Talkmobile is a low-cost network that’s fully owned by Vodafone (it was previously a part of the Carphone Warehouse until 2015). It offers a 3G-only service from £5/month.
Talkmobile is a low-cost sub-brand of Vodafone offering a 3G-only service from £5/month. Previously a part of the Carphone Warehouse, Talkmobile was adopted by Vodafone in 2015 (the Carphone Warehouse now sells their own-brand contracts through iD Mobile).
Today, Talkmobile is mainly focused on Pay Monthly SIM cards. However, they also offer Pay Monthly smartphones and Pay As You Go SIM cards. New customers are able to join Talkmobile on any of these tariffs. Existing customers can also upgrade to one of the new plans.
In this article, we review the Talkmobile service. We’ll look at the price plans available on Talkmobile and how they compare to rival offerings from other networks. We’ll also look at the coverage on Talkmobile and how you can keep your existing phone number when moving to the network.
- 1 Pricing & Tariffs
- 2 Comparison to Alternatives
- 3 Network & Coverage
- 4 Keeping Your Phone Number
- 5 More Information
Pricing & Tariffs
Talkmobile currently offers three types of tariff:
- Pay Monthly SIM Cards: You’ll be given a new low-cost SIM card that will slot inside your existing unlocked smartphone. This will be on either a 12-month or a 30-day contract.
- Pay Monthly Handsets: Here, you’ll be given a new smartphone on a 24-month contract.
- Pay As You Go SIM Card: You’ll get a Pay As You Go SIM card for your existing unlocked smartphone. On the Talkmobile Happy Hour tariff, you’ll pay a flat rate of 10p for phone calls up to one hour. You’ll also pay 4p/text and 2p/MB when accessing the internet.
Pay Monthly SIM Cards
The most competitive offering from Talkmobile is currently their Pay Monthly SIM cards for your existing unlocked smartphone. At present, they have a choice of four SIM cards on a 12-month contract and another four SIM cards on a 30-day contract. The four tiers of SIM card are named Small, Medium, Large and X-Large:
|12 month contracts||30 day contracts|
In general, we’d recommend the 12-month contracts as they offer much better value than the 30-day equivalents (you’ll get a larger monthly allowance for a much lower price).
When ordering your SIM card from the Talkmobile website, you’ll need to choose the size of SIM card you require (see our guide if you aren’t sure which one you need for your phone). Some of the 30-day contracts are hidden away towards the bottom of the page so you’ll need to scroll down in order to find them.
Pay Monthly Handsets
When it was still a part of the Carphone Warehouse, Talkmobile had a strong emphasis on selling Pay Monthly handsets. Nowadays, as a fully-owned subsidiary of Vodafone, Talkmobile has greatly de-emphasised the handset offering. While you’re still able to buy a smartphone from Talkmobile, the selection is limited and most of the phones are fairly old.
Pay Monthly handsets come on a choice of three different price plans:
- Small: 250 mins, 5000 texts, 500MB internet
- Medium: 500 mins, 5000 texts, 1GB internet
- Large: 1000 mins, 5000 texts, 2GB internet
The exact price will depend on which handset you choose (e.g. the Medium plan is £10/month with a Moto E 4G and £25/month with an iPhone 5s). There’s no upfront cost on all of the Pay Monthly handsets but you’ll need to sign up for a 24-month agreement.
Pay As You Go
Talkmobile also has a Pay As You Go offering known as ‘Happy Hour’. With this, you pay a flat rate of just 10p per phone call lasting up to one hour (it’s 8p/minute if you go over one hour). Text messages will cost 4p each and accessing the mobile internet will cost you 2p/MB.
You can order a Pay As You Go SIM card on the Talkmobile website.
|Voice Calls||10p connection charge
+ no further charges for up to 60 minutes
+ 8p/minute after the first 60 minutes
|Calls to Voicemail||8p/minute|
|Calls to Special Rate Numbers||15p/minute access charge
+ service charge from the company you’re calling
|Text Message (SMS)||4p|
|Picture Message (MMS)||30p|
Talkmobile also has an alternative price plan called Pay As You Go Rewards. With this, you’ll pay a higher rate for your calls and texts (25p/minute and 12p/text, discounted to 10p/minute and 6p/text to other Talkmobile customers). Mobile internet will cost you 25p/day for up to 25MB of data (then 10p/MB if you go over this limit).
The benefit of ‘Pay As You Go Rewards’ is you’ll get a free allowance whenever you top up (e.g. 60 free minutes or 1400 free texts when you top up with £10 of credit). Your free top-up allowances will last for between 7 and 30 days. You can change tariff after getting your SIM card by calling Talkmobile Customer Services on 5888 (by default, you’ll be placed on the Happy Hour tariff where you aren’t able to earn rewards).
Comparison to Alternatives
Small SIM Only Plan
For £5/month, Talkmobile currently offers 100 minutes, 5000 texts and 100MB of 3G internet on their ‘Small’ price plan.
For the same monthly price, customers living in a BT Broadband household can get 200 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of 4G internet on BT Mobile (the full price is £10/month if you’re in a household without BT Broadband).
For non-BT Broadband households, giffgaff has a £5/month deal with 100 minutes, 300 texts and 100MB of 4G internet. A key benefit of the deal from giffgaff is there’s only a 30-day commitment (this compares to the 12-month contract on Talkmobile and BT Mobile).
inc. £5 discount
Medium SIM Only Plan
For £7.50/month, Talkmobile currently offers 1000 minutes, 5000 texts and 1GB of 3G internet (this is on the Medium plan with a 12-month commitment). In general, this compares fairly well to the rest of the market (elsewhere, you’d be looking to pay at least £10/month for 1GB of data):
inc. £5 discount
Large SIM Only Plan
For £10/month, you’ll get 3000 minutes, 5000 texts and 2GB of 3G internet on the Talkmobile Large plan (on a 12-month contract).
Customers in a BT Broadband household can get 500 minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB of 4G data for £10/month (£15/month if you’re in a household without BT Broadband).
For £11/month, Three offers 2GB of 4G data but you’ll only get 200 minutes to use every month:
inc. £5 discount
X-Large SIM Only Plan
At £15/month, Talkmobile currently offers the X-Large SIM card with 5000 minutes, 5000 texts and 4GB of 3G internet. For the same monthly price, giffgaff will give you 4GB of 4G internet but with only 1000 minutes to use every month:
inc. £5 discount
For more information, please see our full comparison of the UK’s best value SIM-only deals.
Pay As You Go Pricing
On Pay As You Go, Talkmobile currently charges 10p per phone call (lasting up to 60 minutes). They also charge 4p/text and 2p/MB for accessing the mobile internet. In general, this compares fairly well against the mainstream mobile networks. However, cheaper deals are available elsewhere (e.g. on the 321 tariff from Three):
|Network||Calls (per minute)||Texts (per SMS)||Data (per MB)|
|Talkmobile||10p/call (up to 60 mins)||4p/text||2p/MB|
|giffgaff||10p/minute||6p/text||20p/day for 20MB|
|O2||30p/minute||14p/text||£1/day for 50MB|
|Vodafone||30p/minute||14p/text||£2/day for 50MB|
Network & Coverage
2G & 3G Coverage from Vodafone
Talkmobile is a virtual network operator that uses Vodafone as their coverage provider. Customers using Talkmobile will get 2G and 3G coverage on the Vodafone network. At present, this gives about 99% population coverage across the UK.
Unfortunately, 4G coverage isn’t available on the Talkmobile network. It’s not known whether 4G will ever launch on Talkmobile given its position as a low-cost sub-brand of the Vodafone network (the 4G connectivity is a key differentiator of Vodafone’s main service).
At present, virtual network operators using the Vodafone network are all restricted to having only 2G and 3G coverage.
Tethering or personal hotspot refers to the process of sharing your smartphone’s internet connection with other devices (e.g. with your laptop or tablet).
With Talkmobile, you can tether on any of their plans. This means your inclusive data allowance can be shared with other devices. For more information, go to the Talkmobile help pages and search for ‘tethering’:
Tethering (using your mobile as an internet hotspot for other devices) is included in all Talkmobile plans. You can tether if you have a data plan and have enabled Wi-Fi hotspot functionality on your phone.
Many other low-cost networks prohibit the use of tethering on their service (this makes the support for tethering a key USP for the Talkmobile service).
Keeping Your Phone Number
If you’re switching your network provider to Talkmobile, it’s a straightforward process to keep your existing phone number.
To move your phone number to Talkmobile, you should contact your old network and ask them for a PAC Code. A PAC Code is nine-digits long and will authorise Talkmobile to take control of your phone number (it’s free to obtain a PAC Code and it must be provided within two hours of your request).
Once you have the PAC Code from your old network, order your new phone or SIM card from the Talkmobile website. When it arrives, you should use the phone to call Talkmobile customer services (5888 from your Talkmobile handset or 0333 304 8064 if you’re calling from any other network). Once you’ve given your PAC Code to Talkmobile, they’ll schedule the transfer of your phone number, normally for the next working day.
For a step-by-step guide on moving your number to Talkmobile, please select your current mobile network from the following drop down below:
For more information, please see the official Talkmobile website.