SMARTY offers 4G coverage from Three along with Wi-Fi Calling and 4G Calling. 5G will launch soon on SMARTY.

In the UK, SMARTY currently offers 99% population coverage using Three’s 4G and 3G mobile networks in the UK. This includes the recently addition of 4G Calling and Wi-Fi Calling, with SMARTY also saying that 5G will be coming soon to their network.

In this article, we’ll discuss SMARTY’s mobile network in the UK and how you can access their 4G coverage from only £6/month. We’ll also look at the recent addition of Wi-Fi Calling and 4G Calling, as well as the upcoming rollout of 5G on SMARTY. Finally, we’ll look at international coverage on SMARTY and how you can set up your phone to work with their service.

SMARTY Coverage Map

The easiest way to check SMARTY’s mobile coverage in your area is by using their online coverage map. Simply enter your postcode to see the 4G coverage and 3G coverage that’s available in your area.

We’d normally recommend using the online coverage map before you sign up and get a SMARTY Mobile SIM card.

Check SMARTY Mobile Coverage (smarty.co.uk) →

You can use the tabs on SMARTY’s website to switch between the results for 4G and 3G coverage. Typically, we’d only recommend choosing SMARTY if you’re able to get good indoor coverage on their network.

SMARTY currently offers a choice of plans from £6/month. These include 12GB data for £8 per month and 30GB data for £10 per month. You can also get unlimited data on SMARTY for £16 per month. All of these plans give you full access to coverage on SMARTY’s mobile network, including 4G, 3G, Wi-Fi Calling and 4G Calling.

SMARTY Coverage Overview

The following table shows a summary of the different types of coverage available on SMARTY Mobile:

SMARTY Coverage Type Coverage Level Supported Bands & Frequencies
5G Coverage Not currently available, but coming soon
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 98.7% population coverage
  • 2100MHz
2G Coverage Not available

For more information, read on to learn more about the different types of coverage available on SMARTY.

SMARTY 4G Coverage

In the UK, SMARTY currently offers 99.8% population coverage on their 4G network. This offers download speeds of up to 300Mbps, but speeds of around 15-20Mbps are much more typical.

Check SMARTY 4G Coverage →

In recent years, SMARTY’s 4G network has been undergoing a major upgrade across the UK. This has led to a speed improvement of up to 130% in areas that have been upgraded with the new network. The upgrade consists 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 technology is also known as LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation.
  2. The upgrade of older 3G spectrum to 4G. This improves the utilisation of spectrum at 2100MHz 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 within band 32 to further improve the speeds you can get on 4G.

To get the fastest speeds available on SMARTY, you’ll need a 4G device that’s compatible with L-Band coverage. This will normally be listed as “LTE band 32” on the manufacturer’s spec sheet.

SMARTY 4G Calling & Wi-Fi Calling

In addition to upgrading their 4G network, SMARTY also launched 4G Calling and Wi-Fi Calling to their customers during 2020.

  • 4G Calling allows you to make and receive phone calls using Voice over LTE technology (VoLTE). This gives you a more reliable experience on phone calls as well as better quality HD Voice calls. In addition, you’ll also benefit from better coverage on 4G as this uses lower-frequency 800MHz spectrum.
  • Wi-Fi Calling allows you to make and receive phone calls and text messages over a Wi-Fi connection. It means you can stay connected in places where a mobile signal isn’t able to reach (e.g. in the basement of a large building or when travelling on the London Underground).

4G Calling has been available to customers on SMARTY since May 2020. Meanwhile, Wi-Fi Calling has been available since November 2020. You’ll need a compatible device to benefit from the two technologies on your mobile phone.

SMARTY 3G Coverage

In addition, SMARTY also continues to offer 98.7% population coverage on 3G. This is also using Three’s 3G network and their 2100MHz spectrum.

You can get download speeds of up to 42Mbps on SMARTY’s 3G network, which uses dual-carrier HSPA+ technology. However, download speeds will more typically be in the region of 4Mbps to 8Mbps on 3G.

Check SMARTY 3G Coverage →

If your phone doesn’t support 4G Calling or Wi-Fi Calling, you’ll be using SMARTY’s 3G network to make and receive calls on your phone.

SMARTY doesn’t offer any 2G coverage. For this reason, it isn’t possible to use a SMARTY SIM card in an old mobile phone that’s restricted to 2G. In addition, a SMARTY SIM card may not work in some dual-SIM phones if the secondary SIM card slot is restricted to only supporting 2G.

Upcoming 5G Roll-Out

SMARTY have said that 5G will be launching on their network, but they haven’t yet set an exact date for when it will launch. Instead, they’ve said that the current focus is on improving their 3G and 4G service:

Great news. 5G will be coming to SMARTY.

But as these things take time to get right, we’re first going to be upgrading our network’s 3G and 4G services to ensure you have the best coverage possible.

We’ve introduced Voice over LTE (VoLTE) which lets you make richer, clearer voice calls over the 4G network – it’s essentially calling in HD.

We’ve also launched WiFi Calling to help supercharge your signal. So you can make calls and send texts wherever you’re connected to WiFi in the UK.

When 5G coverage eventually launches on SMARTY, they’ll also be using Three’s 5G network.

You can sign up for a waiting list for 5G on SMARTY’s website. Alternatively, if you’d like access to 5G today, you can get a SIM-only deal from Three instead. Three currently offer 5G at no extra cost on all of their plans with an average download speed of about 200Mbps.

International Coverage

If you’re travelling abroad to another country, it’s possible to continue using your SMARTY SIM card through international roaming.

For customers travelling to an EU destination, it’s possible to use your SMARTY plan allowances at no extra cost when travelling abroad. A fair usage limit of 20GB per month applies for European roaming, if your SMARTY price plan gives you more than 20GB of data per month.

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

You should follow the instructions on this page to set up your phone for international roaming before you depart the UK.

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:
  • 4G Coverage: 99.8% population coverage
  • 3G Coverage: 98.7% 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. Simply enter your postcode to see the 4G coverage and 3G coverage available where you live.
When will SMARTY get 5G?
SMARTY haven’t yet announced when 5G will launch on their network. However, they’ve said that the current focus is upgrading 3G and 4G. In the past year, they’ve also launched 4G Calling and Wi-Fi Calling to customers on their network.
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

For more information, please see our SMARTY review or our guide to SMARTY’s unlimited data plan. Alternatively, you can see SMARTY’s official website for further information about their network and deals.

Your Comments 15 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 15 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • 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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