your phone every 120 days. Instead, it’s only necessary to use your phone for a chargeable activity every 270 days. Top-ups are also available from just £1 each time. For this reason, it may sometimes work out to be cheaper overall – see our guide to the best Pay As You Go SIM cards for light users.
If you’re a smartphone owner or a regular mobile user, it may instead be worth getting a Pay As You Go bundle. With a bundle, you’ll need to pay a regular monthly fee. However, you’ll get a much larger allowance in return. For instance, the following bundles are currently available from £10/month:
For comparison, a £10 top-up on 1p Mobile will give you 1000 minutes, 1000 texts or 1GB of data (or some combination of the three). Alternatively, if you buy a 30-day Data Boost, you can get 2GB of data for £10 on 1p Mobile. This compares to the unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 12GB of data you’re able to get for £10/month elsewhere.
For more information, see our guide to the UK’s best value Pay As You Go bundles.
Network & Coverage
2G, 3G & 4G Coverage from EE
At the time of writing, customers can access 99% population coverage on EE’s 2G, 3G and 4G network. Download speeds of up to 20Mbps are available on the 1p Mobile service.
Before signing up to 1pMobile, we strongly recommend checking the coverage in your area. You can do this by entering your postcode on the 1pMobile website:
Before you’re able to access the internet on your smartphone, it may be necessary to input the Access Point Name (APN) settings for your 1p Mobile SIM card. On the iPhone, you can do this through Settings > Mobile Data > Mobile Data Options > Mobile Data Network and on Android, you can do this through Settings > Wireless & networks > More > Mobile networks > Access point names.
You’ll need to input the following settings to access the internet on 1pMobile:
- Name: 1pMobile
- APN: data.uk
- User: user
- Password: one2one
- Type: CHAP
For more information, please see the help documentation on the 1pMobile website. If you’re using a 1p Mobile SIM card in a handset that’s locked to EE, you may need to use alternative APN settings that are detailed on the 1pMobile website.
Tethering & Personal Hotspot
Tethering or personal hotspot refers to the process of sharing your smartphone’s internet connection with another device (e.g. with your laptop or tablet). It provides you with a mobile broadband connection for use on other devices.
On 1p Mobile, the use of tethering and personal hotspot is permitted. You’ll just pay the normal rates for any data that’s consumed through this feature (that’s 1p/MB if you’re on Pay As You Go, or you can use the Data Boost allowance through tethering as well).
As normal, we’d recommend switching off data-intensive features such as background app updates when tethering to devices like your laptop. This is because it can very quickly consume lots of data, leading to the balance on your Pay As You Go account becoming depleted very quickly.
For more information, see our in-depth guide to tethering on UK mobile networks.
On 1pMobile, you can use your mobile phone abroad through international roaming. To do this, you’ll need to enable both the “international calling” and “international roaming” features within your 1pMobile account. This can be done by logging in to the 1pMobile website and enabling both of these options in the “Network settings” section.
If you’re travelling within Europe, you’ll benefit from roam-like-at-home (European roaming at no extra charge). This means you’ll continue to pay your normal UK rates whilst travelling in Europe. You can also use your Data Boost allowance when you’re travelling in Europe.
If you’re travelling outside Europe, additional roaming fees will apply to your service. These fees are substantially higher than your normal UK rates (e.g. in the USA, you’ll pay £1/minute, 25p/text and 50p/MB).
Keeping Your Phone Number
If you’re moving from another mobile network to 1p Mobile, it’s a straightforward process to keep your existing phone number.
To do so, you should start by asking your current mobile network to provide you with a PAC Code. You can get one from your mobile network’s website or app, or by texting PAC to 65075.
Once you’ve gotten a PAC Code from your old network, order your new SIM card from the 1pMobile website.
After your new SIM card arrives, you can log in to your online account to submit your PAC Code to 1pMobile. Once you’ve done this, your phone number transfer should normally be processed on the next working day. You should try to use up any remaining Pay As You Go credit on your old mobile network as it can’t be transferred to 1pMobile.
For a step-by-step guide on moving your phone number to 1p Mobile, please select your current mobile network from the drop-down menu below:
About 1p Mobile
1p Mobile has been available in the UK since September 2016. It’s offered by a company called Telecommunications Management Limited (TML), which has operated in the UK since 1998. TML is part of the FTSE 250-listed Telecom Plus PLC and is also the sister company to Utility Warehouse.
According to the Telecom Plus PLC group financial report (March 2020), the group has 280,000 mobile network customers. It isn’t clear, however, how these customers are split across the 1p Mobile and Utility Warehouse brands.
In our opinion, it’s good news that 1pMobile is backed by one of the UK’s largest public companies. The network is now also firmly established having been around for four years. Saying that, we’d still recommend doing your own research when choosing a new mobile provider.
Frequently Asked Questions
|How much will I pay to use 1p Mobile?||
You’ll pay 1p/minute, 1p/text and 1p/MB to use 1p Mobile. There are no regular monthly charges so you’ll only pay for what you actually use. A full list of Pay As You Go rates can be found on the 1p Mobile website.
|Does the Pay As You Go credit on 1p Mobile expire?||
No. Your Pay As You Go credit won’t expire but you’ll need to make sure your account remains active. You can do this by topping up your phone with at least £10 of credit every 120 days.
|What network does 1pMobile use for coverage?|
|How do the rates on 1p Mobile compare to other networks?||
1pMobile has the lowest Pay As You Go rates of any mobile network in the UK. They charge just 1p/minute, 1p/text and 1p/MB. The closest alternative is probably ASDA Mobile which charges 8p/minute, 4p/text and 5p/MB (coverage also comes from the EE network).
|Can I keep my existing phone number?||
Yes. It’s a straightforward process to keep your phone number when moving to 1p Mobile. Simply ask your existing mobile network to provide you with a PAC Code. You can get this through your mobile network’s website or app, or by texting PAC to 65075. Give the PAC Code to 1p Mobile once you’ve activated your SIM card.
|Who owns 1p Mobile?||
1pMobile is owned by Telecommunications Management Limited. It is part of the FTSE 250-listed Telecom Plus PLC and is also the sister company to Utility Warehouse.
For more information about 1pMobile, please see their official website.