iD Mobile is part of the Carphone Warehouse and offers low-cost 4G price plans using coverage from Three.
In the UK, iD Mobile offers low-cost 4G price plans using 3G and 4G coverage from the Three network. Launched by the Carphone Warehouse in 2015 as a lower-cost “value” brand, iD Mobile competes with rivals networks including giffgaff, Plusnet Mobile, SMARTY and VOXI.
At present, iD Mobile offers a variety of price plans and bundles including Pay Monthly SIM cards, handsets and Pay As You Go bundles. Customers will get data rollover included on all Pay Monthly plans along with a data boost on selected Pay Monthly handsets. There’s also inclusive international roaming in 46 European destinations and 4 Eurasian destinations.
In this article, we’ll review the iD Mobile network including the price plans available and the features of the network. We’ll also compare iD Mobile to rival networks like giffgaff, Plusnet, SMARTY and VOXI. Finally, we’ll look at the level of coverage you can expect on iD Mobile and how you can keep your existing phone number when moving to the network.
- 1 Price Plans & Bundles
- 2 Features
- 3 Comparison To Alternatives
- 4 Network & Coverage
- 5 Keeping Your Phone Number
- 6 More Information
Price Plans & Bundles
iD Mobile offers three types of price plan:
- Pay Monthly SIM Only: A 30-day rolling contract with lots of minutes, texts and data starting from £3.99 per month. You’ll need to undergo a credit check when taking out a Pay Monthly SIM card.
- Pay Monthly Handset: A 24-month contract including a new handset for customers who would like to upgrade to a newer device.
- Pay As You Go SIM: 30-day pre-paid bundles without the need for a credit check. These generally have very limited features (e.g. no data rollover) and are fairly expensive compared to the rest of the market.
Pay Monthly SIM Only
The most popular type of price plan on iD Mobile is their SIM-only deals, which start from £3.99/month on a 30-day rolling contract. The SIM-only deals are generally priced quite aggressively and will often give you a large data allowance for a low monthly price. To benefit, you’ll need to have an unlocked smartphone which the new iD Mobile SIM card will slot inside.
Data rollover is included on all iD Mobile SIM cards, so any data remaining unused will automatically roll over into your following month’s allowance.
You’ll need to undergo a credit check when taking out a Pay Monthly SIM card deal from iD Mobile. If you don’t want to undergo a credit check, alternative networks like giffgaff, SMARTY and VOXI may be a better choice. Alternatively, iD Mobile also offers a range of Pay As You Go deals with no need for a credit check (however, these tend to be much poorer value).
Pay Monthly Handset
If you’d like a brand new smartphone, you can buy one on a SIM-free and unlocked basis to use on iD Mobile. Alternatively, you can also buy a new smartphone on a 24-month contract from iD Mobile (either directly on their website or through Carphone Warehouse and Mobiles.co.uk).
If you want to buy a smartphone on contract from iD Mobile, handsets are available from a range of different manufacturers including Apple, Google, Honor, Huawei, Motorola, Nokia and Samsung. You’ll need to commit to a 24-month contract with all price plans including data rollover. Some price plans also include a data boost (an allowance of extra data you can call on when your allowance runs out).
A full list of available smartphones can be found on the iD Mobile website. It may also be worth comparing the price and selection of handsets against the Carphone Warehouse and Mobiles.co.uk websites.
Pay As You Go
For customers who don’t want to undergo a credit check, iD Mobile also offers a Pay As You Go service. The Pay As You Go service gives you a choice of three one-month bundles which can be purchased at any time from your Pay As You Go credit:
If you choose not to buy a one-month bundle, iD Mobile charges 3p/minute, 2p/text and 1p/MB on a traditional Pay As You Go basis. It’s worth noting that you’ll need to use your SIM card for a chargeable activity at least once every 90 days in order to keep it active. Your top-ups will also expire 365 days after the date of the top-up.
Because of iD Mobile’s uncompetitive bundles, we’d recommend against choosing them on a Pay As You Go basis. Other mobile networks will give you much more data for the same monthly price whilst also having no need for a credit check (e.g. on VOXI which is a low-cost sub-brand of Vodafone):
For more information, please see our full review of the best Pay As You Go SIM card deals.
Data rollover is one of iD Mobile’s key features for customers on a Pay Monthly plan (including SIM Only and Pay Monthly handset). It essentially gives you a second chance to use your data by rolling over any unused data into the following month’s allowance.
For instance, if you have 1.2GB of unused data remaining on a 4GB plan, this will be rolled over to give you 5.2GB of data in the following month (the original 4GB plus 1.2GB of rolled-over data). Your rolled-over data will always be used first, and data can only be rolled-over for a maximum of one month.
Data Boost is a new feature offered by iD Mobile on some 24-month Pay Monthly handset plans. The Data Boost gives you a bank of extra data which can be called upon at no extra cost whenever you need it. The Data Boosts currently offered are between 10GB and 100GB and are valid for up to 36 months. Your Data Boost will be removed automatically if you change, cancel or renew your contract.
Like all other UK mobile networks, iD Mobile offers a spend cap as a feature of their plan. This allows you to choose a monthly cap of between £0 and £25, above which your out-of-allowance charges can’t exceed. For instance, if you have a £10/month contract with a £5 spend cap, your total monthly spend would be capped at £15.
iD Mobile also offers EU roaming at no extra cost as part of their plan. Compared to other mobile networks which are also obliged to offer free EU & EEA roaming, iD Mobile also covers four additional countries in their offer: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Macedonia and Kazakhstan. This means a total of 50 destinations are covered by their inclusive roaming offer.
Comparison To Alternatives
As a low-cost mobile network designed to offer large allowances for a low price, iD Mobile is often compared to other low-cost brands from the major mobile networks (including BT’s Plusnet, O2’s giffgaff, Three’s SMARTY and Vodafone’s VOXI). It may also be compared directly to the major mobile networks like EE, O2, Three and Vodafone.
£5/month SIM Cards
iD Mobile offers a range of SIM-only deals, some of them starting in price from as little as £5 per month.
Typically, iD Mobile compares fairly well to rival mobile networks at the £5/month price point. However, it may also be worth considering rival mobile networks as well, as they could offer better coverage or additional features (e.g. Go Roam on Three or an unused data discount on SMARTY).
£10/month SIM Cards
Around the £10 per month price point, there is often a fairly aggressive range of deals from multiple mobile networks.
The following table shows a side-by-side comparison of iD Mobile’s £10 per month SIM card to 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 around £15 per month.
The following table shows how the iD Mobile tariff compares to rivals including VOXI, SMARTY, Plusnet Mobile and giffgaff:
For a full comparison of available SIM cards, please see our in-depth guide to the UK’s best value SIM-only deals.
Network & Coverage
3G & 4G Coverage from Three
iD Mobile is the virtual network operator from the Carphone Warehouse, piggybacking on 3G and 4G coverage from the Three network. Customers using iD Mobile will therefore receive the same coverage as customers on Three.
At the time of writing, this means iD Mobile offers 99% population coverage, including 98% population coverage on 4G.
Before ordering your SIM card or smartphone from iD Mobile, we’d strongly recommend checking the coverage in your area. You can do this by entering your postcode on the iD Mobile website:
Like Three and like all of the other mobile networks using coverage from Three, iD Mobile doesn’t provide any 2G coverage. For this reason, you can’t use a 2G-only handset on iD Mobile. Your mobile phone will also be unable to fall back to 2G coverage when 3G or 4G coverage isn’t available.
Wi-Fi Calling & 4G Calling
Wi-Fi Calling allows you to make and receive phone calls over a Wi-Fi connection, even when a mobile signal isn’t available. Meanwhile 4G Calling (also known as 4G Super-Voice or VoLTE) gives you improved coverage for calling when indoors.
Wi-Fi Calling and 4G Calling are available on iD Mobile if you have one of the following handsets:
iPhone 5s, iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, Huawei Mate 10 Pro, Huawei P-Smart (2018), Huawei P-Smart (2019), Huawei Mate 20 Lite, Huawei Mate 20 Pro, Huawei P20, Huawei P20 Plus, Huawei P20 Lite, Huawei P30, Huawei P30 Pro, Huawei Y6 (2019), Huawei Y7 (2018), Huawei Y7 (2019), Huawei Honor 9 Lite, Honor Play, Honor 8A, Honor 8X, Honor 10, Honor 10 Lite, Honor View 10, Honor View 20, Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017), Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017), Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018), Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018), Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018), Samsung Galaxy A50, Samsung Galaxy J4 (2018), Samsung Galaxy J6 (2018), Samsung Galaxy J6 plus (2018), Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy S8+, Samsung Galaxy S9, Samsung Galaxy S9+, Samsung Galaxy S10e, Samsung Galaxy S10, Samsung Galaxy S10+, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and Sony XZ3
Tethering & Personal Hotspot
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 good way of getting a mobile broadband connection on your other devices without the need to take a separate plan.
Until the end of 2018, tethering wasn’t permitted for customers on iD Mobile. This was restricted by the terms and conditions and by the restrictions on your price plan.
As of 2019, the restriction on tethering has been removed with iD Mobile now listing the following information on their website:
Can I tether on iD Mobile?
You can tether on iD Mobile, but please be warned – it can use up a lot of data very quickly and can work out to be very costly if you don’t take the right precautions (see the below FAQ for more details).
How much does tethering cost?
It takes a lot more data to do things on a laptop than on a phone, even if you’re just playing games or streaming videos. So, if you’re using your network connection to tether, you’ll use up more data than you might think.
Whilst it appears that tethering is now permitted on iD Mobile price plans, the wording above suggests it is not encouraged by iD Mobile. For this reason, if the use of tethering or personal hotspot is an important feature to you, it might be worth looking at alternative mobile networks with better support for tethering. For more information, see our guide to tethering on UK mobile networks.
iD Mobile offers an international roaming service so customers can use 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 iD Mobile SIM card. Full details on iD Mobile roaming charges can be found on the iD Mobile website.
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 current mobile network to ask for a PAC Code. Your PAC Code is nine-digits long and authorises the transfer of your phone number to iD Mobile.
Once you have the PAC Code from your old network, you can order your new SIM card or mobile phone 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. You can use this to test out the service (e.g. to make sure you’re happy with the price plan and coverage). Once you’ve tested it out and once you’re happy to move your phone number over, you should submit your PAC Code through the iD Mobile website. Your phone number transfer will then normally take place on the next working day.
For step-by-step instructions on moving your phone number to iD Mobile, please select your current mobile network from the drop-down menu below: