SMARTY offers a £20 unlimited data SIM card with no contract and no credit check required.
The plan is available on a one-month rolling basis, with no contract and no credit check required.
In this article, we’ll review SMARTY’s unlimited data SIM card. We’ll start by looking at their £20 unlimited plan including what you can do with it, the download speeds available and the monthly fair usage policy. We’ll then look at how SMARTY’s unlimited data SIM compares to rival networks and at the coverage available on SMARTY. Finally, we’ll look at how you can keep your phone number when moving to the SMARTY mobile network.
- 1 Unlimited Data on SMARTY
- 2 Comparison to Alternatives
- 3 Network & Coverage
- 4 Keeping Your Phone Number
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
- 6 More Information
Unlimited Data on SMARTY
No Download Limits
In the UK, SMARTY is a budget-orientated mobile network, owned and operated by Three. Specialising in SIM cards that work on a one-month rolling basis, customers can join SMARTY without the need for a credit check.
At the moment, SMARTY’s flagship price plan is their £20 unlimited plan which comes with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited data. You’ll get 3G and 4G coverage from the Three network when using a SMARTY Mobile SIM card:
SMARTY’s unlimited data plan works on a pre-paid basis so you’ll pay for each month’s usage in advance. The payment is taken automatically each month from a registered credit card or debit card unless you disable the automatic renewal within your SMARTY account.
For any out-of-bundle usage (e.g. international or premium-rate phone calls), you can top-up a separate cash balance onto your SMARTY account.
4G Download Speeds
On SMARTY’s unlimited data plan, you’ll get access to 3G & 4G coverage from Three network. The download speeds available on SMARTY are the same as on Three, with no speed restrictions or throttling in place on the service.
The download speeds on SMARTY can vary substantially by location. In theory, it’s possible to get up to Category 6 LTE speeds on SMARTY (up to 300Mbps). However, speeds are more typically in the region of 20-30Mbps.
On Three, you’ll get unlimited data from just £18 per month and you’ll have access to 5G download speeds in areas where coverage is available:
For more information, see our guide to unlimited data on Three.
Fair Use Policy
SMARTY doesn’t have any speed restrictions for using too much data. However, there’s a fair usage limit of 1,000GB per month which is used to identify non-permitted commercial usage of the service:
Our Unlimited plan is the only 1-month tariff available that’s open to everyone and has no speed restrictions (unlike another plan out there). Tethering and personal hotspot use is also included as standard on the plan.
We have set a usage cap at 1,000GB. When tested, using a mobile for every minute of every day only used around 1,000GB in a month. Setting this cap helps us to identify any commercial use of our services, which is not permitted by our terms and conditions.
In addition, if you’re travelling to another European country, you’ll only be able to use up to 20GB of data per month.
Tethering & Personal Hotspot
Tether without worrying
You can tether and hot-spot all of your data with no speed caps as long as you’re in the UK.
The use of tethering or personal hotspot can be a convenient way to get your other devices (including a laptop or tablet) connected to the internet.
SMARTY Mobile Broadband
You can use SMARTY’s unlimited data SIM card in other devices like your tablet, mobile broadband dongle, mobile wi-fi hotspot or 4G home broadband router.
In fact, you can build your own 4G home broadband service by combining SMARTY’s unlimited data SIM card with something like an unlocked Huawei B311 router. You’d then pay just £20/month for unlimited 4G home broadband through your SMARTY SIM card.
The one downside of using SMARTY for 4G home broadband is the lack of a publicly-accessible IP address. This is because SMARTY uses CGNAT technology, assigning you an IP address that’s unable to accept incoming connections. This won’t make any difference for most online activities, but it can stop you from doing things like running a server, using certain P2P apps or playing some online games. If you’d like a publicly-accessible IP, it’s better to get a SIM card from Three instead. On Three, you can get a public IP address when using the 3internet APN. This service is not available to customers on SMARTY.
Comparison to Alternatives
In the UK, there are numerous other mobile networks also offering an unlimited data plan.
At £20/month with no contract, SMARTY is one of the better value options. However, it’s slightly cheaper to get a SIM card from Three (on Three, unlimited data is available for just £18 per month). You’ll also get additional features like Go Roam Around The World which gives you inclusive roaming in 71 destinations.
The following table compares SMARTY’s unlimited data plan to what is available on other networks:
|To show you the most relevant plans, 11 similar but more expensive plans have been hidden. Tap here to show them.|
For more information, see our full guide to unlimited data plans in the UK.
Network & Coverage
3G & 4G Coverage from Three
On SMARTY’s unlimited data plan, you’ll get coverage from the Three mobile network. At the time of writing, this equates to 99.8% population coverage on 4G and 98.7% population coverage on 3G.
You can check the coverage in your area by entering your postcode on SMARTY’s online coverage map:
Unfortunately, SMARTY doesn’t provide any 2G coverage. For this reason, your mobile phone will need to support at least 3G coverage at a minimum. You may also be unable to use a SMARTY SIM card in some dual-SIM smartphones.
For more information, see our in-depth guide to SMARTY’s mobile network and coverage.
Unfortunately, 5G coverage isn’t currently available to customers on SMARTY. Although their website says 5G will be launching in the future, they’ve said that they’re currently focussing on upgrading 3G and 4G instead.
If you’d like access to 5G coverage, we’d recommend getting a SIM card from Three instead. On Three, you can get a 5G-ready unlimited data SIM card for only £18 per month. You’ll then have access to 5G coverage in all of the following UK towns and cities:
|Now Live||68 towns and cities are live on Three 5G (September 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
For more information, see our guide to 5G on Three.
If you’re travelling abroad to one of 35 European destinations, you can use up to 20GB of data abroad at no extra cost. You can also use the unlimited minutes and texts from your SMARTY plan. The following destinations are included in this offer:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Comoros & Mayotte, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Reunion, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland
If you’re travelling outside Europe, you’ll need to buy an “Out of plan” add-on. The costs for using your SMARTY SIM card outside Europe can be significant. For instance, when travelling to the United States, you’ll pay 50p/minute, 20p/text and 10p/MB (equivalent to £100 per gigabyte). It isn’t possible to use your plan allowances when travelling outside Europe.
For more information, see SMARTY’s web page on international roaming.
Keeping Your Phone Number
If you’d like to keep your current phone number when joining SMARTY Mobile, it’s a straightforward process to transfer it from your old mobile network.
Start by ordering your unlimited data SIM card from SMARTY’s website. It will initially come with a temporary phone number assigned to it, allowing you to test out the service before moving your phone number over.
Once you’re happy to move your phone number over, get a PAC Code from your old network. This is available through your mobile network’s website or app, or by texting PAC to 65075. You can then submit the PAC Code to SMARTY through your online dashboard. Once you’ve done that, your phone number transfer will take place on the next working day.
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:
For more information on transferring your phone number between networks, see our in-depth guide to using a PAC Code.
Frequently Asked Questions
|What is SMARTY’s unlimited data SIM card?|
|What download speeds are available with unlimited data on SMARTY?||
SMARTY offers 3G and 4G coverage. In theory, you can get up to Category 6 LTE download speeds (up to 300Mbps), but speeds will more typically be in the region of 20-30Mbps.
If you’d like access to 5G speeds, you’ll need to get a 5G-ready SIM card from Three instead. On Three, you’ll get unlimited data with 5G for £18 per month.
|Can I use a SMARTY SIM card for mobile broadband?||
Yes. SMARTY has confirmed on their website that you can use their unlimited data SIM card in devices like your tablet, mobile broadband dongle, mobile wi-fi hotspot or 4G home broadband router.
|Does SMARTY offer 5G coverage?|
|How does SMARTY compare to Three for unlimited data?||
On SMARTY, you’ll pay £20 for unlimited data on a one-month rolling contract with 3G & 4G speeds.
On Three, you’ll pay £18 per month for unlimited data and access to 5G. You’ll also get inclusive roaming in 71 destinations through the Go Roam offer. The disadvantage is you’ll need to sign up for a contract to get this.
|Can I keep my current phone number?||
Yes. It’s a straightforward process to keep your current phone number. Ask your old mobile network to provide you with a PAC Code. You can get one through your mobile network’s website or app, or by texting PAC to 65075. Once you’ve ordered your SMARTY unlimited data SIM card, you can provide the PAC Code to SMARTY through your online account.
For more information on SMARTY’s unlimited data plan, please see their official website.