Plusnet Mobile is a low-cost 4G network with 30 day SIM-only plans from £6/month.
In the UK, Plusnet Mobile offers low-cost SIM-only plans using 3G & 4G coverage from the EE network. Plans on Plusnet Mobile start from £6/month with key benefits including a flexible 30-day rolling contract and time-limited special offer promotional tariffs. Plusnet Mobile also offers ‘Smart Cap’ functionality and gives an extra discount to customers who have Plusnet home broadband.
In this article, we’ll review the Plusnet Mobile service. We’ll start by looking at the price plans available on Plusnet Mobile and how they compare to offerings from other mobile networks. We’ll then discuss how to use your handset on Plusnet Mobile, the level of coverage you can expect and how to keep your current phone number.
- 1 Pricing & Tariffs
- 2 Comparison to Alternatives
- 3 Handsets
- 4 Network & Coverage
- 5 Keeping Your Phone Number
- 6 History
- 7 More Information
Pricing & Tariffs
SIM Only Plans
In the UK, Plusnet Mobile is the low-cost sub-brand of BT and EE. As such, the Plusnet service is a bit of a “no-frills” brand: it gives you access to the same underlying coverage you’d get on BT Mobile and EE, but without some of the additional features like double-speed 4G/4G+, Wi-Fi Calling, 4G Calling and BT Sport.
On the flip side, you’ll get lower monthly prices and greater flexibility on Plusnet Mobile with only a rolling 30-day commitment. This makes it a good option if you don’t want all of the additional features of BT and EE.
The following table shows Plusnet Mobile’s standard price plans:
In reality, most customers won’t actually be paying these prices. This is because Plusnet Mobile regularly advertises discounted offers on their website. The offers tend to change on a week-by-week basis, and often give you a larger data allowance for a discounted monthly price. You should check the Plusnet website for a full list of their latest deals when comparing them to other mobile network providers.
Since its original launch under the ‘LIFE Mobile’ brand in 2013, Smart Cap has been promoted as a key feature of the Plusnet Mobile service. Smart Cap is designed to give you greater control over spending on your account, though all UK mobile networks are now legally obliged to offer a similar feature (as of October 2018).
With Smart Cap, you’re able to specify a small buffer between £0 and £30 over which your out-of-allowance charges can never exceed. For instance, if you had a £6/month SIM card with a £2 Smart Cap, your monthly bill would be guaranteed to never exceed £8. The aim of this is to put a stop to unexpected phone bills (e.g. making it ideal if you’re giving the SIM card to your children).
Plusnet Broadband Customers
If you’re a customer of Plusnet home broadband, you’ll be able to benefit from Plusnet’s special “mates rates” offers. In general. you’ll get more minutes and more data for the same monthly price, though this also depends on the current promotions that Plusnet is running.
If you’re a Plusnet home broadband customer, you’ll be able to benefit from the Mates Rates discount on up to 5 SIM cards in your household.
If you’re not currently a Plusnet home broadband customer, it may be worth investigating their home broadband deals which start from around £20 per month.
If you’d like to customise your Plusnet Mobile plan, a range of flexible bolt-ons are also available. These can be added to your basic tariff. For instance, an extra £4/month would allow you to add either 250 minutes, 500 texts or 500MB of data.
The following table shows available bolt-ons from Plusnet Mobile:
In general, we’d typically advise against buying a bolt-on from Plusnet Mobile. You’ll almost certainly be better served by upgrading to a higher-priced plan (e.g. the £15/month plan with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 4GB of data).
Comparison to Alternatives
Plusnet’s entry-level tariff costs £6/month for 250 minutes, 500 texts and 500MB of data. In general, this compares reasonably to other mobile networks, though cheaper alternatives are available on other networks. For instance, other networks sometimes offer 500MB of data from as little as £4/month.
When Plusnet is running a special offer promotion on this tariff, this may change things and make the Plusnet tariff more competitive.
inc. £5 discount
For £8/month, Plusnet Mobile typically offers 1000 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB of internet. In general, this is also fairly expensive unless Plusnet is running a promotional discount on the tariff. For instance, giffgaff offers 2GB of data on their £7.50 goodybag (you’ll get twice as much data for 50p less every month).
The following table shows comparable SIM-only plans with at least 1GB of data per month:
inc. £5 discount
For £10/month, Plusnet Mobile is typically offering 1500 minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB of internet.
The following table shows comparable SIM-only plans with at least 2GB of data per month:
inc. £5 discount
Plusnet Mobile’s flagship tariff is their £15/month plan which typically includes unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 4GB of internet.
The following table shows how their 4GB plan compares to the deals currently available on other mobile networks:
inc. £5 discount
For more information, please see our in-depth guide to the UK’s best value SIM-only plans.
Plusnet Mobile is a SIM-only mobile network so you’ll need to provide your own unlocked handset to use with the service. This can either be your existing handset or it can be a new handset that you’ve purchased SIM-free.
If you’re planning to buy a brand new smartphone, numerous retailers sell SIM-free smartphones that are unlocked for use on any network. Some of the most popular places to buy a SIM-free smartphone include John Lewis, Argos, the Carphone Warehouse and Amazon.co.uk. If you’re looking for an affordable mid-range smartphone, our current recommendation is the Moto G which starts from around £150 unlocked.
If you’re planning to use your existing smartphone on Plusnet Mobile, it might be necessary to first unlock it if you purchased the smartphone from another network. For more information, see our step-by-step guides to unlocking an iPhone and unlocking a Samsung Galaxy device.
Network & Coverage
2G, 3G & 4G Coverage from EE
Customers on Plusnet Mobile will have access to EE’s 2G, 3G and 4G mobile network. This gives 99% population coverage across the UK, and the widest geographical coverage of any UK network.
Before signing up to join the Plusnet Mobile service, we recommend using Plusnet’s online coverage map to make sure you can get coverage in your area. You can enter your postcode on their website to get an indication of the level of coverage available:
One thing that’s worth noting, in comparison to EE and BT Mobile, is you’ll only have access to standard-speed 4G on Plusnet (giving download speeds of up to 30Mbps). Customers on selected EE and BT Mobile plans can get double-speed 4G and 4G+ coverage in some areas. On Plusnet, there’s also no access to Wi-Fi Calling or 4G Calling.
Tethering or personal hotspot refers to the process of sharing your mobile phone’s internet connection with other devices (e.g. with a laptop or tablet). It’s often used when you want to stay connected on-the-go from other devices – for instance, whilst working on the train.
On Plusnet Mobile, tethering is permitted on all tariffs. Any data used through tethering or personal hotspot is simply deducted from your allowance as normal.
For more information, see our in-depth guide to tethering on UK mobile networks.
On Plusnet, you can use your mobile phone abroad when travelling to other countries. If you’re travelling to one of 40 EU destinations, you can benefit from Roam Like At Home. This allows you to use your normal UK allowances when travelling in Europe at no extra charge.
Keeping Your Phone Number
If you’re switching from another mobile network to Plusnet Mobile, it’s a straightforward process to keep your current phone number.
When your new SIM card arrives from Plusnet Mobile, you should contact Plusnet Mobile Customer Services to give them your PAC Code. You can do this by calling 0800 079 1133 or 500 on your Plusnet Mobile handset. Once you’ve given your PAC Code to Plusnet, they’ll arrange the transfer of your phone number (normally for the next working day).
For a step-by-step guide on moving your number to Plusnet Mobile, please select your current mobile network from the drop down menu below:
If you’re also joining Plusnet Home Broadband, a different process applies for transferring your landline phone number.
Plusnet Mobile launched in November 2016 as the low-cost sub-brand of BT and EE. It replaced the LIFE Mobile brand which was originally launched by Phones4u in March 2013 and then subsequently purchased by EE.
If you originally signed up for the service before the 29th November 2016, you’ll still be on a legacy 3G-only ‘LIFE Mobile’ plan. You’ll need to upgrade to a newer 4G-enabled Plusnet Mobile plan to benefit from the faster download speeds now available.
For more information, please see the official Plusnet Mobile website.