SMARTY is a low-cost mobile network offering a range of Mini, Data Discount and Unlimited SIM card deals.

In the UK, SMARTY is a low-cost mobile network, offering SIM-only deals with coverage from Three.

At present, SMARTY Mobile offers a choice of five plans. For light users, the £5/month Mini plan gives you unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data. For regular users, there are three data discount plans (£7.50 for 2GB, £10 for 4GB, or £15 for 8GB of data). Customers will receive a data discount every month of £1.25 for every gigabyte of unused data. Finally, a £25/month unlimited data plan is available for heavy users on SMARTY (currently discounted to £18.75/month).

In this article, we’ll review the SMARTY mobile network, starting with their line-up of SIM-only plans. We’ll then compare SMARTY’s deals to rival mobile networks like giffgaff, before looking at the level of coverage you can expect and how to keep your existing phone number.

Pricing & Bundles

SIM Only Plans

SMARTY offers a choice of five SIM-only plans: the entry-level ‘mini’ plan, three ‘data discount’ plans and one ‘unlimited’ plan. All of the SIM-only plans come on a one-month rolling basis with 3G & 4G coverage from the Three network:

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited500MB£5.00
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited2GB£7.50
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£10.00
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£15.00
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£18.75

If you choose the £5/month Mini plan, you’ll get unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data. Additional usage will then cost you £1.25 per gigabyte.

On the three data discount plans (Small, Medium & Large), the tariff is structured in such a way that you’ll pay a base fee of £5/month for unlimited calls and unlimited texts. On top of this, you’ll then pay a flat rate of £1.25 per gigabyte of data regardless of which data discount plan you choose.

Finally, if you choose the unlimited data plan, you’ll pay £18.75/month for unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited data. There are no additional charges for using too much data, but at the same time there are also no discounts available for unused data.

There’s no need to undergo a credit check on SMARTY, as all of the plans work on a pre-paid basis. You’ll pay for your plan in advance using a registered credit card or debit card, with the top-up being converted automatically into a one-month plan.

Extra Small Plan

From December 2018 to September 2019, SMARTY offered a £6.25/month Extra-Small plan. This came with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB of data. The Extra-Small plan is no longer available to new customers. However, it’s possible to sign up for the £7.50 Small plan and to receive a £1.25 discount for each gigabyte of unused data. This means you’ll continue to pay the same £6.25/month for 1GB of data.

Unused Data Discount

One of SMARTY’s unique selling points is their “unused data discount” on the Small, Medium and Large price plans. This gives you a cash discount on the following month’s plan based on data that remains unused at the end of your current month’s plan. This discount is offered at a rate of £1.25 per gigabyte, and means you’ll pay the exact same amount regardless of which plan you choose.

For instance, taking an example customer who uses 1.6GB of data per month, the actual price paid will always be £7/month. This is regardless of which plan you choose:

SMARTY Base Plan Actual Data Use Unused Data Unused Data Discount Your Following Month’s Plan
Small Plan
2GB @ £7.50
1.6GB 0.4GB
(2GB – 1.6GB = 0.4GB)
50p
(0.4GB x £1.25 = 50p)
£7 for 2GB
(£7.50 less 50p discount)
Medium Plan
4GB @ £10
1.6GB 2.4GB
(4GB – 1.6GB = 2.4GB)
£3
(2.4GB x £1.25 = £3)
£7 for 4GB
(£10 less £3 discount)
Large Plan
8GB @ £15
1.6GB 6.4GB
(8GB – 1.6GB = 6.4GB)
£8
(6.4GB x £1.25 = £8)
£7 for 8GB
(£15 less £8 discount)

Because of how this pricing structure works, it can often be advantageous to choose a larger plan. This is especially the case if you’re not sure how much data you need to use each month. Because of the unused data discount, you’ll only ever pay for what you actually use (but you’ll have more flexibility on the larger plans).

The unused data discount is calculated based on the number of megabytes you have remaining unused at the end of the month (1MB = 0.001GB). This means you’ll receive a discount for the exact amount of data you have remaining unused, rather than only in gigabyte increments.

The unused data discount is only available on the Small, Medium and Large data discount plans. If you’re on the Mini or Unlimited data plans, you won’t be eligible to receive a data discount.

As of September 2019, SMARTY says their customers have earned data discounts of more than £1.2million.

Pay As You Go Rates

All of SMARTY’s plans include unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and an allowance of data that can be used in the UK and when travelling in Europe. The inclusive minutes can be used for calling UK landlines and mobiles (that’s most phone numbers beginning with 01, 02, 03 and 07).

For everything else that’s not included in your allowance, you’ll need to top-up your SMARTY account with a cash add-on. This can then be used to pay for your out-of-allowance usage:

Calling Rates:
Calls to UK landline & mobile Included with base plan
Calls to Voicemail Included with base plan
Calls to International Numbers 3p/minute to £2/minute
Calls to Special Rate Numbers 3p/minute access charge
+ service charge from the company you’re calling
Messaging Rates:
Text Message (SMS) Included with base plan
Picture Message (MMS) Included with base plan
Internet Rates:
Mobile Internet £1.25/GB

It’s not possible to use SMARTY on a purely Pay As You Go basis. You’ll need to maintain an active plan at all times for you to be able to make and receive phone calls.

Comparison to Alternatives

Mini Plan

SMARTY’s entry-level Mini price plan costs £5 per month for unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data. This is a fairly competitive price plan for light mobile users, especially as you’re getting unlimited calls with your plan:

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
iD Mobile500Unlimited1GB£5.00
1 month
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited500MB£5.00
1 month
ASDA Mobile200Unlimited500MB£5.00
1 month
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited1.5GB£6.00
12 months
giffgaff300500500MB£6.00
1 month

Small Plan

For £7.50/month, SMARTY offers the Small price plan with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB of data. This is comparable to what you’ll get on a few other mobile networks, but you also have the added benefit of an unused data discount.

To give a comparison, giffgaff’s most similar price plan is the £8 goodybag. For £8/month (50p more than SMARTY), you’ll get 500 minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB of data. You also won’t be able to benefit from SMARTY’s unused data discount on other networks.

SMARTY’s £7.50 Small price plan compares as follows to rival mobile networks:

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
Plusnet MobileUnlimitedUnlimited2.5GB£7.00
1 month
iD Mobile1,200Unlimited2.5GB£7.00
1 month
ASDA Mobile300Unlimited2GB£7.00
1 month
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited2GB£7.50
1 month
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited3GB£8.00
12 months
Plusnet MobileUnlimitedUnlimited3GB£8.00
1 month
giffgaff500Unlimited2GB£8.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£9.00
12 months
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited3GB£9.00
1 month
Plusnet MobileUnlimitedUnlimited5.5GB£9.50
12 months
Plusnet MobileUnlimitedUnlimited5GB£9.50
1 month
To show you the most relevant price plans, 4 similar plans have been hidden. .

Medium Plan

SMARTY’s £10/month Medium plan comes with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 4GB of data. Other mobile networks can often beat this, offering more data for the same price.

The following table shows comparable SIM-only deals around the £10 per month price point:

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£9.00
12 months
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited3GB£9.00
1 month
Plusnet MobileUnlimitedUnlimited5.5GB£9.50
12 months
Plusnet MobileUnlimitedUnlimited5GB£9.50
1 month
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£10.00
1 month
Plusnet MobileUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£10.00
1 month
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited6GB£10.00
1 month
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited6GB£10.00
12 months
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£10.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£10.00
24 months
Plusnet MobileUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£10.00
12 months
ASDA Mobile600Unlimited4GB£10.00
1 month
Plusnet MobileUnlimitedUnlimited7.5GB£11.00
12 months
Plusnet MobileUnlimitedUnlimited7GB£11.00
1 month
To show you the most relevant price plans, 6 similar plans have been hidden. .

Large Plan

SMARTY’s £15 Large plan comes with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 8GB of data.

Again, this tends not to be very competitive at the £15/month price point. For instance, you can normally get 15GB of data per month on the SIM cards from giffgaff and VOXI. You won’t, however, be able to benefit from SMARTY’s unused data discount.

SMARTY’s £15 plan compares as follows to rival mobile networks:

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimited20GB£15.00
1 month
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited15GB£15.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£15.00
12 months
Plusnet MobileUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£15.00
12 months
Plusnet MobileUnlimitedUnlimited11GB£15.00
1 month
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£15.00
1 month
ASDA Mobile1,000Unlimited8GB£15.00
1 month
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited14GB£16.00
1 month
O2UnlimitedUnlimited9GB£16.00
12 months
To show you the most relevant price plans, 1 similar plans have been hidden. .

Unlimited Plan

SMARTY is one of six UK mobile networks to offer an unlimited data plan. The following table shows how SMARTY’s unlimited data plan compares against rival offerings from EE, giffgaff, Three, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile:

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£18.75
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£20.00
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£20.00
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£23.00
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£23.00
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£24.00
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimitedAlways-On£25.00
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£25.00
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£26.00
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£26.00
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£26.00
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£28.00
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£30.00
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£30.00
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£32.00
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£32.00
O2UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£33.00
EEUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£34.00
O2UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£35.00
EEUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£39.00
EEUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£44.00
To show you the most relevant price plans, 14 similar plans have been hidden. .

For more information about the fair usage policies that apply on each network, see our full guide to unlimited data plans in the UK. You can also read our in-depth reviews of unlimited data on EE, giffgaff, Three and Vodafone.

Handsets

SMARTY is a SIM-only mobile network, so you’ll need to provide your own unlocked handset to use with the service. You can use any compatible 3G or 4G smartphone, including your existing mobile phone or one that you’ve purchased SIM-free.

If you’re planning to use your existing smartphone, it might be necessary for you to first unlock it before using it on SMARTY. For more information, see our step-by-step guides to unlocking an iPhone and unlocking a Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

If you’re looking to buy a new unlocked smartphone, there are a number of online retailers where you can buy a SIM-free smartphone.

Network & Coverage

3G & 4G Coverage from Three

SMARTY offers 99.8% population coverage on 4G.

SMARTY is a low-cost sub-brand of Three. As Three provides all of the underlying coverage for SMARTY, customers will receive the exact same coverage as they would on Three.

At the time of writing, SMARTY offers 98.7% population coverage on 3G and 99.8% population coverage on 4G. You can check the coverage in your area by entering your postcode on SMARTY’s online coverage map:

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

Like Three, and like all other mobile networks using coverage from Three, SMARTY doesn’t provide any 2G coverage. This means a SMARTY SIM card will not work in a 2G-only handset. You may also have limited functionality when using a SMARTY SIM card in some dual-SIM smartphones.

Features like Wi-Fi Calling and 4G Calling are not currently available to customers on SMARTY.

For more information, please see our in-depth guide to coverage on Three. Alternatively, find out how mobile phone coverage works in the UK.

5G Coverage

At present, 5G coverage is not available to customers on SMARTY. However, they’ve announced that 5G is coming soon to the network.

Like their 3G and 4G coverage, SMARTY will also be using Three’s network for their 5G coverage. At present, Three offers 5G coverage in the following UK towns and cities:

Now Live1 towns and cities are live on Three 5G (September 2019)
London
Planned &
Announced
24 towns and cities planned
Birmingham, Bolton, Bradford, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Reading, Rotherham, Sheffield, Slough, Sunderland, Wolverhampton (End of 2019)

For more information, see our guide to the 5G rollout in the UK.

Tethering

Tethering or personal hotspot refers to the process of sharing your smartphone’s internet connection with another device (e.g. with your laptop or tablet). It’s useful for getting a mobile broadband connection on the go: for instance, sending e-mails from your laptop or watching YouTube videos on your tablet.

SMARTY allows the use of both tethering and portable hotspot. This is confirmed in the SMARTY help centre:

You’re entitled to use your data however you like, no matter which of the SMARTY plans you’re on, so you can tether and use your phone as a mobile hot spot with your full allowance if you want to.

The only exception to this is the Unlimited plan and if you’re roaming, where you’ll be limited to 19GB.

For more information, see our in-depth guide to tethering on UK mobile networks.

International Roaming

On SMARTY, it’s possible to use your mobile phone abroad through the international roaming service.

Within Europe, you can use your SMARTY plan allowances at no extra cost (capped at 19GB of data per month if you’re on the Unlimited plan).

Outside of Europe, you’ll need to top-up your account with a cash add-on. You’ll then pay SMARTY’s international roaming rates.

Between September 2017 and July 2018, international roaming was not available to customers on SMARTY. If you joined the SMARTY network before July 2018, you’ll need to make a change to your mobile phone settings to use your SIM card abroad.

Keeping Your Phone Number

If you’d like to keep your existing phone number when moving to SMARTY, it’s a straightforward process to transfer it from your old mobile network.

To do so, start off by ordering a SIM card from SMARTY. It will come with a temporary phone number, allowing you to test out SMARTY’s service before moving your phone number over.

Once you’ve ordered your SIM card, ask your old mobile network to provide you with a PAC Code. This can be obtained either online or by text message, and you should normally get the PAC Code within 60 seconds of your request.

When your SMARTY SIM card arrives in the post, pop it inside your phone and activate the service. You can then log in to your SMARTY account dashboard to provide your PAC Code and to have your phone number moved over.

For step-by-step instructions on how to move your phone number to Smarty, please select your current mobile network from the drop-down menu below:

PAC Code Finder: Transfer Your Phone Number to Smarty

Select your current mobile network:

  More Options

For more information about transferring your phone number between networks, please see our guide to using a PAC Code.

More Information

For more information, please see the official SMARTY Mobile website.

Your Comments 96 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 96 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Anthony Kistell said:

    Hello…I cannot get better than 2mb/sec from my landline broadband and although fibre is available at the Cabinet, there are no plans to upgrade the copper lines. I have therefore decided to bypass this limitation by getting a 4g usb router with a sim card slot. Now I see I can get a Smarty sim with unlimited calls and data for £18.75 per month. I want to use the data in my Desktop but how can I use the calls allowance on a separate mobile without swapping the sim card over? any help most welcome. Thanks

    • Hi JP,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, you’ll need to have an active plan with SMARTY if you’d like to receive incoming phone calls and text messages. If you don’t top-up in a given month, your service is essentially disabled (though I believe they do keep your login details and phone number active for some time, in case you’d like to top-up and re-join the service).
      Ken

      • Hi, thanks for replying. I thought the limit was related to roaming?
        But Smarty say ‘unlimited’? So this is false advertising isn’t it?

        • Hi there,
          There are two separate limits applying to this plan:
          1. There’s an overall 1,000GB/month threshold which is used to identify non-permitted “commercial usage” of the service. It’s likely your usage of the service will be investigated (or removed) if you reach this threshold.
          2. Separately, there’s a 19GB fair usage limit on the inclusive data roaming in Europe. Beyond this, you’ll be surcharged by SMARTY (approx 0.5p/MB).
          Hope this helps,
          Ken

          • Further to my last Ken. We live in the hills and the Smarty sim and generic 4G router is an attempt to better our 12mbps BT broadband. Trouble is we can not get better than 10mbps in the house with Smarty sim. Do you know if an internal wired antenna would make much difference?

            Thanks for the great service!

          • Hi there,
            No worries, and glad I can be of help! With regards to an external antenna, it’s really difficult to say without actually trying it for yourself! There’s a bit more information about 4G antennas on this page, in case it’s helpful (and consider checking the returns policy when you buy an antenna, in case you find it doesn’t help to improve your coverage or speeds).
            Ken

          • Strange this, I can only get around 10mbps on router using Smarty sim in a 4G router, Smarty reply “3G average speed is about 7Mb or 8Mb per second, and 4G is about 20Mb per second. That is across the whole base not specific to a post code.” But I get around 28mbps on 4G using an iPhone 6 at the same location – so am I right in thinking there is more signal/speed available? Maybe an antenna?

          • Hi there,
            Yes – the fact you’re able to get 28Mbit/s on your iPhone 6 definitely implies it should be possible to get higher speeds. Which router are you using, if you don’t mind me asking? It’s possibly also worth checking the LTE category & MIMO support on your router to ensure this isn’t constraining the download speeds you can get, compared to an iPhone.
            Ken

  • the unlimited calls and texts is a scam my sim was cancelled without any prior warning and took 5 days to be reactivate via the “always available chat” for sending 3000 texts in one month…………….
    and cancelle again for tlking over an hour on the phone daily
    WHERE THE UNLIMITEd,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    • Hi Alan,
      Thanks for your comment. There shouldn’t be any issue calling a Vodafone phone number from SMARTY. If the problems persists, consider getting in touch with SMARTY’s support team so they can have a look into the problem for you.
      Ken

  • Hi I have unlimited data sim that doe’s not appear to want to tether when I visited Malta or Spain. Is the 19gb tether limit per month?

    • Hi Simon,
      Thanks for your comment. It’s likely this is probably due to a configuration issue on your phone – perhaps it’s worth double checking the APN settings?
      Whilst you’re travelling in Europe, there’s a fair usage policy of 19GB per month. This policy doesn’t distinguish between normal usage and tethering. Once you go over this limit, a surcharge will be applied but this also shouldn’t stop you from tethering on your phone.
      Ken

  • Hi Ken I have a 4g tp-link router which I have a smarty data sim in it. It works great, I am going abroad and have seen that you need to change settings to :- as below.

    Access Point Name: mob.asm.net
    Username: (blank)
    Password: (blank)
    Proxy Address: leave blank
    Proxy Port: leave blank
    Network Type Preset: IPv4
    Authentication Type: none
    Setting up the MMS APN
    MMS Access Point Name: mob.asm.net
    Username: (blank)
    Password: (blank)
    Proxy Address: mms.three.co.uk
    Proxy Port: 8799
    MMSC Address: http://mms.um.three.co.uk:10021/mmsc
    Network Type Preset: IPv4
    Authentication Type: (blank)
    Maximum Message Size: 307200

    The problem is my router settings only give me the apn field username and password. I have put the Access Point Name: mob.asm.net in it and left user name and password blank, the router is working fine with these settings installed while I am in the UK can you confirm that this will work with these settings in the EU, or will it require all the other settings Smarty say to change. Many thanks Dave

    • Hi Dave,
      Thanks for your comment. That’s a great question, and unfortunately, I don’t know the answer. I should have thought that things should be fine if it works with those settings in the UK, but it might be worth double checking with SMARTY Customer Services before you go abroad.
      Ken

  • I have a contract with a Smarty Sim . It seems not good at all please be aware of it as I have payed this contract on the 24th of June and still doesn’t make calls or receive calls.. I have sent several emails to there customer services and after all I had one reply from them..
    PLEASE PLEASE DONT FALL ON THIS CONTRACT AS IT WILL NEVER WORK AND YOU END UP LOOSING YOUR MONEY..

  • Hi Ken,

    I wanted to alert you to perhaps a good deal for people who wanted a 4g home wifi solution without any long contracts currently offered by the likes of Vodafone and 3.

    A way around could be to get a SMARTY unlimited data sim (currently £18.25 rolling contract) and simply to source a 4g home wifi router online. SMARTY are overt in saying that their sim can be used in dongles and wifi routers unlike some other sims.

    Best,

    J

    • Hi Jason,
      Thanks for the heads up about this. Yes, agreed, this is a fantastic deal for anyone who is looking to use a 4G home broadband router 🙂
      Ken

  • Liza Pinder said:

    My dad is struggling to access 4G with his new SMART SIM, so whilst in france for the last fortnight he has been unable to access data roaming and had no email or WhatsApp- please can you inform me how we ensure this is available. All data roaming, mobile tethering etc is switched on.

    • Hi Liza,
      Thanks for your comment. Is he receiving any signal for calling and texting? If so, it’s likely that an update to the mobile internet settings is required to enable international roaming (see information here). The data roaming setting will also need to be enabled through the phone’s settings menu.
      If there’s an absence of coverage altogether (e.g. he isn’t even able to make or receive phone calls), I’d recommend getting in touch with SMARTY to ask about this.
      Ken

  • Hi I am thinking about getting the Smarty unlimited data sim for use 3/4 times per year when I am abroad. I have noticed that the 30 day contract can be paused for up to 6 months by using the dashboard on the app. I will be using the sim in my own mobile wifi router. Will I be able to pause the use of the sim via some web interface as the sim will be in the router or will I need to contact Smarty via telephone?

  • Carol Jackson said:

    Hi I got my SIM from Smarties.. When I put the SIM in my phone it came up saying locked SIM network then underneath for you to put a puk code in. I’ve messaged Smarties on chat.ive emailed them 3 times and had no reply. I’ve had my SIM for a week now and feeling very frustrated that I have been able to use it. I’ve paid 10 pound for SIM that is said to be good yet I can get no help from the company to get it working

  • Hi Ken

    I am looking at using SMARTY to replace a home internet connection. I tried a THREE sim to check speed. It was rapid.

    So I have been looking at getting a 4G router, connecting this to my computer via ethernet, and simply using it as I would a normal connection. Does this count as tethering? I think it does?

    I spoke to customer service. He seemed to be getting confused. He said that I could use the full unlimited package in this way. Then in a different email, to a separate address, the same guy told me tethering was limited to 19GB. Do you think he was confusing this with the tethering and roaming policy?

    Did you try something similar, and was it allowed?

    Thanks

    • Hi Lee,
      Thanks for your comment. You can use a SMARTY SIM card in any device, including in a 4G home broadband router. There are no restrictions on tethering when using SMARTY, so you can use the unlimited allowance as normal through a router (in fact, almost all UK mobile networks have removed restrictions on tethering since an Ofcom net neutrality ruling last year).
      With regards to the 19GB limit, this is how much data you can use at no extra charge when travelling in the EU. It has nothing to do with tethering – I think it’s just the customer services team getting two things crosswired!
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • Can anyone tell me the cost of calls from UK to Jersey in the Channel Islands on a Smarty sim deal & if the same rate applies to Jersey landlines & mobiles?

  • John Merrett said:

    I have a Kuma 4G Pocket Wi Fi Kit, and a Smarty data only sim. I want to use it in France. Smarty say that I have to input new settings to make it work. Kuma say that a VPN will resolve all issues. I have no idea how to add a VPN to the Kuma setup, and no means of changing the settings on the Smarty card. Any suggestions, please?

    • Hi there,
      Yes, you’ll need to pay the £5/month service charge regardless of whether you actually use the SIM card. The £5/month charge gives you unlimited calls & texts (and pays for the running of the network, according to SMARTY).
      Ken

  • Derrick Longstaff said:

    I’m looking at the unlimited plan £25 per month plan, usage will be mostly abroad (Cyprus)
    Question…..
    A) can the sim be used in a mi-fi modem.
    B) Is there a cap on the amount of internet data useage when abroad.
    Many thanks
    Del

  • Best network I’ve ever used! Good coverage and REALLY fast download speed! I’m on the 4GB plan only paying about £10/month!

    * Customer service was great online and numbers transferred with 24 hrs.
    * Fast 4G speeds, good phone coverage
    * Use your SMARTY plan as normal when travelling to EU Countries
    * plus money back on unused data (£1.25/GB)

  • Can anyone confirm that the Sim with Unlimited data will work in a Mobile-Wifi router – I am hoping to use it for watching NOW TV/Amazon Prime

  • Rosemary White said:

    I just added my new Smarty sim to 3G tablet, and although the device has recognised Smarty as the network, my tablet keeps saying NO SIM DETECTED. Can you help

    • Hi Rosemary,
      Thanks for your comment. This is really odd – can you tell me what you mean by the tablet recognising the SIM card, but saying No SIM detected? A SMARTY SIM card should work absolutely fine in a tablet, assuming it is unlocked for use any network.
      Ken

  • thomas burrows said:

    Excellent network, transfered my mobile number pain free,VERY competitive rates and money back for unused date…also great signal…glad I dumped EE.

  • Does anyone know offhand if you’d be able to put an unlimited SIM from Smarty in a Mifi/Homefi and use it that way in replacement of home broadband, or would it be against their terms and blocked? I’ve tried looking through their T&Cs but couldn’t find anything about that specifically.

    I was planning on getting Three’s unlimited Homefi, but the fact I wouldn’t be tied into a contract for 2 years is very attractive even though it would be a little more expensive, if it’s possible.

    • Nevermind, found it right there on their site in black and white: “Our SIMs also work with tablets and mobile broadband devices like dongles and WiFi routers. Simply choose your plan, pop your SMARTY SIM in, and you’re good to go.”

      Sold!

  • Hi, I’m looking to purchase the £10 sim for my son. I would like to know once he has used all the data included in this package would he have no mobile data and physically have to buy more data or is it just added on automatically if he tries to use extra mobile data? I’m trying to work out if it’s capped or not? I wouldn’t want him using extra data with or without knowing and then being left with a much bigger bill than £10. Many thanks

    • Hi Kate,
      Many thanks for your comment. You’ll be glad to know that SMARTY is a pre-paid product, so all of your usage is capped by default. If you need additional data, you’ll need to top-up your SIM card with a “cash add-on” which can then be used to pay for data at the rate of £1.25/GB. No risk of accidentally using too much data and then getting an unexpected bill 🙂
      Ken

    • Hi Debra,
      Thanks for your comment. Technically, SMARTY works on a pre-paid basis with you just paying for 30 days usage each time. Therefore, there’s no need for you to give any notice – you can simply stop using the service when your bundle comes to an end.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • What an utter rubbish network.
    It either works out of the box or you are stuck with rubbish customer service – there is no way to actually talk to a person when this network fails.

    Not only is there nobody to talk to but the rubbish ‘chat’ ceases at 8. Though in fairness if you are ‘chatting’ to people who know nothing during the day I think you can reasonably assume they would be equally useless in the evening so I guess it wouldn’t serve a purpose.

    I ported to this rubbish network a few days ago and it worked for a day. Now does not work in iPhone and customer services are useless. Just get fobbed off with assurances the matter has been escalated. Well I need a network to use – I can’t use ‘assurances.

    There’s often a reason things are cheap – and this MVNO is a prime example of that.
    There’s no commitment as such but leaving won’t get me the deal I left for SMARTY and this rubbish service (or non service) has already cost me money to set up which won’t port across.
    Nice little scam then really.

    Avoid like the plague.

  • Switched to Smarty from Vodaphone as they are miles cheaper. So far it’s been really good with no signal problems and pretty fast 4G data.

    And as you get money off your bill each month for any data you don’t use if you switch off mobile data and don’t use it you basically get a phone with unlimited calls and texts for only £5 per month! Bargain!

  • Marco Pisano said:

    Great deal! I went for the £10 one which gives you unlimited texts and calls to UK numbers and 4GB. For every GB you don’t use they will knock off £1.25 from your next bill.

    You can use the allowances from within the EU with no problems. My sim card arrived the next day and porting my old number was very easy.

    The only reason I’m not giving 5 stars is because they don’t have an app to check your balance but you can do it via their website on your dashboard.

    They also offer a referral scheme giving you and your referral one month for free.

  • SMARTY mobile network works fine. they give one month free and cashback for unused data

    I ordered SIM and got it after 2 days. It works perfectly. Coverage and Internet speed is really fine in Leeds area.
    I used referral link and got one month free.

  • This looks pretty good to me . Soon to be leaving TalkTalk broadband with unlimited calls and free sim for Vodafone Broadband with no calls package-so the unlimited minutes with this is a big hook for me . Add in that I use very little data , sometimes none in a month (maybe because I trained myself because I only had 500mbs) -free WiFi is everywhere – I would expect to be getting the discount every month , but it’s nice to know the data is there if I need it. Let’s face it , it’s £4-5 for a basic sim with minimal minutes and texts , 250ish ,eg my ‘free’ TalkTalk sim (500mbs/300mins/unlimited texts) is valued at £5 , plus I was paying £5 for my call package , so I am already in front if I choose the small package , though as you suggest I might go for the large offer . My only small gripe is I wish they would discount on smaller amounts of data – 500mbs perhaps.

    • Reading the comments below it looks like I have misunderstood the unused data discount- I thought it meant only whole GBs would be discounted, whereas it looks like it’s applied to mbs – wahey, even better !👍

    • Hi Marilyn,
      I believe you’re only able to purchase it from the UK. If you’re visiting the UK and want to top up with an Australian credit card, I’d recommend reading my article here. In short, it’s likely that giffgaff will be a better option for you as they allow you to use non-UK credit cards, and also provide low-cost international calling.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

      • Thanks Ken. Giffgaff was my back up plan! I was concerned that using an Australian credit card could prove difficult. You have been a great help. One more decision made!
        Regards
        Marilyn

    • Hi Ant,
      There is no limit to the number of times they’ll refund unused data. If you were never to use any data at all, you’d just pay £5/month for unlimited calls and unlimited texts.
      Ken

  • Hi Ken – Apologies if this has been mentioned elsewhere but, if the separate allocation of £5 for service,calls and texts is ignored, the £15 large plan would appear to be the best value. On the assumption that any purchase is used in full, the cost per GB equates to £3.75 for Small, £2.50 for Medium and £1.88 for Large. These figures would of course vary if any discounts are taken or extra purchases made. After all, all providers include calls and texts in plans (albeit not always unlimited), so any mention of the £5 charge can be ignored.

    • Hi Pete,
      Many thanks for your comment. I’m not sure it really makes sense to ignore the £5 allocation for unlimited calls and unlimited texts. The reason being that customers on any Smarty plan can use additional data outside of their allowance at the rate of the £1.25/GB (this is essentially the opposite of an “unused data discount”, where you pay a little bit more for data used over your base allowance). Therefore, someone on the 4GB plan costing £10/month could buy another 4GB by paying £5 (therefore taking them back up to £15 for 8GB of data). The result of this is the overall amount you pay only depends on how much data you use, and not on which of the three plans you choose.
      Saying that, it’s certainly the case that as you use more data on your plan, the overall impact of the £5/month allocation becomes a lot smaller relative to the cost of your data. For instance, if you were to use 100GB per month, you’d pay £130 for this (£1.30 per GB under your calculation above). If you were to use 1000GB per month, you’d pay £1255 (£1.255 per GB under your calculation above) and so on 🙂
      Ken

      • Hi Ken thank you for your reply and point taken. However, I think that someone intending to purchase, for example, just one Small plan a month for £7.50 could mislead him/herself into thinking they are paying just £1.25 per GB for the 2 GB they receive whereas they are in fact paying £3.75 per GB with calls,texts and admin included (as with any other provider). That said, £3.75 per GB for a small plan is still good value compared with,say, GiffGaff where £7.50 will purchase just 1 GB. I do of course agree that any top ups would improve the value for money.

        • Hi Pete,
          That absolutely makes sense 🙂 I’m probably one of those people who rarely use minutes & texts these days, so your calculation is probably also more applicable to me.
          One interesting aspect of the mobile market is that people’s data usage doesn’t always increase with the size of their allowance (especially so when it gets beyond a certain point). That’s partly one reason we now see lots of deals on the market offering 20GB of data, 50GB of data or even 100GB of data (often at the £20 to £30 price point). Many people pick these tariffs are they have really good “per gigabyte” rates, though of course, they never actually use them and then end up paying more overall!
          Ken

    • Hi Nikki,
      I believe the plans at Smarty are essentially “capped” (technically, it’s a Pay As You Go service and as such, you’ll need to buy a “cash add-on” for out-of-bundle usage). For this reason, it shouldn’t be possible to get an unexpected large bill – all that could happen is you’d use up the cash add-on balance.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • I wonder if they just pretend they can not do roaming, as it cheaper than offering roaming in Europe, due to the cost of using other mobile networks.

    As well the big networks have a bit of leverage as they own a network in the UK, so can give a discount to the company’s that let them use there networks abroad.

    • I asked the question to their customer support and they said they are working on it now, but because of the technical deploy it’s not quick (hence why they launched without). Apparently, they don’t use Three’s systems, only their network infrastructure.

      All in all very quick response and so far can’t complain at all. Discount at the end of the month is always welcome 😉

  • I would strongly recommend avoiding this network. They have zero customer service in the weekends, and take ages to rectify anything. I recently ordered, received and attempted to reactivate a replacement sim. The website didn’t work and I requested aid with this. They activated my original simcard, and started my billing. To top it off, they didn’t tell me this had occured, and I ALSO DO NOT HAVE THE ORIGINAL SIMCARD. I am in the opinion that Smarty is a scam. Strongly avoid.

    • I’m sorry you’ve had a bad experience with them. I joined Smarty as a customer a few days after they started trading and can assure you that they are not a scam. Their customer service is online 8 am to 8 pm seven days a week, I’ve only had to use it once, but can tell you the service was fast prompt and efficient.

  • Why did three feel the need to start a whole new brand instead of starting this under their own network? Not that I’m bothered. I’m just curious. I signed up this week. So far, I cannot fault it.

    • Hi David,
      Thanks a lot for the feedback on the Smarty! I think Three have decided to set this up as a separate brand so they don’t cannibalise the revenues on their core brand. It also targets a slightly different demographic and has a different level of service (e.g. you won’t have access to in-store or telephone support with Smarty and also features like international roaming and Wuntu are missing on this tariff). It’s a similar strategy to what O2 has done with giffgaff, though obviously much earlier days for Smarty!
      Ken

      • Troy Cooper replied:

        Yes, this is pretty much correct. From my contact with them, I have understood that they are owned by Three, but still act as a standalone company with their own budget, strategies and so on (Quoted from support – “We are owned by Three but we operate separately from them with different brand strategies etc” and “We had to make our company from the ground up with Three’s UK network as our backbone”). This is a great network, especially for youth, but it does have its flaws. The biggest one for me is Roaming. I believe their main issue is that they cannot use Three’s roaming infrastructure, and are still working out their own deals with International Partners. There is no time-scale, but I was given an educated guess of 6 months, bringing us to April 2018. However, this is a guess and no guarantee. I was told you can email team@smarty.co.uk for updates.

        In conclusion, I highly recommend this operator, especially for the youth down to their buy-back-data scheme and good value plans.
        Hope this helped someone 🙂

        • Hi Troy,
          Thanks for the feedback and update, especially around international roaming on Smarty. It’s interesting that they aren’t able to leverage Three’s roaming infrastructure – now you mention it, there are also a number of other Three MVNOs that lack roaming (e.g. FreedomPop, ROK Mobile, Tello, etc) so this makes a lot of sense. I had never previously put this down to Three’s network limitations (I guess iD Mobile & TPO Mobile, two other MVNOs on Three, have negotiated their own roaming partner agreements).
          Thanks again!
          Ken

  • What a shame it runs on the 3 mobile network because otherwise I would have been tempted. Hoping they would add international roaming too soon.

  • Just so you know. The plans have been released for Smarty. There is a plan for 2GB, 4GB and 8GB. The nice thing is, if you use 8GB on a 2GB plan, it will cost the same as an 8GB plan, so almost no worries about excessive overage charges. Which is fine by me 😂.

    The discount rate is £1.25 per gigabyte, so I’d pay £5.60 if I used only 480mb. And for that much, unlimited calls and unlimited text for that much, it’s a cracker for lower users as well, as long as you use the discount. Absolutely changing to it. Will need to keep the O2 sim for roaming though 😬

    • Hi Aayush,
      Thanks for the heads up about this! I’ll get this article updated in the next few days to reflect Smarty’s actual price plans at launch.
      Thanks again,
      Ken

  • Q. What happens if you try to transfer a number (via a pac code) between providers that use the same network, e.g. Three to Smarty, Three to idmobile, plusnet (ee) to bt (ee) etc, etc?
    Is it possible or do source and destination networks have to be different?

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