SMARTY offers 3G & 4G coverage from the Three network, with 5G coverage due to launch in the near future.

In the UK, SMARTY Mobile offers 99% population coverage, using Three’s 3G and 4G mobile network. 5G coverage is due to launch soon on SMARTY. This will offer greater network capacity along with faster download speeds to customers living in 25 UK towns and cities.

In this article, we’ll look at the coverage that’s available on SMARTY Mobile. We’ll start with SMARTY’s online coverage checker where you can enter your postcode to get an estimate of the coverage in your area. We’ll then look at the different types of coverage available on SMARTY, the upcoming 5G launch and international coverage whilst you’re abroad in other countries. We’ll also look at SMARTY’s internet settings in case you’re having problems connecting to the internet on your phone.

SMARTY Coverage Checker

If you’d like to check the coverage from SMARTY Mobile in your area, they provide an online coverage map where you can enter your postcode to see the coverage that’s available.

We’d recommend using the online coverage checker before signing up and getting a SMARTY Mobile SIM card.

Check SMARTY Coverage ( →

SMARTY’s online coverage checker will give you a breakdown of both the 3G and 4G coverage available where you live. We’d normally recommend choosing SMARTY only if you’re able to get good indoor coverage on both 3G and 4G.

Coverage Types

In the UK, SMARTY currently offers 3G and 4G mobile coverage, with 5G coverage due to launch soon. 2G coverage isn’t available on SMARTY.

3G Coverage

On SMARTY, 3G coverage is used for calling, texting and browsing the internet at up to dual-carrier HSPA+ speeds (up to 42Mbit/s). 3G coverage is available to around 98.7% of the UK’s population on SMARTY.

Despite 4G coverage being faster and being available in more places, we’d still recommend making sure you live in an area with 3G coverage. The reason for this is because your mobile phone will drop down to 3G coverage whenever you make or receive a phone call.

Check 3G Coverage on SMARTY →

SMARTY offers 3G coverage from Three, using 2100MHz spectrum.

4G Coverage

SMARTY’s 4G coverage is also provided by Three. Available to 99.8% of the UK’s population, the 4G coverage on SMARTY offers up to Category 6 LTE download speeds (up to 300Mbit/s download). In practice, however, actual download speeds may be closer to around 30Mbit/s on average.

Check 4G Coverage on SMARTY →

SMARTY’s 4G coverage uses band 3 spectrum (1800MHz). Unlike Three, 4G coverage is not available using band 20 spectrum (800MHz) as SMARTY does not have support for Three’s 4G Super-Voice coverage.

Other Coverage

Like Three, SMARTY’s network coverage provider, SMARTY also doesn’t offer any 2G coverage in the UK. For this reason, it isn’t possible to use a SMARTY SIM card in a 2G-only phone. In addition, some dual-SIM smartphones may not function properly on SMARTY if the secondary SIM card slot is restricted to having only 2G functionality.

At present, SMARTY is yet to offer Wi-Fi Calling or 4G Calling functionality (also known as 4G Super-Voice). According to SMARTY, they’re “hoping to offer these services in the near future”. In the mean time, you’ll need to choose a SIM card from Three instead to get access to both of t.

SMARTY 5G Coverage

SMARTY has announced that 5G coverage will be launching soon on their network, using 5G coverage provided by Three. 5G will enable SMARTY to offer greater network capacity, faster download speeds of up to 1,000Mbit/s and a reduced amount of latency.

As SMARTY will be offering 5G coverage from Three, the 5G coverage on SMARTY will be available in the same places as the 5G coverage on Three:

Now Live68 towns and cities are live on Three 5G (October 2020)
Aberdeen, Abingdon-on-Thames, Aldershot, Aldridge, Balloch, Barrow-in-Furness, Basildon, Bath, Bedford, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Blackpool, Borehamwood, Bradford, Brighton, Brookmans Park, Cannock, Cardiff, Chatham, Clayton-le-Woods, Coventry, Crawley, Cullingworth, Derby, Doncaster, Dundee, Glasgow, Gorebridge, Grays, Grimsby, Guildford, Heanor, Hedge End, Hemel Hempstead, Huddersfield, Inchinnan, Ipswich, Leeds, Leicester, Leyland, Liverpool, London, Lower Stondon, Luton, Maidstone, Manchester, Mansfield, Motherwell, Neston, Newquay, Nottingham, Nuneaton, Peterborough, Plymouth, Preston, Reading, Redcar, Royston, Sheffield, Slough, St Albans, Stevenage, Swadlincote, Swindon, Telford, Westhoughton, Wickford, Wigan

Three is expected to launch their 5G mobile service in Q1 2020. It isn’t known whether 5G coverage will launch on SMARTY at the same time or whether it will initially be reserved for customers on Three.

For more information, see SMARTY’s 5G web page and waiting list.

International Coverage

If you’re travelling abroad to another country, it’s possible to continue using your SMARTY SIM card through international roaming. Some SMARTY customers will need to make a small change to their mobile internet settings before they’re able to use data abroad.

For customers travelling to another EU country, it’s possible to use your SMARTY plan allowances when abroad. On price plans with more than 20GB of inclusive data per month, European roaming is capped at a fair usage policy of 20GB per month.

If you’re travelling to a country outside the EU, you’ll need to top-up your SMARTY account with a cash balance before you go. You will then pay the international roaming rates listed on this page.

APN Internet Settings

In order to access the internet on your smartphone, it’s important to have the right APN settings set up for the SMARTY network.

The following APN or Access Point Name settings will allow you to use data on SMARTY, both when in the UK and abroad:

Smarty Mobile Internet APN Settings
Name: 3
Username: (leave blank)
Password: (leave blank)
Picture Message (MMS) Settings
Port: 8799

For more information, see SMARTY’s help centre or see our full guide to mobile internet APN settings.

More Information

For more information, see our full review of SMARTY or our in-depth guide to SMARTY’s unlimited data plan. Alternatively, for more information about the coverage on SMARTY, you can also see SMARTY’s official website.

Your Comments 14 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 14 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Hi,

    I would like to start using my “unlimited” SMARTY sim card to provide a backup to my broadband.
    Is there a different apn for mobile broadband so that you don’t get allocated a private ip address 10.95.*.* as you do with “”?
    I believe that 3 has a different apn for home broadband and moble.
    I’ll be using a Mikrotik LHG LTE6

    • Hi Archie,
      Thanks for your comment. Sadly, I don’t believe there’s an option to get a public IP address on SMARTY. At least from what I’ve seen, they only offer CGNAT (non-public) IP addresses. I think Three is the only mobile network currently offering public IP addresses on their mobile broadband SIMs.

      • Thank you ken.
        Do you think 3 would give better download speeds with the use of channel 20 or is that solely for the HD voice protocol?
        If you have a mobile contract With 3 you can get an unlimited mobile broadBand sim with a Mifi for £17/month, which is £1 cheaper than Smarty if you go unlimited with Two pay as you go sims on their family/friends account.


        • Hi Archie,
          Good question! My understanding is there are a couple of restrictions on LTE band 20, and it’s normally only available for 4G Super-Voice handset users. I’m not sure exactly how this restriction works however, and whether you’d be able to access it from your device. The best thing to do would probably be to order a Data Reward SIM card from Three – it’s technically a Pay As You Go mobile broadband SIM card so you should be able to use it to find out whether it’s possible to do what you want to achieve.

  • I thought readers here might be interested in my experience of Smarty.

    Firstly, the data deals are real – I ordered a 30G SIM and it came quickly via first class post, and it really is only a tenner per month, with unlimited calls and texts. I haven’t swapped my my main mobile number to it so far, but I have put the SIM in my house router, and is works fine. Getting it connected to 4G was very easy.

    One minor criticism I have so far is that even though I am very close to the centre of Birmingham, Smarty 4G performance seems to lag behind Vodafone a fair bit. In general I was getting 5-20Mbps, whereas a Vodafone SIM (unlimited data, no speed restrictions) was getting 50-70Mbps. However I have recently bought an external antenna for the router, so perhaps I should do another re-test – the antenna may open up better 4G performance.

    That said, I may not need to. I have saved the most exciting news for last – although Smarty have not officially launched their 5G offering, my SIM already works on it. Today, using my 5G router (Huawei H112-370), an indoor Panorama antenna, and a gigabit Ethernet connection to my laptop, I managed to achieve a download speed of 310Mbps! The accompanying latency was 30ms unloaded, 61ms loaded, which is pretty good for a radio connection. The upload was relatively poor at 10Mbps, and I wonder if that was handled by the concurrent 4G+ signal.

    I will leave it for a little while to see if the 5G connection is consistently up – I don’t want to get rid of Vodafone if Smarty’s 5G might come and go while it is not officially released. Since Three 4G might be over-subscribed in my area, I want to have access to a good alternative 4G provider, in case of 5G problems. However, 5G is looking good so far, especially once the APN was correctly configured.

    • Hi Jon,
      Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and feedback on Smarty. It’s also super exciting to hear that you were able to get 5G coverage on your Smarty SIM card, and super exciting news on the download speeds as well. Do let us know whether you’re able to continue getting it!

      • No worries Ken. I appreciate your helpful blog, so I am feeding back information in return.

        A day or two after installing my Panorama antenna on my study window, I spotted that the router had flipped over to 5G, and the connection was stable for an hour or so. I could not seem to get it again on that day, and then I got another 5G signal a day later, for maybe a few hours. I took the speed measurements on this second occasion. The signal has now disappeared again!

        I have currently surmised that mast technicians are turning their widgets on and off, maybe to test network throughput, or perhaps to repeatedly scan for devices in each of the pilot areas. I dare say folks who are upgrading to high-end phones right now will be getting 5G capable devices already, even if not all of them can connect to 5G yet.

        I sent a quick email to Smarty to see if I could get some juicy information about (1) yes, some areas will be getting 5G before the official announcement, (2) yes, regions A/B/C will become stable on date X, (3) we can see from the Three network engineer work logs that some work was carried out on masts M/N/O in my region. However, I may have credited their internet-only help-desk with too much usefulness – I got a bland corporate brush-off that told me no new useful information at all. It’s not a surprise given that it’s backed by Three – I wonder if the Smarty team are the same off-shore support team with no useful real-time network information at their fingertips.

        So, I will sit and wait, and hang on to Vodafone for now. Oddly I am not in the Three 5G area and have gotten this fleeting 5G experience, despite not being in range on the Three coverage maps. And, meanwhile, I can’t lock onto Vodafone 5G, despite being within range on the Vodafone coverage maps.

        However, what I suspect the testing does tell us is that Smarty customers will get access to 5G. I would also be surprised if they create another price tier for it, given that it would spoil their 30G/50G/unlimited pricing simplicity. That would blow EE out of the water, since £20pm with a one-month contract is much more appealing than £70pm for 18 months!

        I will send an update if I get better 5G stability on Three, or any 5G at all on Vodafone.

  • Trevor Jones said:

    Hi Ken
    Is there a way to test Smarty’s 4g download speed in my area before purchasing a sim? The coverage checker shows I have good indoor signal.
    Many thanks

    • Hi Trevor,
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, you’ll need to purchase a SIM from SMARTY if you’d like to test out the speeds on their network (though you only need to pay for a month and there’s no obligation to continue using it after the first month). Alternatively, you could borrow a Three SIM card from someone that you know, or you could order a Three Pay As You Go SIM (but this would still require you to top it up before you’re able to test out the speeds).

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