SMARTY offers 5G coverage at no extra cost on all of their plans, plus 99% population coverage on 4G.

In the UK, SMARTY now offers 5G at no extra cost on all of their SIM-only plans, starting from £6/month. This allows you to access average download speeds in excess of 200Mbps on a 5G-ready device, with no need for a contract or credit check. You’ll also get 99% population coverage on 4G, along with Wi-Fi Calling and 4G Calling on compatible mobile phones.

At present, SMARTY’s most popular 5G-ready plans include 60GB data for £10 per month and unlimited data for £16 per month. For lighter mobile users, there’s also 16GB data for £8 per month.

Get Unlimited Data & 5G for £16/month →

In this article, we’ll look at SMARTY’s mobile network coverage. We’ll start with an overview of their new 5G service, including the benefits of 5G and compatible 5G-ready phones. We’ll then look at SMARTY’s 5G-ready plans, the other forms of coverage they offer and the download speeds you can expect on SMARTY.

SMARTY Coverage:
Plans From: From £6/month
Best 5G Ready Plans:
Download Speeds: 259Mbps average on 5G (up to 597Mbps)
20Mbps average on 4G (up to 70Mbps)
5G Plan Features:
  • No contract & credit check on all plans
  • Unlimited UK minutes & texts included
  • No speed restrictions

5G on SMARTY

In the UK, SMARTY has just added 5G coverage to all of their plans at no extra cost. This means you’re now able to access SMARTY’s 5G network if you’re using a compatible 5G-ready phone. There are three major benefits to this:

  • You’ll get much faster download speeds. On their 5G network, SMARTY offers an average download speed of more than 200Mbps. This is around 5-10 times faster than 4G. It means you’re able to stream, browse and download much faster on your phone. In some cases, download speeds can go up to 597Mbps.
  • You’ll get more network capacity. SMARTY’s 5G network has a lot more capacity for carrying mobile data. This means you’ll get a better experience in areas where lots of other people are also using the network at the same time (e.g. when using your phone in a football stadium, train station or shopping centre).
  • You’ll get lower amounts of latency. Compared to 4G, 5G networks have a lower amount of latency. This means you’ll get a more responsive experience – something that’s particularly important for things like online gaming on your phone.

SMARTY’s 5G network is powered by Three, who currently offer 5G coverage in more than 300 UK towns and cities. According to SMARTY, their 5G service is currently available on the following devices:

Alcatel: TCL 10 5G.

Apple: iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12.

Google: Pixel 5 5G.

HMD Global: Nokia X10 5G.

Huawei: Mate 40 Pro 5G, P40 5G, P40 Pro 5G, Mate 20 X 5G, P40 Lite 5G.

OnePlus: 9 Pro 5G, Nord CE 5G, Nord 5G, 8 Pro 5G, 8 5G, Nord 2 5G.

Oppo: Find X3 Lite, Find X3 Pro, Find X3 Neo.

Samsung: Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G, Galaxy S20 5G, Galaxy Note 10+ 5G, Galaxy S10 5G, Galaxy Fold3, Galaxy A52s, Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G, Galaxy Flip 3 5G, Galaxy S21 FE 5G, Galaxy A52s 5G, Galaxy A32 5G, Galaxy Fold 2 5G, Galaxy A52 5G, Galaxy S21+ 5G, Galaxy S20 FE 5G, Galaxy S21 5G, Galaxy S20+ 5G, Galaxy Z Flip 5G, Galaxy A22 5G.

Xiaomi: Mi 11T Pro 5G, Redmi Note 10 5G, Mi 11 Lite 5G NE, Mi 10 5G, Mi 10 T Pro 5G, Mix 3 5G, Mi 11 Lite 5G, Mi 11 5G.

If you’re using a device that isn’t compatible with SMARTY’s 5G service, you’ll still be able to access their 3G and 4G network.

3G & 4G Coverage

Alongside their 5G coverage, SMARTY also offers the following types of coverage:

SMARTY Coverage Type Coverage Level Supported Bands & Frequencies
5G Coverage 300+ UK towns & cities
  • 5G NR Band n78 (3500MHz)
  • 5G NR Band n28 (700MHz)
4G Coverage 99.8% population coverage
(with 4G Calling on compatible devices)
  • LTE Band 3 (1800MHz)
  • LTE Band 20 (800MHz)
  • LTE Band 1 (2100MHz)
  • LTE Band 32 (1500MHz)
3G Coverage Some coverage available
Currently being switched off
  • 2100MHz
2G Coverage Not available

If you’re using a compatible device, you’ll also get Wi-Fi Calling and 4G Calling on SMARTY.

Check SMARTY Coverage Map →

In recent years, SMARTY has been performing a major upgrade of their 4G network, alongside the launch of their new 5G service. On 4G, this has led to speed improvements of up to 130% in areas that have been upgraded with the latest technology. The 4G network upgrades consist of three major changes:

  1. The introduction of 4G+ technology. This combines multiple 4G frequencies to boost the speeds you can get on SMARTY’s network. This technique is also known as LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation.
  2. The upgrade of older 3G spectrum to 4G. This improves the utilisation of 2100MHz spectrum so you’re able to get faster 4G speeds rather than 3G speeds.
  3. The introduction of L-Band spectrum. Also known as Super 4G+, this involves the addition of L-band spectrum (band 32). It further improves the download speeds you can get on 4G.

SMARTY 5G Plans

You can get a 5G-ready plan from just £6/month on SMARTY.

At present, the most popular plans on SMARTY include 60GB data for £10 and unlimited data for £16. For lighter users requiring less data, there’s also a 16GB data for £8 which is also very popular.

The following table shows a list of SMARTY’s 5G-ready plans:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly Cost
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited6GB£6.00
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£7.00
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited16GB£8.00
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited60GB£10.00
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited100GB£12.00
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited180GB£15.00
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£16.00
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited200GB£17.00

Download Speeds

In the UK, SMARTY uses Three’s network to power their underlying service. This is offered without any speed restrictions or caps. As a result, you should get the same download speed whether you’re using your phone on SMARTY or on Three.

According to Ookla (H2 2021 data), Three has the UK’s fastest 5G network with a median download speed of 259Mbps and a median upload speed of 14Mbps.

According to SMARTY, the estimated maximum speeds available on their network are as follows:

Technology Download Speed Upload Speed
5G Up to 597Mbps Up to 50Mbps
4G Up to 70Mbps Up to 22Mbps

In practice, the speeds you get will depend on your location and device. Factors such as the signal strength in your area and the amount of available capacity will also have an impact.

APN Internet Settings

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

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

Smarty Mobile Internet APN Settings
Name: 3
APN: mob.asm.net
Username: (leave blank)
Password: (leave blank)
Picture Message (MMS) Settings
MMSC: http://mms.um.three.co.uk:10021/mmsc
Proxy: 217.171.129.2
Port: 8799

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

Frequently Asked Questions

What network coverage does SMARTY offer?
In the UK, SMARTY offers the following types of mobile coverage:
  • 5G Coverage: 300+ UK towns and cities
  • 4G Coverage: 99.8% population coverage

In addition, you can access 4G Calling and Wi-Fi Calling on a compatible device.

How can I check SMARTY’s coverage in my area?
The best way to check SMARTY’s coverage in your area is using their online coverage map. You can simply enter your postcode to see the coverage available where you live.
Does SMARTY offer 5G coverage?
Yes. As of January 2022, SMARTY now offers 5G at no extra cost on all of their plans. You’ll need a 5G-ready device and you’ll need to be in a 5G coverage area.
What are 4G Calling and Wi-Fi Calling on SMARTY?
4G Calling allows you to make and receive phone calls using VoLTE technology. It gives you a more reliable experience along with better quality HD phone calls.

Wi-Fi Calling allows you to make and receive phone calls and text messages wherever you have a Wi-Fi connection. It’s handy for staying in touch where a mobile signal isn’t available (e.g. when underground).

Does SMARTY offer any international coverage?
Yes. You can use your SMARTY SIM card at no extra cost when travelling in the EU. Outside the EU, you’ll need to top up your account with a cash balance to pay for your usage.

More Information

You can see SMARTY’s official website for further information about 5G on SMARTY and SMARTY’s mobile network coverage. You can also read our in-depth SMARTY review.

Your Comments 18 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 18 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Hi Ken, Great news that my Smarty sim will now run 5g. However, Smarty have published a list of phones by brand and model as the only ones that will work on the smarty 5g network. Motorola is not on the list. Why would they do this?

    • Hi Dave,
      Great question! I believe the mobile networks often need to get their network/carrier setting updated by the manufacturer which might be one explanation for them not listing any 5G phones from Motorola. Saying that, if you have a 5G phone from Motorola, it’s always worth a try as it might be that they just haven’t listed it on their site.
      Ken

  • Mr Gavin J Davies said:

    I just thought I would add my review. I was on a £1 for any package promotion, apart from unlimited, so went for 50GB (found promotion in a webpage advert). I stuck the SIM in a WIFI hotspot and put it in the window facing transmitter. I got quite good speeds in Speedtest.net but web browsing and you tube where a bit slow at peek time probably due to only being on 3G in Lanlithgow.

    As a result I would not recommend Smarty in my area but obviously, every area has different coverage, so give it a go and see what happens. I’m now with Lebara, which is more expensive but is 4G and a lot faster, and feels snappy when opening webpages, and video. Lebara is more expensive compared to Smarty so worth giving smart ago first incase it meets your needs.

  • Smarty do actually have a £5/month plan, they don’t advertise it much but it does appear in their Price Guide PDF. Only comes with 500mb data a month, but for low data users it may be the cheapest way to get unlimited calls and texts: https://smarty.co.uk/plans/500mb-data

    Also for anyone thinking about their unlimited data plan, have a quick Google around because they usually have an offer going for £15/month for your first year. However the T&C’s on that one say you have to arrive via an affiliate, so not sure they’ll let you actually sign up if you just roll up on their website!

  • 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 “mob.asm.net”?
    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.
      Ken

      • 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.

        Archie

        • 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.
          Ken
          Ken

  • 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!
      Ken

      • 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
    Trevor

    • 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).
      Ken

  • I have just switched from 3 to smarty and it is great value with free picture messaging and cheap premium call rates, 7ppm compared to 55ppm on 3.
    I ported my number with no problem as well and this is easy to do online once you have the pac code.
    I just hope this cheap rate lasts into the future and doesn’t disappear after a few month’s remembering that there is no contract and you pay on a month by month basis.

  • Hello Ken ,
    I’m looking at Smartys £10 30Gb sim only deal.
    Is it too good to be true? It seems a lot more
    GB s than any other for That price.
    John.

    • Hi John,
      Indeed, the 30GB plan from Smarty is incredibly competitive. It’s a genuine deal, and that’s certainly a really large allowance of data! They’re currently in the process of trying to acquire customers quite aggressively, hence the massive allowance of data you can get for £10/month.
      Ken

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