1p Mobile offers flexible Pay As You Go costing 1p/minute, 1p/text and 1p/MB, with 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 only need to pay for what you actually use with no regular monthly commitments or contracts.

An important requirement of using 1pMobile is that customers are required to top-up their phone with at least £10 of credit every 120 days.

1pMobile has been launched by a company called Telecommunications Management Limited, the sister company of Utility Warehouse and a part of the FTSE 250-listed Telecom Plus PLC group. 1p Mobile offers 2G, 3G and 4G coverage from EE and has been available to customers in the UK since September 2016.

Order 1pMobile SIM card (Free with £10 top-up) →

Pricing & Tariffs

Pay As You Go

1p Mobile’s namesake is their Pay As You Go tariff, where customers pay just 1p/minute, 1p/text and 1p/MB for usage in the UK. These low rates make 1p Mobile significant cheaper than other Pay As You Go mobile networks, especially for customers making a UK phone call.

The following table shows a list of 1p Mobile’s rates in the UK:

Calling Rates:
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
Messaging Rates:
Text Message (SMS) 1p
Picture Message (MMS) 30p
Internet Rates:
Mobile Internet 1p/MB (or buy a 30-day Data Boost from £4)

The prices in this table are stated for UK-to-UK only. If you’re travelling abroad outside Europe or making international phone calls, higher charges will typically apply. Source for pricing information: 1pmobile.com.

There’s no need to pay a regular monthly fee for the service, 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 will add credit to your account every time your balance drops below £2 or if when 120 days have passed since your last top-up.

You can check your balance on 1pMobile at any time by dialling 150 on your 1pMobile handset.

Data Bundles

For smartphone owners who regularly use the internet on their handset, 1p Mobile offers a range of Data Boost bundles. These are 30-day packages, that are purchased from your credit, giving you a data allowance at up to 75% off 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. For this reason, light users who don’t need very much data may still be better off paying the normal 1p/MB rate.

The following Data Boosts are currently available to buy from 1p Mobile:

Data Boost Cost Potential Discount*
500MB Data £4/month Up to 20% discount on standard price (£5)
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)

* The potential discount is calculated for a customer who uses up the entirety of their Data Boost allowance. If you only use part of the Data Boost, your actual discount will be smaller than this.

In practice, you’re best off buying a Data Boost if your average data consumption is more than 400MB per month (0.4GB per month). At this level, you’d be paying £4 for 400MB of data at normal Pay As You Go rates (whereas you can get a 500MB Data Boost for the same price).

If you were to use up the entirety of your Data Boost, further usage will be charged at the normal 1p/MB rate. For instance, a customer using 600MB of data per month could pay £5 for their data usage (£4 for the 500MB Data Boost and then £1 for the remaining 100MB at normal Pay As You Go rates).

Data Boosts can also 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 500MB of data will typically pay around £6 per month (£2 for 200 minutes, and £4 for the 500MB Data Boost).

Minimum Top-Up Requirement

One important requirement to be aware of when using 1p Mobile is the minimum top-up requirement. 1p Mobile 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 also be lost at the same time.

Beyond this, there is no requirement to actually use your phone a certain amount, or to spend a given amount of your credit each month. Your credit however is non-refundable so it will eventually need to be used on 1pMobile as you can’t transfer it to another network.

Customers can use the 1pMobile auto top-up feature to ensure their account is topped up by at least once 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 larger top-ups are taken into consideration and further extend your “next top-up due date”. For instance, if your next required top-up is in 40 days time, a top-up of £10 will extend your “next top-up due date” to be in 160 days time (the remaining 40 days are extended by an additional 120 days to give 160 days). Top-ups of more than £10 will also extend your “next top-up due date” in proportion (e.g. a £15 top-up will give you a further 180 days, a £20 top-up will give you 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 (only the requirement to top-up by £10 every 120 days now remains on the network).

If you’re only planning to use a 1p Mobile 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 do not impose a minimum top-up requirement: they simply require you to use your phone at least once every 180 days (this includes the use of Pay As You Go credit that’s already on your account).

Gold Numbers

For customers who want the ability to choose their own custom phone number, 1pMobile offers a choice of paid-for memorable phone numbers. The memorable numbers currently all begin with 07486 and are split into five different price ranges according to how memorable they are:

  • £75 for a platinum number
  • £50 for a gold number
  • £25 for a silver number
  • £10 for a bronze number
  • £2 for a regular number

You can search the list of memorable numbers on the 1pMobile website.

Of course, you can always join 1pMobile without paying for a memorable phone number (in this case, you’ll be assigned a phone number automatically by them for free). You can also keep your existing phone number for free if you’re moving from another mobile network by following the PAC Code number transfer process.

Comparison to Alternatives

  • 1pMobile
  • ASDA Mobile
  • iD Mobile
  • O2
  • Three

At present, 1p Mobile has the lowest per-minute and per-text rates of any Pay As You Go mobile network in the UK. They also have the joint-lowest per-megabyte rate, along with Three, O2 Classic and iD Mobile.

Overall, the closest alternatives to 1pMobile are probably Three’s 321 tariff and O2’s Classic Pay As You Go. Both Three and O2 charge 3p/minute, 2p/text and 1p/MB, but with no requirement to top-up your phone every 120 days. Instead, you just need to use your phone for a chargeable activity at least once every 6 months (and unlike on 1pMobile, this usage could be from your existing credit).

Alternatively, if you’re a light user, it may not be worth always choosing the lowest cost network. For instance, other mobile networks may have a smaller minimum top-up or may allow you to top-up by a smaller amount each time. For instance, ASDA Mobile only requires you to use your phone every 270 days and top-ups are available from just £1 each time.

If you’re a smartphone owner or regular mobile user, it may be worth instead considering getting a Pay As You Go bundle. Numerous bundles are available from £5/month, including some of the following:

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
giffgaff150500500MB£5.00
ASDA Mobile1252,000250MB£5.00
EE100250150MB£5.00
Vodafone150250100MB£5.00
ASDA Mobile300Unlimited1GB£7.00
giffgaff250Unlimited2GB£7.50

For more information, see our full guide to the UK’s best value Pay As You Go bundles.

Network & Coverage

2G, 3G & 4G Coverage from EE

1pMobile is a virtual network operator (MVNO), making use of EE as a network coverage provider. This means customers of 1pMobile will receive the exact same coverage as customers on EE.

At the time of writing, customers should receive about 99% population coverage, including on 2G, 3G and 4G. EE’s 4G network is currently the most extensive of any UK coverage provider, making this a key benefit of choosing a mobile network that piggybacks on coverage from EE.

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:

Check 1pMobile Coverage (1pmobile.com) →

For more information on how to compare coverage between different mobile networks, please see our full guide to mobile phone coverage in the UK.

At the time of writing, 1p Mobile does not yet offer Wi-Fi Calling or 4G Calling services. Download speeds of up to 20Mbit/s are available on 1pMobile’s 4G service.

Internet Settings

In order to access the internet on your smartphone, it may be necessary to input the Access Point Name (APN) settings for 1pMobile. 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 1p Mobile on a handset that’s locked to EE, you may need to use some alternative APN settings that are detailed on the 1pMobile website.

Tethering

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 an instant mobile broadband connection to use on-the-go.

On 1p Mobile, tethering is permitted without any restrictions. You’ll just pay the normal rate for all data used through tethering functionality (so that’s either 1p/MB or you can use your Data Boost allowance).

As usual, we’d recommend turning off data-intensive features such as background app updates when tethering on your laptop. This can quickly consume a large amount of data when you’re tethering from your smartphone, leading to the balance on your Pay As You Go account becoming depleted very quickly.

For more information, please see our in-depth guide to tethering on UK networks.

International Roaming

On 1pMobile, it’s possible to use your mobile phone abroad through international roaming. To do this, you’ll need to enable both international calling and international roaming in your 1pMobile account settings. This can be done by logging in to the 1pMobile website and checking both of these options within the “Network settings” section.

When travelling inside of Europe, you’ll benefit from roam-like-at-home (European roaming at no extra charge). This means you’ll just continue to pay the normal UK rates (1p/minute, 1p/text and 1p/MB) when travelling in Europe. You can also use your Data Boost allowance (up to a maximum of 7.5GB/month if you buy the 10GB Data Boost).

When travelling outside of Europe, roaming fees will be substantially higher than the normal 1p rate in the UK and Europe.

Keeping Your Phone Number

If you’re moving from another mobile network to 1pMobile, 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. This is a nine-digit code that authorises the transfer of your phone number to 1pMobile. Your current mobile network is legally obliged to provide you with a PAC Code. This must be offered free of charge within 2 hours of your request.

Once you’ve got a PAC Code from your old network, order your new SIM card from the 1pMobile website. When the 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:

PAC Code Finder: Transfer Your Phone Number to 1pMobile

Your current network provider:

  More Options

About 1pMobile

1p Mobile (Telecommunications Management Limited) is the sister company of Utility Warehouse.

1pMobile has been available in the UK since September 2016. It was launched by a company called Telecommunications Management Limited (TML), which has provided business telecommunication services in the UK since 1998. TML is part of the FTSE 250-listed Telecom Plus PLC and is the sister company to Utility Warehouse.

According to the latest Telecom Plus PLC group financial report (September 2018), the company has a total of 237,000 mobile network customers. However, it isn’t clear how these customers are split across the 1pMobile and Utility Warehouse brands.

In our view, it’s good news that 1pMobile is backed by a fairly large company. However, we’d always recommend doing your own research when choosing a new provider.

More Information

For more information about 1pMobile, please see their official website.

Your Comments 28 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 28 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Matthew Joyce said:

    Hi Ken

    I’m with 1p mobile they have changed a bit (for the better) since your review. For example topup £10 40 days before the 120 days is up and you don’t have to top up again for 160 days. Topup more than £10 and you don’t have to top up for longer eg £20 topup extends by 240 days. Very fair policy in my view.

    • Hi Matthew,
      Thanks for your comment. This is fantastic news for customers of 1pMobile, especially as it gives the added flexibility. I suppose it also removes the disincentive to top-up early, which is good for them as well 🙂
      Thanks again for sharing!
      Ken

  • stuart watson said:

    I love the idea of 1p mobile sounds bloody great however I like to top up my phone not using my bank details, known it is possible for any company to get hacked and steal a persons bank details this is why I like till top up vouchers instead. I would welcome 1p if they sold till top up vouchers, just not happy doing money transactions over the internet.

  • Great review, most useful. I frequently help friends set up their new smartphones and select a mobile service provider. This is a great source of information/comparisons for low users. Thanks Ken.

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