Networks like 1pMobile, IQ Mobile and Plusnet Mobile piggyback on EE’s mobile network for coverage.

It isn’t always necessary to be an EE customer to get EE’s coverage on your mobile phone. This is because a number of other mobile networks also offer EE coverage. For instance, you can access a signal from EE when you’re using 1p Mobile or Plusnet Mobile. Both of them piggyback on EE for coverage.

In this article, we’ll look at mobile networks that offer coverage from EE. We’ll start by looking at the best value deals with EE coverage including SIM-only deals, unlimited data plans and Pay As You Go deals. We’ll then look at each network in more detail, including the specific features and benefits they offer.

EE Coverage: 99% UK population coverage
Networks Using EE:
5G Coverage:

Available in 160 UK towns and cities on:

Best Unlimited Data Plan: £28/month on EE
(with 5G coverage & 6 months of Apple Music)
Best Pay As You Go Plan: 1p/minute, 1p/text & 1p/MB on 1pMobile
(no credit check and no need to top-up every month)

Overview Of Networks Using EE

Besides EE, there are three other mobile networks that you can join to get coverage from EE. These networks are 1p Mobile, IQ Mobile and Plusnet Mobile.

If you’re using one of these alternative mobile networks, you’ll get the same coverage as customers on EE. However, you might have different features available on your plan and there might be other benefits (e.g. a more flexible tariff).

The following table shows a side-by-side comparison of mobile networks that use coverage from EE:

Mobile Network Plans From EE Coverage Key Features
1p Mobile 1p/minute, 1p/text & 1p/MB 4G & 5G
  • No monthly fee & no credit check
EE £15/month 4G & 5G
  • Inclusive Smart Benefits on EE Smart
  • 6 months free Apple Music
  • 6 months free BritBox
IQ Mobile £7/month 4G & 5G
Plusnet Mobile £6/month 4G
  • 2GB extra data with Plusnet Broadband

SIM Only Plans

If you’re looking for a low-cost SIM-only plan, it’s worth comparing EE’s SIM-only deals to what you can get on Plusnet Mobile:

  • EE offers a choice of Essential, Smart and Full Works SIM-only plans. All of their plans come with 6 months of free Apple Music. In addition, you’ll get one Smart Benefit included on EE Smart plans and three Smart Benefits included on Full Works plans.
  • Plusnet offers low-cost SIM-only plans from £6 per month. Their plans come on a one-month rolling basis for lots of flexibility. You’ll also get 2GB extra data per month if you’re a Plusnet Broadband customer.

The following table shows a selection of the best value SIM cards with coverage from EE:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
EEUnlimitedUnlimited1GB£15.00
24 months
EEUnlimitedUnlimited5GB£18.00
24 months
EEUnlimitedUnlimited25GB£21.00
24 months
EEUnlimitedUnlimited125GB£23.00
24 months
EEUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£28.00
6 months half price
24 months

You can compare the full range of available SIM-only deals using our interactive comparison tool.

Unlimited Data Plans

If you want an unlimited data plan, you’ll normally need to go directly to EE.

At present, you can get EE’s unlimited data plan from £28 per month. You’ll get one Smart Benefit included when you choose an EE Smart plan and three Smart Benefits included when you choose a Full Works plan.

TariffMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
EssentialUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£28.00
6 months half price
24 months
EssentialUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£30.00
12 months
EssentialUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£31.00
24 months
EssentialUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£31.00
1 month
EssentialUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£33.00
12 months
EssentialUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£34.00
1 month
All RounderUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£36.00
6 months half price
24 months
All RounderUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£38.00
12 months
Full WorksUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£43.00
24 months
Full WorksUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£45.00
12 months

For more information, see our full guide to unlimited data plans in the UK.

Pay As You Go Plans

If you’re looking for a Pay As You Go plan with coverage from EE, there are currently two main options:

  • 1p Mobile offers a traditional Pay As You Go service with no need to top-up every month. You’ll pay just 1p/minute, 1p/text and 1p/MB. You’ll need to top-up with at least £10 of credit every 120 days but there’s no obligation to spend it. You’ll get access to 4G and 5G coverage from EE.
  • EE offers a range of Data Pack bundles on Pay As You Go. This gives you access to 4G coverage on the EE network. You won’t, however, get access to other EE customer benefits such as Apple Music or BT Sport.

For more information, see our guide to the best Pay As You Go SIM cards in the UK.

Mobile Networks Using EE Coverage

In the following section, we’ll look at each mobile network that uses coverage from EE.

1p Mobile

If you’re looking for access to EE’s 4G & 5G network on a Pay As You Go service, 1p Mobile offers a flexible Pay As You Go plan with no need to top-up every month.

There are no regular monthly charges on 1p Mobile. You’ll just pay for what you actually use at the rate of 1p/minute, 1p/text and 1p/MB. Alternatively, smartphone owners can buy a one-month bundle such as 10GB data for £10 per month or 50GB data for £15 per month.

One important requirement of 1p Mobile is the fact you’re required to add at least £10 of credit every 120 days. Whilst there’s no obligation to actually spend this credit, your Pay As You Go balance would simply grow over time if you didn’t use up the credit.

1p Mobile is operated by Telecommunications Management Limited which is part of the FTSE 250-listed Telecom Plus PLC group. The network has been in operation since September 2016.

Plans From Key Benefits Contract Length Coverage

1p/minute
1p/text
1p/MB

Pay As You Go with no monthly fee

No contract

5G Coverage

For more information, see our full 1p Mobile review.

EE

You can get a SIM-only deal directly from EE for as little as £15/month. There are three different types of plan to choose from: Essential, Smart and Full Works.

EE Essential SIM cards are available from £15/month. This gives you an EE SIM card at the lowest possible cost, with a maximum download speed of 100Mbps (plenty for most people). You’ll also benefit from six months of free Apple Music on this plan.

TariffMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
EssentialUnlimitedUnlimited1GB£15.00
24 months
EssentialUnlimitedUnlimited5GB£18.00
24 months
EssentialUnlimitedUnlimited25GB£21.00
24 months
EssentialUnlimitedUnlimited125GB£23.00
24 months
EssentialUnlimitedUnlimited150GB£24.00
3 months half price
24 months
EssentialUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£28.00
6 months half price
24 months

EE Smart plans start from £26/month and come with a Smart Benefit included for the entire length of your plan. You can choose from options such as Apple Music, BT Sport or Netflix. You’ll also get EE’s fastest available speeds.

TariffMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
All RounderUnlimitedUnlimited5GB£26.00
3 months half price
24 months
All RounderUnlimitedUnlimited25GB£29.00
3 months half price
24 months
All RounderUnlimitedUnlimited125GB£31.00
3 months half price
24 months
All RounderUnlimitedUnlimited150GB£32.00
3 months half price
24 months
All RounderUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£36.00
6 months half price
24 months

Meanwhile, EE’s Full Works plan is available from £43/month. It comes with unlimited data and 3 Smart Benefits included for the entire length of your contract. You’ll also get EE’s fastest available speeds.

TariffMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
Full WorksUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£43.00
24 months
Full WorksUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£45.00
12 months

It’s also possible to use EE on a Pay As You Go basis with no need for a contract or credit check. However, EE’s Pay As You Go Packs will only give you access to 4G coverage. You also won’t have access to benefits like Apple Music on your plan.

Plans From Key Benefits Contract Length Coverage

£15/month

Apple Music
Smart Benefits

12 or 24 months
(no contract bundles available)

5G Coverage
(selected plans)
EE unlimited data plans are available from £28 per month.
EE also offers Pay As You Go Packs with no credit check & 4G coverage.

EE also offers a range of 4G & 5G phones on a 24-month contract. For more information, see our guide to EE’s Pay Monthly plans.

IQ Mobile

IQ Mobile offers SIM-only deals from £7/month, with access to EE’s 4G and 5G network included.

When you sign up for IQ Mobile, you’ll need to pay for the first 3 months upfront. After that, it’s a one-month rolling agreement so you can cancel at any time.

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
IQ MobileUnlimitedUnlimitedNo data£7.00
3 months
IQ MobileUnlimitedUnlimited3GB£10.00
3 months
IQ MobileUnlimitedUnlimited10GB£12.50
3 months
IQ MobileUnlimitedUnlimited30GB£15.00
3 months
IQ MobileUnlimitedUnlimited100GB£25.00
3 months

IQ Mobile is part of Gradwell Communications, which has traditionally focussed on providing business communication services. They offer inclusive EU roaming on all of their plans and promise “bespoke and personal service from a small expert team” based in Bath, Wells and London.

Plans From Key Benefits Contract Length Coverage

£7/month

Flexible plans

3 months

5G Coverage

Plusnet Mobile

If you’re looking for a low-cost SIM card with 4G coverage from EE, you can get a Plusnet Mobile SIM card from £6 per month. This comes with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 5GB of data.

The following table shows Plusnet Mobile’s 1-month rolling plans:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
No price plans could be found matching this criteria.

If you’re a Plusnet Broadband customer, the data allowance on your Plusnet Mobile plan will be boosted by an extra 2GB per month. This means, for instance, you’ll get 7GB data on Plusnet's £8 plan instead of the normal 5GB allowance which is available to other customers.

If you’re not a Plusnet Broadband customer, you can get Plusnet’s home broadband service from £21.99 per month. You can also get up to a £75 reward card for signing up. For more information, see our guide to Plusnet broadband and Plusnet full fibre.

The following table shows the key things to know about Plusnet Mobile:

Plans From Key Benefits Contract Length Coverage

£6/month

2GB extra data for Plusnet Broadband customers

1 month rolling

4G Coverage

For more information, see our Plusnet Mobile review.

Other Networks

There are also a number of very small mobile networks that offer coverage from EE. They include Ecotalk, RWG Mobile, Utility Warehouse and Your Co-op Mobile. There are also a number of specialist mobile networks for calling abroad to another country such as CMLink, CTExcel and Vectone Mobile.

Some of the other mobile networks offering coverage from EE include the following:

In the past, there were several other mobile networks that also offered coverage from EE.

From March 2015 to October 2022, BT Mobile offered coverage from EE, with a £5 per month discount for BT Broadband customers. BT Mobile is no longer available to new customers.

Until 2021, Virgin Mobile offered 4G coverage from EE. They now offer 4G & 5G coverage from O2 on all of their plans.

In the past, ASDA Mobile also offered coverage from EE. However, they now offer Vodafone coverage to their customers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who uses the EE network?
In the UK, the following mobile networks offer coverage from EE:

Alongside these, there are also a number of very small networks such as Ecotalk, RWG Mobile, The Phone Co-Op, Utility Warehouse and Vectone Mobile.

Will I get the same coverage on another mobile network that piggybacks on EE?
You’ll get access to EE’s 2G, 3G and 4G network if you’re using another network that offers coverage from EE. This means you’ll be able to get a mobile signal in the same places you can get a signal from EE.

On the 5G-ready plans from 1pMobile, EE, and IQ Mobile, you’ll also have access to EE’s 5G network.

What coverage does EE offer in the UK?
EE currently offers the following coverage in the UK:
  • 5G Coverage: 160 towns and cities
  • 4G Coverage: 99% population coverage
  • 3G Coverage: 99% population coverage
  • 2G Coverage: 99% population coverage

More Information

For more information, read our full guide on EE’s network and coverage. We also have in-depth reviews of 1p Mobile, EE and Plusnet Mobile.

Your Comments 25 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 25 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • The information on this page is misleading. Not ALL providers that claim to use the EE network offer the full EE coverage.

    My daughter has good EE coverage at our home with an EE contract organised through BT. Based on that experience, I signed up with plusnet. When I got the plusnet sim, I could not get a signal at our house. It took several phone calls to find out why and eventually plusnet admitted they don’t have access to all of the EE network, and in fact if you bother to use the network coverage tools on each providers site, it is clear plusnet gives no coverage at our house while a native EE contract definitely does.

  • Hi Ken.I live in the U.K since 2013 and after years of bad deals and high costs (vodafone,3 and the worst:WorldSim) I discovered 1p.
    They are by far the cheapest and have comprehensive,transparent plans.
    I also have voxi which is basically run by vodafone and have to say that voxi is very good without having restrictive,expensive plans like the mother company seems to be affecting.

  • Thanks for flagging up the forthcoming Asda change, as of course they haven’t seen fit to inform customers. Do you know exactly when the change will happen? At home I only have coverage from EE, so will need to use up my Asda credit and switch. Vodafone has no coverage here – pure white!

    • Hi there,
      New ASDA Mobile customers are already being placed on the Vodafone network, but if you’re an existing customer with EE coverage, you can continue using the SIM card until September 2021.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

      • Thanks Ken. Looks like Phone Coop is the best alternative. Your site is invaluable, always our family’s first point of reference in all matters mobile. Much appreciated.

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