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
ASDA Mobile1252,000250MB£5.00
EE100250150MB£5.00
Vodafone150250100MB£5.00
giffgaff300500500MB£6.00
ASDA Mobile300Unlimited1GB£7.00
giffgaff500Unlimited2GB£8.00

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 34 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 34 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • If you have enough credits >£10, 1pmobile will no longer automatically deactivate your account when failing to topup after 120 days have elapsed. I notice this little addition when I last checked my account yesterday on the ‘TopUp history’ tab. There is no mention of this clause in the terms and conditions though.

    +120 credit used to extend usage*

    *If your SIM has not been topped-up as per our 120-day top-up requirement, rather than disconnect your service and if you have a large phone credit we will use £10 of your phone credit to extend your usage for another 120 days. All your remaining credit will be rolled over. (Alternative amounts and durations may be agreed via 1pMobile Customer Services)

    This is useful for those who had built up a sizeable credit via topups and £5 referrals (which also extends the topup date) and no longer finds the tariff suitable for them. They can slowly run this down without fear of losing all accumlated credits >£10.

  • lucy davies said:

    Hi Ken, does 1p mobile have the same system as other networks whereby they are obliged to give you a pac code so that you can leave their network and still keep your number? Thanks for the informative site!

      • It does indeed help, thank you very much! I do appreciate your rapid response, and I think you are doing a great job providing this kind of information. I’m sure I will be using your site again. Many thanks!
        Lucy

  • 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.

  • 1p looks good and if you set auto top up then you do not lose your credit or number even if you fail to use the phone within the normal 6 month cut off time.

    I too would welcome a review of Vectone mobile.

  • Really. If anyone is troubled about a £2.50 a month contract…How much is a postage stamp these days ?
    If I get keep my old slider phone on this deal I am in.

  • Delight is another 2g offering! But someone said you had to top up every 90 days otherwise it expired. Hoever that seems to have been removed from their website. Can you confirm ken? There seems to be no review for vectone or delight? I know its time ken but would be worth it

  • I set up a 1p sim on behalf of my Sister-in-Law last and I’m amazed at the control the user gets within their online account.

    You can switch on and off using a radio button, things like voice mail, adult content, restrict the use of data, text and calls. These are just a few things and other networks could learn from this network instead of having to ring customer service just to change something.

    As for payment this too is great and something else they do is top up via PayPal and again you can turn auto top up on and off when ever.

    If you look at it, not so much as a PAYG system but more of a £2-50p per month contract but without a contract it really is a good deal and I have no trouble running the S-i-L sim over the next six months or so I may well be tempted to ditch my Plusnet monthly sim for this.

  • The only thing thats spoils this package is the minimum £30 per year spend. For a light user equates to using 8+ mins per day. A lot of very light users like me and my wife may only require an occasional call. My wife uses less than 2 minutes under a minute every month, I average about less than 15 per month and maybe 10mb.

    For lots of light users, a TRUE pay as you go package such as three’s 321 payg (watch out for 3g only and patchy coverage) or O2’s classic payg (5p per min but good coverage and 2g support) makes more sense.

    I get very frustrated when packages are labelled or reviewed as pay as you go when in fact they are prepaid monthly (or 4 monthly) contracts.

    • Hi Andrew,
      Agreed, and I don’t think 1pMobile is a very good solution for anyone who uses their phone very lightly. As you say, people would actually be much better off choosing a slightly more expensive network but without the 120-day minimum top-up requirement. I think this tariff is really for people who want the flexibility (i.e. people who use their phone enough to spend £30/year, but not on a predictable enough month-by-month basis to warrant buying a bundle).
      To pick up on one other point: there’s a requirement to top-up at least £10 every 120 days, but there’s no requirement to actually spend that credit. Of course, the credit is non-refundable so you’ll need to use it eventually, but there’s nothing to stop you from building up a balance and then using it all in one go. Therefore, I do consider 1pMobile to be a Pay As You Go tariff (albeit, a fairly unique one in the market with the minimum top-up requirement).
      Ken

  • Hi Ken
    I have been using 1p mobile for 10 months now and its great. I am a light user and it costs me next to nothing to use my sim free iphone. 1p uses the EE network which has great coverage.
    The Three 3/2/1 payg deal is competitive, which I used to use, but the major advantage of 1P over 3 aside from price is that you can use a 1P sim in old style Nokia 2G phones if necessary. 3 sims only work in newer 3 and 4G phones

  • Great website. As a light user of a 2g phone, 1p mobile looks very very good. What are the charges for voicemail. I believe some companies charge for a viocemail arriving on your phone even if you do not listen to it.

  • Iain Harrison said:

    Firstly, thank you for such an informative website. I used to maintain a similar site and I know how difficult it can be. You do it brilliantly!

    I’d like to add one more thing about 1pmobile: they are the only PAYG service that gives you a VAT invoice. This means that a VAT-registered customer only pays a net 0.8p per minute.

    OK, it is not a huge saving, but a VAT invoice also keeps the accountants happy!

    • Hi Iain,
      Many thanks for the kind words, and also for sharing this really useful insight! Great to see that 1pMobile is making it really easy to get a VAT invoice. I did have a brief look into this topic in the past, though it was mainly for PAYM contracts rather than PAYG. This is something most mobile networks make pretty hard to maintain (especially Pay As You Go networks), so 1pMobile should be congratulated for offering this.
      Ken
      Ken

  • I don’t understand the 120 days rule. Will the credit expire or will it be carried over the next 120 days?

    • Hi Ottavio,
      Your credit on 1p Mobile will not expire, but you’ll need to top-up your SIM card at least once every 120 days. If you don’t top-up for more than 120 days, your account will be closed and your credit will be lost.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

    • Hi Andy,
      Yes! You can see the fees for international roaming here on the 1pMobile website. For roaming inside the UK, costs are fairly reasonable due to EU regulations. Outside of the EU, however, you can expect to pay a lot more (typically between 85p/minute and £1.75/minute). If you regularly travel abroad to other countries, I’d possibly consider Three instead due to their low-cost international roaming.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • Pete Forman said:

    1pMobile have just modified the way that the (optional) auto top works. It used to be just money based, kicking in when your balance went below £2. Now it will also happen when the 120 day limit is reached. That prevents disconnection.

    Kudos to them for acting on the suggestion that I sent them.

    • Hi Pete,
      This is a fantastic change from 1pMobile, so thanks very much for the heads up about it. Do you by any chance have any information on how to activate this feature? I’d love to include the information in the review above, as I think there’ll be lots of people who can benefit from it.
      Thanks again,
      Ken

  • Hi Ken
    I’ve been used 1p mobile since December 2016. The service is excellent and I have not had any problems. The major advantage over 3 payg is the cheaper rate and that you can use the 1p sim in a 2g only phone which is not possible with 3.
    The other change just introduced is the removal of the £5 top up which is a shame but the 30 day credit expiry has been raised to 120 days which is great. Another plus point is that you can Topup with PayPal which is very useful.
    Regards
    Miles

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