Uki Mobile offers eSIMs for travellers to the UK, starting from US$10 per month. You’ll get 4G coverage from the O2 network.

If you’re using an eSIM-compatible device (such as the iPhone 11, Galaxy S20, Pixel 3 or later devices), an eSIM from Uki Mobile can be one of the easiest and most convenient ways to stay connected on your trip.

With a Uki Mobile eSIM, you’ll have access to 99% population coverage across the UK. However, you won’t get a local UK phone number included and the eSIM can’t be used for calling or texting. You also won’t have access to 5G coverage in the UK.

In this article, we’ll review the eSIM plans from Uki Mobile (which is also sold under the Nessietel brand for customers who are travelling to Scotland). We’ll start by looking at the plans available and how you can get them through the Airalo app. We’ll then compare it to other prepaid SIM cards available in the UK, before looking at the coverage available on the service.

Plans From: US$10 per month (US$5 for 7 day plan)
Best Deals:
Compatible Devices:
  • Apple iPhone 11 and newer
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 and newer
  • Google Pixel 3 and newer
  • see more…
Coverage: 99% population coverage
(4G coverage from O2)

Uki Mobile Plans

If you’re travelling to the UK, there are three different ways to stay connected on your cellphone whilst you’re there:

  • You can roam through your domestic cellular provider. If your cellular network offers international roaming in the UK, you can use that service to stay connected on your trip. Check with your domestic provider to see how much it will cost to roam in the UK. Often, this will be prohibitively expensive unless your provider has some special roaming deals for the UK.
  • You can buy a local UK SIM card to use on your trip. You can order a physical SIM card from a UK provider such as giffgaff. They offer free international delivery but it can take up to 5 business days for your SIM to arrive. You’ll then be able to choose from a range of plans from £6 per month (approx US$7 per month).
  • You can get a UK eSIM, if you have a compatible device. If your device supports eSIM functionality, you can get a UK eSIM with immediate delivery direct to your phone (e.g. from Uki Mobile via Airalo). This can be a faster, hassle-free alternative to getting a physical SIM card sent to you in the post.

If you’re looking for a UK eSIM, some of the best value plans are currently available from Uki Mobile (also sold under the Nessietel brand for visitors who are travelling to Scotland).

If you have one of the eSIM-compatible devices listed on this page, you’ll be able to get the following eSIM plans from Uki Mobile:

Network Minutes Texts Data Cost
None None 1GB US$5
valid for 7 days
None None 3GB US$10
valid for 30 days
None None 5GB US$15
valid for 30 days
None None 10GB US$22.50
valid for 30 days

See all Uki Mobile eSIM deals →

There’s no contract and no need to be a UK resident to get a Uki Mobile eSIM. You can also save a lot of time as your eSIM will be delivered straight away through the Airalo app. If you choose a physical SIM card, you’ll need to wait for it to arrive in the post (or you’ll need to buy it in person once you arrive in the UK).

The biggest limitation of Uki Mobile is the fact you’re getting a data-only service with 4G coverage from O2 (Telefónica UK). As there’s no UK phone number included on the eSIM, you won’t be able to make or receive phone calls or SMS text messages using the eSIM. You can, however, continue to use your normal domestic SIM card for calling and texting (international roaming fees will apply when you do this).

Alternatives to Uki Mobile

If you still have a little bit of time before your trip to the UK, you could consider getting a physical SIM card from giffgaff instead. It will take a couple of days for it to arrive in the post (approximately 3-5 working days in Europe, and 5 working days in the rest of the world). However, there are a number of benefits to doing this:

  • You’ll get better value UK plans on a giffgaff SIM card. On giffgaff, you can get a one-month plan from as little as £6 (approx US$7). This is available with no contract, no credit check and no need to be a UK resident.
  • You’ll get a UK phone number with unlimited minutes & texts. This makes it a lot more convenient staying in touch in the UK (e.g. for calling your hotel, a restaurant, taxi, etc).
  • You’ll get better coverage & better speeds. On giffgaff, you’ll get access to 4G & 5G coverage from O2 (Telefónica) in the UK. In contrast, customers of both Uki Mobile and Nessietel are restricted to a maximum of 4G.
  • You’ll be able to roam at no extra cost in Europe. On giffgaff, you can use your allowances abroad at no extra cost (up to 5GB data per month) when you travel to another European country. In contrast, your Uki Mobile allowances cannot be used outside the UK. Instead, you’ll need to upgrade to the more expensive Eurolink eSIM if you want this feature.
  • You can use a giffgaff SIM in a wider range of phones. A giffgaff SIM card will work in any unlocked GSM-compatible phone. As it uses a physical SIM card, there’s no need for your phone to have eSIM functionality.

At present, giffgaff offers the following UK plans:

£6 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited1GB£6.00
£8 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£8.00
£10 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited15GB£10.00
£12 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited25GB£12.00
£15 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited30GB£15.00
£20 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited80GB£20.00
£25 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited80GB
+ Always On
£35 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited150GB£35.00

All of the plans from giffgaff are valid for one calendar month.

Order giffgaff SIM card (free) →

If you’re staying in the UK for an extended amount of time, you can upgrade to a golden goodybag from £10 per month. On golden goodybags, you’ll get more data included but you’ll need to set your plan to automatically renew every month.

One limitation of giffgaff is the more limited range of payment options compared to Uki Mobile (Airalo). On giffgaff, you’ll need to use either a Visa or Mastercard bank card to purchase your plan (you can switch to PayPal once you’ve set up and activated your SIM card). With Uki Mobile (Airalo), you can pay for your eSIM plan using Visa, Mastercard, American Express, UnionPay, PayPal and Alipay.

If you want to use dual-SIM functionality on your phone, this may also not be possible unless your device has two physical SIM card slots. Many devices (including the iPhone) support a maximum of one physical SIM card and one eSIM.

Uki Mobile Coverage

On Uki Mobile (and Nessietel), you’ll get access to 99% population coverage across the UK. This is provided by the O2 (Telefónica) UK network.

Uki Mobile coverage is available across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. However, the Uki Mobile eSIM won’t work in the Republic of Ireland (you’ll need a different eSIM for Ireland, or for the whole of Europe if you’re travelling there).

You’ll get access to O2’s 2G, 3G and 4G network on Uki Mobile. However, you won’t have access to O2’s 5G network. 5G coverage is available if you choose a SIM card from giffgaff instead.

Check Uki Mobile Coverage Map →

For more information, see our guide to O2’s UK network and coverage.

More Information

For more information about Uki Mobile (or Nessietel), see the Airalo website. You can also read our full guide to eSIMs on UK mobile networks.

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