In the UK, mobile networks like iD Mobile, SMARTY and Superdrug Mobile piggyback on network coverage from Three.
The UK has four network coverage providers: EE, O2, Three and Vodafone. Alongside them, there’s a system of “virtual network operators” that piggyback on coverage from one of the big four. They’ll give you the exact same coverage you’d get on one of the four big networks, but sometimes with lower prices or other benefits like an unused data discount.
At the time of writing, there are five other mobile networks that piggyback on Three for 3G and 4G coverage. The biggest ones are iD Mobile (from the Carphone Warehouse), SMARTY (a low-cost sub-brand of Three) and Superdrug Mobile. They’ll each give you 99% population coverage from Three’s 3G & 4G network but with different benefits like data rollover on iD Mobile and an unused data discount on SMARTY.
In this article, we’ll look at the UK mobile networks using coverage from Three. We’ll compare some of the best value SIM cards, and will look at the different features available on each network.
Mobile Networks Using Three Coverage
The following table shows a list of mobile networks using coverage from Three. On all of these networks, you’ll get the same 99% population coverage that is typically available to customers on Three:
|Mobile Network Brand||Coverage Provider||2G||3G||4G||Coverage Checker|
|FreedomPop||Three*||✘||✔||✔||Check FreedomPop Coverage|
|iD Mobile||Three||✘||✔||✔||Check iD Mobile Coverage|
|RWG Mobile||Three||✘||✔||✔||Check RWG Mobile Coverage|
|Smarty||Three||✘||✔||✔||Check Smarty Coverage|
|Superdrug Mobile||Three||✘||✔||✔||Check Superdrug Mobile Coverage|
|Three||Three||✘||✔||✔||Check Three Coverage|
TPO Mobile (The People’s Operator) previously offered coverage from Three but closed in February 2019.
For a complete list of UK mobile networks and the coverage providers they’re using, please see our in-depth guide to mobile phone coverage in the UK.
Tariff Information & Coverage Map
You can find out more information about each network by clicking on their logo to visit their website:
3G & 4G
3G & 4G
- iD Mobile
3G & 4G
- RWG Mobile
3G & 4G
3G & 4G
- Superdrug Mobile
3G & 4G
Unfortunately, 2G coverage is not available to customers on Three or to customers on any other network using coverage from Three. You’ll therefore need to use a smartphone that supports 3G at a minimum to use any of these networks.
Deals By Price Range
In the rest of this article, we’ll compare the best value SIM cards giving you coverage from the Three network. The tariffs are separated out by price range and type (e.g. Pay Monthly vs Pay As You Go SIM cards).
Please select your preferred price range to see a list of currently available deals:
Pay As You Go
The lowest Pay As You Go rates with coverage from Three are available directly when you join Three on their 321 tariff. Here, you’ll pay 3p/minute, 2p/text and 1p/MB with no need to top-up your phone every month (you just need to use it at least once every 180 days in order to keep your SIM card active). You’ll benefit from exclusive customer offers through the Wuntu application, and will be able to roam abroad at no extra charge in 71 destinations when purchasing an All-in-One bundle.
Other mobile networks also offering a Pay As You Go service with coverage from Three include iD Mobile and RWG Mobile. iD Mobile offers the same 3p/minute, 2p/text and 1p/MB rates as Three but has fewer customer benefits compared to Three (e.g. Wuntu or the ability to Go Roam in 71 destinations). Meanwhile, RWG Mobile is aimed at customers in Wales, charging 5p/minute, 10p/text and 5p/MB.
Less than £10/month
If you’re looking for a SIM card that costs less than £10/month, iD Mobile tends to have the lowest-priced SIM cards available in the UK with coverage from Three. Their entry-level price plans start from less than £5/month on a 30-day contract.
Within this price range, we also think it’s worth considering SMARTY’s £7.50 Small plan. Available for £7.50 on a 30-day rolling contract, you’ll get unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB of internet. In future months, you’ll then receive an unused data discount at the rate of £1.25/GB. This means the actual amount you end up paying will normally be less than £7.50 in future months.
The following table shows SIM cards available for under £10/month with coverage from Three:
On Pay Monthly, our recommended SIM card is SMARTY’s £10 Medium plan. On SMARTY, you’ll get unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 4GB of internet for £10/month. For the following month, you’ll receive an unused data discount at the rate of £1.25 per gigabyte. So for instance, if you only used 2.4GB of data, you’d have 1.6GB of leftover data. This translates through to a £2 discount the following month (so you’d only pay £8 the following month for unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 4GB of data).
At the £10 price point, it’s also worth considering the deals from iD Mobile (which tend to offer slightly more data) and Superdrug Mobile (which offers data rollover and free Superdrug Health & Beautycard points).
Pay Monthly Contracts
The following deals start from £15/month and have coverage from Three:
£20/month and more
The following deals are available from £20/month with coverage from Three. You’ll get Go Binge on plans from Three with at least 12GB of data (unlimited downloads on selected services including Netflix and Apple Music). Alternative, you can choose an all-you-can-eat data plan with unlimited downloads overall.
Pay Monthly Contracts
For more information about data speeds and tethering, tap the data allowances in the table above. For Pay Monthly contracts, you can tap the mobile network’s logo for information about the length of the contract.
For more information, see our full guide to mobile phone coverage in the UK. For more information about specific price plans, please see the Three, iD Mobile, SMARTY and Superdrug Mobile websites.