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 NetworkCoverage Provider2G3G4G5GCoverage Checker
FreedomPopThree*Check FreedomPop Coverage
iD MobileThreeCheck iD Mobile Coverage
SmartyThreeCheck Smarty Coverage
Superdrug MobileThreeCheck Superdrug Mobile Coverage
ThreeThreeCheck Three Coverage

* FreedomPop uses the mobile data connection for calling and texting. This means the coverage and service reliability is more limited compared to other networks using Three.

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:

In addition to having 3G and 4G coverage, customers on iD Mobile and Three can also access Wi-Fi Calling and 4G Calling with a compatible handset.

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:

Pay Monthly Contracts

iD Mobile150Unlimited250MB£4.00
iD Mobile500Unlimited1GB£5.00
iD Mobile1,200Unlimited2.5GB£7.00
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited3GB£9.00

Pay As You Go Bundles

iD Mobile125500100MB£5.00

From £10/month

For £10/month, you can choose from a range of SIM cards from Three, iD Mobile, SMARTY and Superdrug Mobile.

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).

On Pay As You Go, Three’s All-in-One 10 bundle gives you unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB of internet. You’ll be able to use your phone abroad in 71 destinations at no extra charge.

Pay Monthly Contracts

Superdrug MobileUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£10.00
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited6GB£12.00
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited10GB£13.00

Pay As You Go Bundles

iD Mobile500Unlimited1GB£10.00

From £15/month

The following deals start from £15/month and have coverage from Three:

Pay Monthly Contracts

iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited14GB£16.00

Pay As You Go Bundles

iD Mobile1,000Unlimited4GB£15.00

£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

iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited20GB£20.00

Pay As You Go Bundles


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.

More Information

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.

Your Comments 1 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 1 comment from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Grahame Thomson said:

    We are currently in Gozo, Malta and have been unable to connect to 3 since yesterday lunch time….we purchased a 12 gb bundle on Thursday and currently c9 gb left….all we get when we try to connect is cannot connect to server try again later. Seriously not impressed with the service. I do hope our month will be extended by this delay.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will never be published. By default, I'll use it to send you an update when there are replies to your comment. However, if you don't want to receive this, you can disable it using the dropdown menu below: