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.
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.
- 1 Pricing & Tariffs
- 2 Comparison To Alternatives
- 3 Network & Coverage
- 4 Keeping Your Phone Number
- 5 More Information
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:
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).
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):
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:
For more information, see our full review of iD Mobile Pay As You Go.
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.
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).
£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:
£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:
For a full comparison of available SIM cards, see our guide to the UK’s best value SIM-only deals.
Pay As You Go
Network & Coverage
3G & 4G Coverage from Three
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:
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
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.
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
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: