iD Mobile is the low-cost 4G network from the Carphone Warehouse. Offering coverage from Three, the network has data rollover and monthly spend caps.

In the UK, iD Mobile is the own-brand mobile network from the Carphone Warehouse. Offering SIM Only, Pay Monthly and Pay As You Go deals, the network offers 3G and 4G coverage from Three.

Key features of iD Mobile include data rollover and monthly spend caps. Customers also get international roaming at no extra charge in 50 destinations including 46 European destinations and 4 Eurasian destinations.

In this article, we’ll review the iD Mobile service. We’ll start by looking at the price plans available on iD Mobile and at key features like data rollover and monthly spend caps. We’ll then compare iD Mobile to rival mobile networks before looking at the level of coverage you can expect and how to keep your existing phone number.

Pricing & Tariffs

In the UK, iD Mobile offers a choice of three different types of plan:

  • SIM Only – A 30-day rolling contract for customers who have an unlocked handset they’re happy to keep. Available from around £4/month with data rollover and spend caps.
  • Pay Monthly – A 24-month contract for customers who want to buy a brand new handset. Pay Monthly contracts also come with data rollover and spend caps.
  • Pay As You Go – For customers who don’t want to undergo a credit check or take a contract, iD Mobile also offers a pre-paid service. They charge 3p/minute, 2p/text and 1p/MB with the option to buy a 30-day bundle from £5/month.

SIM Only Deals

iD Mobile’s most popular type of plan is their SIM-only deals. Designed for people who have an unlocked smartphone they’re happy to keep, the SIM-only deals give you a low-cost bundle of minutes, texts and data. You can insert an iD Mobile SIM card into your existing unlocked smartphone to benefit from the deals that are available:

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
iD Mobile150Unlimited500MB£3.99
iD Mobile500Unlimited1GB£5.00
iD Mobile500Unlimited4GB£8.00
iD Mobile500Unlimited3GB£8.00
iD Mobile500Unlimited5GB£10.00
iD Mobile1,000Unlimited6GB£12.50
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£15.00
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited20GB£20.00

At the time of writing, all iD Mobile SIM cards have a 30-day rolling contract. If you exceed the allowances included on your plan, you’ll pay iD Mobile’s out-of-allowance rates (currently 40p/minute, 14p/text and 10.24p/MB).

Pay Monthly

If you’d like a brand new smartphone, iD Mobile offers a range of handsets on a 24-month contract. Handsets are currently available from Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Google and a number of other manufacturers. Typically, the selection is widest amongst mid-range or older handsets (some of the latest flagship smartphones are not available on iD Mobile):

A full list of available smartphones can be found on the iD Mobile website. There may occasionally be a slightly wider choice of handsets available from the Carphone Warehouse website.

Pay As You Go

iD Mobile also offers a Pay As You Go service charging 3p/minute, 2p/text and 1p/MB. For frequent users, a number of 30-day bundles are available from £5/month. With a bundle, you’ll convert your Pay As You Go credit into a one-month allowance of minutes, texts and mobile internet:

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
iD Mobile125500100MB£5.00
iD Mobile500Unlimited1GB£10.00
iD Mobile1,000Unlimited4GB£15.00

For more information, see our full review of iD Mobile Pay As You Go.

Data Rollover

Customers with a SIM Only or Pay Monthly contract can benefit from the Data Rollover feature of their plan. Essentially, this takes your unused data from one month and rolls it over into the following month.

For instance, if you have 1.2GB of unused data remaining on a 4GB plan, you’ll have 5.2GB of data to use the following month (the original 4GB plus 1.2GB of rolled-over data). Your rolled-over data is always used first, and data can only be rolled-over for a maximum of one month.

Spend Caps

By default, all contracts on iD Mobile (including SIM Only and Pay Monthly) come with a £5/month spend cap on out-of-allowance charges. The spend cap applies when you use up all of your inclusive allowances or when you use something that isn’t covered by the allowances on your plan (e.g. international or special-rate phone calls). For instance, if you have a £10/month plan with a £5/month spend cap, iD Mobile will stop your usage and will notify you once you reach £15/month.

For more information, including a list of other mobile networks that also offer capping, see our guide to capped mobile contracts in the UK.

Comparison To Alternatives

£5/month SIM Cards

iD Mobile offers a range of SIM-only deals, some of them starting in price from just £5/month or less.

Typically, iD compares fairly well to rival mobile networks in terms of the allowances you can get for your money at this price. However, it may sometimes be worth considering a rival mobile network instead for the coverage and other functionality they may offer (for instance, Plusnet Mobile offers 4G coverage from EE and allows you to tether from your smartphone unlike on iD Mobile).

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
iD Mobile500Unlimited1GB£5.00
giffgaff150500500MB£5.00
ASDA Mobile1252,000250MB£5.00

£10/month SIM Cards

The following table shows a side-by-side comparison of iD Mobile’s £10 SIM card and what is available on other mobile networks:

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited6GB£10.00
iD Mobile500Unlimited5GB£10.00
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited3GB£10.00
ASDA Mobile600Unlimited3GB£10.00
Plusnet Mobile1,500Unlimited2GB£10.00
Three600Unlimited1GB£10.00

£15/month SIM Cards

At the top-end of their price range, iD Mobile offers Pay Monthly SIM cards costing up to £15/month.

At this price range, iD Mobile offers reasonable value in terms of allowances. However, it may also be worth considering other networks that will sometimes offer more in terms of functionality like personal hotspot:

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£15.00
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£15.00
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£15.00
ASDA Mobile1,000Unlimited6GB£15.00
Plusnet MobileUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£15.00
O2UnlimitedUnlimited4GB£15.00
Vodafone500Unlimited500MB£15.50

For a full comparison of available SIM cards, see our guide to the UK’s best value SIM-only deals.

Pay As You Go

iD Mobile charges 3p/minute, 2p/text and 1p/MB on Pay As You Go. The same rates are available on Three Pay As You Go with the ability to buy better value All-in-One bundles.

Alternatively, 1pMobile charges just 1p/minute, 1p/text and 1p/MB. They offer 4G coverage from the EE network but have a minimum top-up requirement of at least £10 every 120 days.

Network & Coverage

3G & 4G Coverage from Three

iD Mobile offers 97% population coverage using the Three network.

iD Mobile is a virtual network operator that makes use of 3G and 4G coverage from Three. Customers using iD Mobile will receive the exact same coverage as customers on Three.

At the time of writing, iD Mobile offers 97% population coverage for calls, texts and mobile internet. This is slightly lower than on other mobile networks like EE and O2 who provide 99% population coverage (the result is iD Mobile gives you patchy coverage in many rural areas). 4G coverage is available to about 65% of the UK population.

Before ordering your new smartphone or SIM card from iD Mobile, we strongly recommend checking the coverage in your area. You can do this by entering your postcode on the iD Mobile website:

Check iD Mobile coverage (idmobile.co.uk) →

Like Three, iD Mobile doesn’t provide any coverage using 2G technology. For this reason, you can’t use a 2G-only handset on iD Mobile. Your mobile phone is also unable to fall back to 2G coverage when there isn’t any 3G coverage available in your area.

Tethering Isn’t Permitted

Personal Hotspot on iPhone
Tethering isn’t permitted on iD Mobile.

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).

Unfortunately, tethering is not permitted on iD Mobile. This is detailed in the FAQ page on their website:

Tethering price information
Please note that we do not allow tethering on any of our current plans. If you do use this service it is likely to use up large amounts of your data allowance very quickly, and you will be liable to pay any charge that may occur if you go over your allowance.

It is also detailed within clause 5.3.4 of the iD Mobile terms and conditions:

5.3 You must not use the Services, the SIM Card or an iD phone number or allow anyone else to use the Services, the SIM or an iD phone number for illegal or improper uses, including but not limited to:

5.3.4 tethering (unless explicitly stated in your Agreement with us), downloading, sending or uploading content of an excessive size, quantity or frequency. We will contact you if your use is excessive;

Any such use shall give us the right to charge you any Charges due and terminate the Services immediately.

If you’d like an alternative mobile network on which you’re able to tether, see our guide to tethering to UK mobile networks.

International Roaming

International roaming is available in 50 destinations at no extra charge.

iD Mobile provides an international roaming service so customers can continue using their smartphone when abroad in other countries.

When travelling to other EU & EEA destinations, it’s possible to use your UK allowances at no extra charge (this is subject to iD Mobile’s “open data” fair usage policy). In addition, you can also use your normal UK allowances when travelling in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Macedonia.

In other countries, it’s likely to cost substantially more to use your smartphone abroad. For more information, see the iD Mobile website for a list of their international roaming charges. Alternatively, see our in-depth guide to using your smartphone abroad.

Keeping Your Phone Number

Transfer Phone Number to iD Mobile
It’s a straightforward process to transfer your current phone number to iD Mobile.

If you’re switching from another mobile network to iD Mobile, it’s a straightforward process to keep your existing phone number.

You should start by contacting your old mobile network to ask them for a PAC Code. Your PAC Code will be nine-digits long and will authorise the transfer of your phone number to iD Mobile.

Once you have the PAC Code from your old network, you can order your new phone or SIM card from the iD Mobile website.

When your new phone or SIM card arrives from iD Mobile, you’ll initially be assigned a temporary phone number which will allow you to try out the service. Once you’ve tested it out and are happy to move your phone number over, you should submit your PAC Code through the iD Mobile website. You’ll be able to choose a date for your phone number transfer (the earliest available option will normally be the next working day).

For step-by-step instructions on moving your number to iD Mobile, please select your current network provider:

PAC Code Finder: Transfer Your Phone Number to iD Mobile

Your current network provider:

  More Options

More Information

For more information about iD Mobile, please see their official website. You can also see the Carphone Warehouse website for more information.

Your Comments 64 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 64 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Hi
    Honestly speaking I wouldn’t recommend ID mobile to any of my friends or family because of what they did with my credit rating.i quit ID in a matter of few months as I was not happy from day 1 of receiving the pay as you go sim. The customer service is bad and if u do not set a direct debit you had it. The worse nightmare I had was recently when I applied for a credit report and noticed it to be bad the reason being because of ID mobile , when went into the matter found out that I was in credit with them £3.50. When asked why my credit report shows me to be at default they said it will be cleared after 30 days.When checked again on the 1st October 2017 it’s still the same. Imagine how anyone would feel if that’s done to them.No matter how many times u call them it’s like talking to a deaf person.Ive lived in the Uk for 11 years & never had such an experience or such a bad credit rating. Please don’t be fooled with their low cost or whatever they offer you stay away from getting trapped by them

  • If using idmobile as pay as you go then you must top up at least once a year

    “12.4 Unless an additional Top-Up has been made, any unused Credit will expire after a period of 365 days from the date of purchase and unused allowances will expire as specified and this is non-refundable.”

  • Stephen worthington said:

    Avoid this company at all costs. I took out a sim at carphone warehouse for my son. I phoned to cancel and they said I needed to pay the outstanding balance before I cancel. After paying the balance I hung up. I then received a bill 2 months later for £20 despite never using the phone. They are still saying I need to pay despite agreeing that I did phone to cancel.

    Every time I phone it takes about 30 minutes. I get through quickly but then they put me to a different department, etc. Every time you have to give your details again. And of course it is not free because I no longer have the phone.

    They have now put me in touch with a debt recovery company despite being still in discussion about clearing the balance. This has also coincided with my receiving a deluge of spam texts and emails about loans and credit cards. They have obviously sold my details to a marketing company.

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