BT Mobile provides a 4G service from £7.50 per month if you’re a BT Broadband customer, using 4G coverage from EE.
Customers living in a BT Broadband household can get an entry-level tariff from £7.50/month with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data included (the price includes a £5/month discount for BT Broadband customers). Customers of BT Mobile will also receive unlimited BT Wi-Fi and will have a monthly spend cap on their plan.
In this article, we’ll review the BT Mobile service. We’ll start by looking at BT’s mobile price plans including SIM Only, Family SIM and Pay Monthly with a new handset. We’ll then look at some of the key features of BT Mobile including BT Wi-Fi, monthly spend caps and BT Sport. Finally, we’ll compare BT Mobile to rival networks before discussing the level of coverage you can expect and how to keep your existing phone number.
- 1 Pricing & Tariffs
- 2 Key Features
- 3 Comparison to Alternatives
- 4 Network & Coverage
- 5 Keeping Your Phone Number
- 6 Popularity & Number of Subscribers
- 7 More Information
Pricing & Tariffs
At present, BT Mobile offers three different types of price plan:
- SIM Only: Starting from £7.50/month on a 12-month contract, you can order a BT Mobile SIM card to use in your unlocked smartphone.
- Family SIM: If multiple members of your family take a SIM card from BT Mobile, you can save up to 37% on multiple SIMs with the Family SIM offering.
- Pay Monthly Handsets: You can also buy a brand new smartphone directly from BT Mobile. Prices start from £14/month on a 24-month contract.
If you already have an unlocked smartphone that you’re happy to use on BT Mobile, there are currently five BT Mobile SIM cards you’re able to choose from. Each SIM card is offered on a 12-month contract, with a discount of £5/month for customers living in a BT Broadband household.
The following table shows BT Mobile’s current line-up of SIM-only deals:
inc. £5 discount
inc. £5 discount
inc. £5 discount
inc. £5 discount
inc. £5 discount
The prices shown in the table above include a £5/month discount for people living in a BT Broadband household. You don’t necessarily need to be the BT Broadband bill payer: you just need to be living in a household with BT Broadband.
Occasionally, there are promotions on where you’ll get extra data or a free gift voucher when signing up for a BT Mobile SIM card. You can check to see what offers are currently available by visiting the BT Mobile website. Typically, BT splits their SIM-only line-up into five different tariffs:
- The Great Value Starter Plan (Typically with 500MB data)
- The Essential Plan (Typically with 3GB data)
- The Perfect All Rounder Plan (Typically with 6GB data)
- The Ultimate SIM Plan (Typically with 15GB data & Extra Speed 4G)
- The Max Plan (Typically with 25GB data & Extra Speed 4G)
If there are multiple people in your family wanting to join BT Mobile, BT’s Family SIM offering can be worth a look. Compared to getting individual SIM cards on separate plans, you can save up to 37% with the Family SIM offer. You’ll also get extra flexibility with a 30-day contract on additional SIM cards, and a single combined bill for all of your usage.
For instance, if each person in your family were to choose the 3GB SIM card (“The Essential Plan”):
- The first SIM card will cost £12/month on a 12-month contract (the same as a standard BT Mobile SIM card)
- The second SIM card will cost £8/month on a 30-day contract
- The third SIM card will cost £7/month on a 30-day contract
- The fourth SIM card will cost £6/month on a 30-day contract
- The fifth SIM card will cost £5/month on a 30-day contract
The total cost of having five Family SIM cards would be £38/month (saving £22/month compared to getting five separate SIM cards).
On Family SIM, you’ll get increased flexibility as additional SIM cards are on a 30-day contract. You’ll also get increased visibility with a single combined bill, whilst still allowing each user to have their own allowance and monthly spend cap.
Pay Monthly Handsets
If you’d like to buy a new smartphone, BT Mobile offers a range of handsets on a 24-month contract. At the time of writing, the latest handsets from Apple and Samsung are available on BT Mobile. You can also buy a selection of of smartphones from Google, Nokia and Sony.
There are a choice of five tariffs for Pay Monthly handsets:
- The Starter Plan (1GB data)
- The Essential Plan (3GB data)
- The All-Rounder Plan (6GB data)
- The Premium Plan (15GB data)
- The Ultimate Plan (30GB data)
All five tariffs come with unlimited calling and unlimited texting. The exact monthly price will depend on which handset you choose. You may also need to pay an upfront fee for the handset.
You’ll often be able to get a free gift voucher when ordering your handset online – see the BT Mobile website for a list of currently available deals. As previously, there’s also a discount of £5/month for people living in a BT Broadband household.
Pay As You Go
Unfortunately, BT Mobile doesn’t yet offer any Pay As You Go tariffs. If you’re looking for a Pay As You Go deal, you can order a SIM card directly from EE instead (EE is also a part of the BT Group).
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a cheaper deal that also uses coverage from EE, we’d recommend ordering a free ASDA Mobile SIM card. You’ll pay just 8p/minute, 4p/text and 5p/MB and there’s no need to top-up your phone every month. There are also some great value bundles (e.g. 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB of internet for £10/month).
For more information and for a complete overview of available deals, see our guide to the UK’s best value Pay As You Go SIM cards.
BT Broadband Discount
Customers with a BT Broadband connection in their home will get a £5/month discount on all BT Mobile tariffs. You’ll need a consumer broadband package to qualify for the discount: this can either be standard home broadband or BT Infinity fibre broadband.
It’s not necessary to be the BT Broadband bill payer to benefit from the £5/month discount. You simply need to be living in a household with a BT Broadband connection, and there’s no limit on how many people can benefit from the discount in each household.
If you’re living in a household that uses a different broadband provider, it’s still possible to sign up to BT Mobile at the full price. In this case, you won’t benefit from the £5/month discount. In some cases, however, it may work out to be cheaper overall if you switch to BT Broadband at the same time as joining BT Mobile.
Customers joining BT Mobile will get unlimited access to BT Wi-Fi hotspots (previously known as BT Openzone).
There are over 5 million BT Wi-Fi hotspots across the UK making it one of the most extensive nationwide wi-fi network providers. Locations with a BT Wi-Fi hotspot include shopping centres, train stations, cafés, restaurants, service stations and more. You can enter your postcode on the BT Wi-Fi website to find nearby hotspots.
A typical standalone subscription to BT Wi-Fi would cost you £15/month on a 12 month contract.
Monthly Spend Caps
On BT Mobile, there’s a monthly spend cap included on all tariffs. This helps you to control your spending, preventing “bill shock” and unexpectedly large charges on your phone bill.
When signing up for BT Mobile, you’ll be assigned an initial spend cap of between £5 and £45 (the exact amount will depend on the result of your credit check). Your spend cap will only apply to out-of-allowance usage. So, for instance, if you had a £10 per month tariff with a £5 per month spend cap, you’d be guaranteed to never pay more than £15 per month.
After signing up, you can change your monthly spend cap through the My BT website. Your monthly spend cap can be set to any amount between £5 and £200 (larger spend caps may be subject to credit check status).
On BT Mobile Family SIM, each user will have an individual spend cap for their SIM card. By default, only the billpayer is able to adjust the spend cap on SIM cards attached to the account (this makes it perfect if you’re giving the SIM card to your children). However, it’s also possible to delegate control over spend caps to individual users if desired.
For more information about monthly spend caps, please see our in-depth article about capped contracts.
Customers on BT Mobile choosing a plan with at least 6GB of data are able to add free access to the BT Sport mobile application. This allows you to watch live sporting action including from the Premier League, FA Cup and MotoGP.
The BT Sport app is available for iPhone and Android devices. When using the app on 3G or 4G, usage will count as normal towards your monthly download allowance. For this reason, it’s normally best to use the BT Sport app on wi-fi whenever this is possible.
For more information, please see the BT Sport website.
Comparison to Alternatives
The Great Value Starter Plan
BT Mobile’s “Great Value Starter Plan” starts from £7.50/month for customers living in a BT Broadband household (£12.50/month for customers not living in a BT Broadband household). For this, you’ll get 500MB of data along with unlimited minutes and unlimited texts.
On other mobile networks, cheaper deals might be available (e.g. some other mobile networks offer 500MB of data for as little as £5/month):
inc. £5 discount
The Great Value Starter Plan with 500MB of data is not available on BT’s Family SIM offer.
The Essential Plan
For customers wanting 3GB of data per month, BT Mobile offers The Essential Plan for £12/month (£17/month if you aren’t living in a BT Broadband household).
Once again, slightly cheaper deals can be found elsewhere. For instance, giffgaff offers 3GB of data with unlimited minutes and unlimited texts for £10/month on a 30-day rolling commitment (though without the offers and gift vouchers sometimes available on BT Mobile).
inc. £5 discount
With BT’s Family SIM offer, additional SIM cards with 3GB of data start from £8/month for the second SIM card, dropping to £5/month for the fifth SIM card.
The All-Rounder Plan
For £17/month (or £22/month if you’re not living in a BT Broadband household), BT offers The All-Rounder Plan with 6GB of data, unlimited minutes and unlimited texts.
Slightly cheaper deals from £15/month can occasionally be found on other networks like Tesco Mobile and giffgaff:
inc. £5 discount
With BT’s Family SIM offer, additional All-Rounder SIM cards with 6GB of data start from £12/month for the second SIM card, dropping down to just £7/month for the fifth SIM card.
The Ultimate Plan
For heavy data users, BT Mobile offers a £20/month Ultimate Plan (£25/month in non BT Broadband households) with 15GB of data, unlimited minutes and unlimited texts. You’ll also get Extra Speed 4G included.
In our opinion, this compares fairly favourably to other mobile networks. The following table shows a side-by-side comparison of BT Mobile and rival mobile networks:
inc. £5 discount
On BT’s Family SIM offer, additional SIM cards on The Premium Plan start from £15/month for the second SIM card, dropping down to £10/month for the fifth SIM card.
The Max Plan
For users wanting an even larger amount of data, BT Mobile offers the ‘Max Plan‘ with 25GB of data for £27/month (or £32/month if you’re not living in a BT Broadband household). The Ultimate Plan tariff also includes Extra Speed 4G.
This compares as follows to rival mobile networks:
inc. £5 discount
On Family SIM, you can get an additional SIM card on The Max Plan for £20/month. This drops down to £14/month for the fifth SIM card.
For a more in-depth comparison, please see our full listing of the UK’s best value SIM-only deals.
Network & Coverage
2G, 3G & 4G Coverage from EE
BT Mobile uses EE as its network coverage provider. Customers using BT Mobile will therefore receive the exact same coverage as customers on EE.
At the time of writing, BT Mobile has 99% population coverage on 2G, 3G and 4G. Extra Speed 4G coverage is available to about 80% of the population.
Before ordering your new phone or SIM card from BT Mobile, we strongly recommend checking the coverage in your area. You can do this by entering your postcode on the BT Mobile online coverage map:
Extra Speed 4G
By default, most customers joining BT Mobile will have access to EE’s standard-speed 4G network. This gives typical download speeds of 12-15Mbit/s and a maximum download speed of 30Mbit/s.
For customers living in an Extra Speed 4G coverage area, it’s possible to get download speeds of 24-30Mbit/s and a maximum download speed of 60Mbit/s. You’ll need to purchase the £4/month Extra Speed add-on (or this is included for free on the Ultimate Plan and Max Plan). The Extra Speed add-on comes on a 30-day rolling contract so you can add or remove it at any time.
Tethering or personal hotspot refers to the process of sharing your smartphone’s internet connection with other devices (e.g. with your laptop or tablet). It’s a convenient way of getting your devices online when you’re out-and-about.
From June 2016 onwards, tethering has been allowed on all BT Mobile plans. Prior to June 2016, tethering was prohibited by the old terms and conditions.
For more information about tethering on UK mobile networks, please see our guide to the UK’s best value tariffs for tethering.
Wi-Fi & 4G Calling
Wi-Fi Calling works on Apple handsets from the iPhone 5s onwards, and selected Android smartphones purchased directly from BT Mobile. You can use it to make phone calls where a mobile signal isn’t normally available (e.g. on the London Underground).
4G Calling works on Apple handsets from the iPhone 6 onwards, and selected Android smartphones purchased directly from BT Mobile. It gives better quality calling compared to 3G and allows you to benefit from faster download speeds whilst you’re on the call.
Keeping Your Phone Number
If you’re joining BT Mobile from another mobile network, it’s a straightforward process to keep your existing phone number.
To do this, you should contact your old mobile network and ask them for a PAC Code. This is a nine-digit code that authorises the transfer of your phone number to BT Mobile. It’s a legal requirement for your old mobile network to provide you with a PAC Code – they must do this within two hours of your original request.
Once you’ve received the PAC Code from your old mobile network, you should order your new phone or SIM card on BT’s website. When your new phone or SIM card arrives, you can contact BT Customer Care on 150 to give them your PAC Code. Your phone number should then normally be transferred on the next working day.
For step-by-step instructions on moving your phone number to BT Mobile, please select your current mobile network from the drop-down menu below:
Popularity & Number of Subscribers
BT Mobile originally launched in March 2015. Just over a year after launch, in May 2016, BT Mobile was reported as having “a customer base of over 400,000” people. This makes it one of the fastest growing mobile networks in the UK.
In January 2016, BT completed a takeover of EE. Today, EE is a division within the BT Group. However, it is still being run as a separate business and as a separate brand from the BT Mobile service.