Unlimited data plans allow you to download as much as you like. We compare unlimited data plans from EE, giffgaff, O2, SMARTY, Three, Virgin, Vodafone and VOXI.

Whether you’re a heavy smartphone user or whether you just want the reassurance of never running out of data, an increasing number of UK mobile networks now offer an unlimited data plan. This allows you to download as much as you like without worrying about your data limit.

At present, it’s possible to get an unlimited data plan from EE, giffgaff, O2, SMARTY, Three, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone. With all of these plans, you can stop worrying about how many gigabytes you’re using as you’ll never run out of data again in the middle of the month.

As a cheaper alternative to unlimited data plans, you can also consider a zero-rated data plan that gives you unlimited data for use on certain services. These are available in the form of EE’s Swappable Benefits, Three’s Go Binge, Virgin Mobile’s Data-Free Messaging and VOXI’s Monthly Passes.

In this article, we’ll review and compare your options for an unlimited mobile data plan in the UK.

Overview of Unlimited Data Plans

Unlimited Data Plans

In the UK, there are currently seven mobile networks offering an unlimited data plan:

Mobile Network Unlimited Data Plan Limitations & Restrictions
EE Unlimited Data A fair usage policy of 1000GB per month applies. Maximum of 12 devices using tethering & personal hotspot.
giffgaff Always-On Data 4G speeds are only available on the first 40GB per month. After this, speeds are restricted to 384kbit/s between 8am-midnight.
O2 Limitless Data A fair usage policy of 650GB per month applies. Maximum of 12 devices using tethering & personal hotspot.
SMARTY Unlimited Data A fair usage policy of 1000GB per month applies.
Three All-You-Can-Eat Data No fair usage policy, but commercial usage isn’t permitted.
Virgin Mobile Unlimited Data Only available to Virgin Media TV and Broadband customers.
Vodafone Unlimited Data Speed restrictions apply to the Unlimited Lite (2Mbit/s) and Unlimited (10Mbit/s) plans. Unlimited Max has uncapped speeds.

At present, EE and Vodafone are the only two mobile networks to offer unlimited data in conjunction with 5G coverage. The other five mobile networks offer 3G and 4G coverage (giffgaff using coverage from O2, SMARTY using coverage from Three and Virgin Mobile using coverage from EE).

Three offers unlimited data from £20/month.

Normally, Three has the cheapest available SIM cards with unlimited data in the UK. Prices typically start from around £20/month, but this can vary depending on the length of contract you sign up for. If you’re choosing a 24-month SIM card, you can get 6 months half price making it just £10 for the first six months.

If you want extra flexibility, consider SMARTY’s £25 unlimited plan or giffgaff’s £25 goodybag. Both of them are available on a 30-day rolling basis without the need to undergo a credit check. Until the 22nd October, SMARTY is offering “25% off for life” on their unlimited data plan. This means you can get unlimited data for just £18.75/month.

The following table shows a list of unlimited data plans that are currently available for purchase:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£18.75
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£20.00
24 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£21.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
2Mbps max
£23.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
2Mbps max
£23.00
18 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£24.00
1 month
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimitedAlways-On£25.00
1 month
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
2Mbps max
£25.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£26.00
1 month
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
10Mbps max
£26.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
10Mbps max
£26.00
18 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
10Mbps max
£28.00
1 month
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£30.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£30.00
18 months
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£32.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£32.00
1 month
O2UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£33.00
18 months
EEUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£34.00
12 months
O2UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£35.00
12 months
EEUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£39.00
12 months
EEUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£44.00
12 months
To show you the most relevant plans, 14 similar but more expensive plans have been hidden. .

Zero-Rated Data Plans

As an alternative to unlimited data plans, you can also choose a zero-rated data plan. This gives you unlimited data, but only for use on certain selected services:

Mobile Network Zero-Rated Data Plan Services Included
EE Swappable Benefits Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, MTV Play, TV Player and BT Sport (Video Data Pass). Apple Music, Deezer and Tidal (Music Data Pass). Pokémon Go, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, FIFA and Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes (Gamer’s Data Pass).
Three Go Binge Netflix, Snapchat, Apple Music, TV Player, Deezer and Soundcloud.
Virgin Mobile Data-Free Messaging WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Twitter.
VOXI VOXI Endless Passes Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Viber and Facebook Messenger. Video and music providers available at extra cost.

Through the rest of this article, we’ll review each of the unlimited data and zero-rated data plans in more detail.

Unlimited Data Plans

At present, unlimited data plans are available in the UK from EE, giffgaff, O2, SMARTY, Three, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone:

EE

On EE, unlimited data is available from £34/month (or from £44/month if you’d like access to 5G).

The following table shows a list of unlimited data plans on EE. On the more expensive 4G Smart and 5G Smart plans, you’ll get inclusive Swappable Benefits like access to Amazon Prime Video, the BT Sport app or EE’s Roam Further Pass (inclusive roaming in 5 countries outside Europe).

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
EEUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£34.00
12 months
EEUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£39.00
12 months
EEUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£44.00
12 months

There are three key restrictions on EE’s unlimited data plans. Firstly, there’s a fair usage limit of 1,000GB per month, above which EE reserves the right to “move you to a business plan”. Secondly, tethering and personal hotspot usage is limited to a maximum of 12 devices. Thirdly, a data roaming limit of 15GB per month applies when you’re travelling abroad outside the UK.

For more information, see our full review of EE’s unlimited data plans.

Source: EE Website
Tariff Information: EE Website

giffgaff

giffgaff is a low-cost sub-brand of O2 offering 3G and 4G coverage from the O2 network. Unlimited downloads are available on giffgaff’s £25 goodybag which comes with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and ‘Always-On’ data:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimitedAlways-On£25.00
1 month

With Always-On data, you’ll get 4G download speeds on the first 40GB of data usage each month. After this, your speeds will drop down to a maximum of 384kbps (approximately 0.4Mbit/s) between 8am and midnight each day. This may stop you from doing things like streaming music or video from the internet, but it shouldn’t prevent you from browsing the internet or using messaging services.

Because of the large speed reduction after the first 384kbps, giffgaff’s Always On data plan may not be suitable for very heavy data users. However, it’s a potential option if you’re mainly looking for peace of mind, and it’s available on a one-month rolling basis with no credit check required.

Prior to the 3rd July 2019, only the first 20GB of data each month was at full-speed 4G.

Source: giffgaff Website
Tariff Information: giffgaff Website

O2

O2 offers unlimited data, or what they call “limitless data”, on a range of Pay Monthly handsets and SIM cards. You can get an unlimited data SIM card from £33/month on a SIM-only basis but you’ll need to sign up for an 18-month contract to get this price:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
O2UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£33.00
18 months
O2UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£35.00
12 months

There are several fair usage limits worth being aware before buying an O2 unlimited data plans. The most important is the 650GB per month fair usage limit. In addition, the use of tethering and personal hotspot is limited to just 12 devices. If you exceed these limits twice in a six-month period, O2 says they might “transfer you to a more suitable plan”. When travelling outside the UK, it’s possible to use up to 20GB of data in O2 Travel Inclusive Zone countries.

For more information, please see our full review of O2’s unlimited data plans.

Source: O2 Website: Unlimited Plan Terms
Tariff Information: O2 Website

SMARTY

SMARTY is a low cost sub-brand of Three, offering SIM-only deals on a one-month rolling basis. For £25/month, SMARTY’s unlimited plan comes with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited data.

According to SMARTY, tethering is included in the plan and there are no speed restrictions for using too much data. There is, however, a usage cap of 1,000GB per month, along with a fair usage policy of 19GB per month when you’re travelling in Europe:

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. When travelling in the EU, customers will be subject to our fair use limit of 19GB each month.

SMARTY offers 99% population coverage, using 3G and 4G coverage from Three.

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£18.75
1 month

Source: SMARTY Blog Post
Tariff Information: SMARTY Website

Three

On Three, unlimited data with 4G download speeds is available on the flagship unlimited data plan (also known as all-you-can-eat data). Three’s unlimited plans typically start from about £20/month, with prices varying depending on the contract length you choose.

At present, you can get the first 6 months half price when taking unlimited data on a 24-month contract. This means you’ll be paying just £10/month for 6 months, followed by £20/month for the remainder of your contract.

There are no fair usage limits for unlimited data usage in the UK. However, it’s important to know that commercial usage of the service isn’t permitted:

Use of our services for commercial, resale or fraudulent purposes isn’t allowed under our Terms for Three Services, so we do reserve the right to monitor any unusual activity that may indicate that this is happening to identify and prevent such non-permitted use.

There’s a fair usage limit when you’re using your mobile phone abroad in a Go Roam country. This is currently set to 12GB outside Europe and 19GB inside Europe (15GB on Pay As You Go).

The following table shows SIM-only plans with unlimited data from Three:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£20.00
24 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£21.00
12 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£24.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£26.00
1 month

It’s also possible to buy a new smartphone on a 24-month contract with unlimited data included.

Prior to October 2018, Three’s unlimited data plans had a restriction on tethering. When this applied, it was only possible to use up to 30GB of tethering each month. This restriction has now been removed for all new and existing customers as a result of Ofcom’s net neutrality rules. In addition, prior to September 2019, Three had a fair usage policy of 1,000GB per month (1TB) on unlimited data plans. Three have confirmed that this fair usage policy no longer applies.

Source: Three Help: What is unlimited data?
Tariff Information: Three Website

Virgin Mobile

On Virgin Mobile, an unlimited data plan is available but this is exclusive to customers who have Virgin TV and broadband at home. The plan comes with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited 4G data.

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£32.00
12 months

According to Virgin, there are no restrictions on “tethering, throttling, speed restrictions or caps”. Download speeds of up to 70Mbps are available on Virgin Mobile using 4G coverage from the EE network.

Source: Virgin Media Website
Tariff Information: Virgin Media Website

Vodafone

Vodafone offers a selection of unlimited data plans from £23/month, with access to 4G coverage and 5G coverage in areas that support it.

When choosing an unlimited data plan from Vodafone, you’ll need to decide on the download speed of your plan. The cheapest £23/month Unlimited Lite price plan gives you download speeds of up to 2Mbit/s. Meanwhile, the £26/month Unlimited plan is limited to 10Mbit/s and the £30/month Unlimited Max plan has uncapped speeds.

There’s no fair usage policy on the unlimited data allowance, except that it needs to be “for your personal and non-commercial use”. You can use up to 25GB of data each month when travelling abroad as part of Vodafone Global Roaming.

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
2Mbps max
£23.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
10Mbps max
£26.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£30.00
12 months

Vodafone’s unlimited data plans are also available on a 30-day rolling contract for an extra £2/month. You can read our in-depth review of Vodafone’s unlimited data plans for more information.

Source: Vodafone Website
Tariff Information: Vodafone Website

Besides EE, giffgaff, O2, SMARTY, Three, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone, other UK mobile networks do not currently offer an unlimited data plan. However, you might be able to get a very large data allowance (for instance, up to 100GB of data per month on other networks).

Zero-Rated Data Plans

Zero-rated data plans give you unlimited data, but only for use on selected apps and services. This can make them a cheaper alternative to unlimited data plans:

EE Swappable Benefits

Customers choosing an EE Smart Pay Monthly plan will receive up to three “swappable benefits” included in their plan. Typically, there’s one swappable benefit included with 4G plans and either two or three swappable benefits included with 5G plans.

The following passes can be selected as a swappable benefit to give you unlimited zero-rated data on EE:

  • Video Data Pass: Unlimited data for use on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, MTV Play, TV Player and BT Sport.
  • Music Data Pass: Unlimited data for use on Apple Music, Deezer and Tidal.
  • Gamer’s Data Pass: Unlimited data for use on Pokémon Go, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, FIFA and Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes.

The following EE 5G Smart SIMs include swappable benefits:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
EEUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£44.00
12 months

If you’ve already used up your inclusive swappable benefits, you can add the Video Data Pass for an extra £8.99/month and the Music Data Pass for an extra £7.99/month. The Gamer’s Data Pass is available for an extra £7.99/month. See our full review of the EE Smart Plan for more information.

Source: EE: Swappable Benefits for EE Smart
Tariff Information: EE Website

Three Go Binge

Three offers an inclusive service called Go Binge to all customers with a Pay Monthly plan with at least 12GB of data per month. This gives you unlimited data for use in six applications: Netflix, TV Player, Snapchat, Soundcloud, Deezer and Apple Music. Usage of these six services is “zero-rated” so doesn’t count towards your normal download allowance.

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£12.00
12 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£13.00
24 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£16.00
12 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited100GB£18.00
12 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited30GB£18.00
24 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited30GB£19.00
12 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£19.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited30GB£24.00
1 month
To show you the most relevant plans, 5 similar but more expensive plans have been hidden. .

For more information, please read our full review of the Go Binge service.

Source: Three Website: About Go Binge
Tariff Information: Three Website

Virgin Mobile Data-Free Messaging

On Virgin Mobile, data-free messaging is available to all customers with a 4G Pay Monthly plan. Usage of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Twitter are zero-rated, so you can message as much as you like without worrying about how much data you’re using.

The following table shows 4G plans from Virgin Mobile with data-free messaging:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
Virgin Mobile1,500Unlimited1GB£7.00
12 months
Virgin Mobile1,500Unlimited5GB£9.00
12 months
Virgin Mobile2,500Unlimited3GB£10.00
12 months
Virgin Mobile5,000Unlimited4GB£12.00
12 months
Virgin Mobile5,000Unlimited15GB£13.00
12 months
Virgin Mobile5,000Unlimited6GB£13.00
12 months
Virgin Mobile5,000Unlimited8GB£15.00
12 months
Virgin Mobile5,000Unlimited25GB£20.00
12 months
Virgin Mobile5,000Unlimited40GB£23.00
12 months
Virgin Mobile5,000Unlimited50GB£25.00
12 months
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£32.00
12 months

Source: Virgin Mobile: Data-Free Messaging
Tariff Information: Virgin Media Website

VOXI Endless Passes

VOXI is Vodafone’s low-cost sub-brand, offering 30-day rolling deals from £10/month. On all of their plans, you’ll get “endless social data” included. This gives you zero-rated data for use on Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Viber and Facebook Messenger.

You can add a VOXI Video Pass for £7/month, giving you zero-rated data for use on Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, DisneyLife, My5, TVPlayer and UKTV Play.

Alternatively, the VOXI Music Pass is available for £5/month, giving you zero-rated data for use on Spotify, Apple Music, TIDAL, Deezer, Amazon Music Unlimited, Amazon Prime Music, SoundCloud, Primordial Radio and Napster.

The following table shows 30-day rolling plans on VOXI with inclusive endless social data:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimited6GB£10.00
1 month
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimited15GB£15.00
1 month
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimited45GB£20.00
1 month

Source: VOXI Plans: VOXI Passes
Tariff Information: VOXI Website

Occasionally, other mobile networks may choose to zero-rate selected apps and services on a promotional basis. For instance, EE offers zero-rated data for Apple Music during the six month free trial available on all EE Pay Monthly plans.

More Information

For more information on specific unlimited data plans, please see the EE, giffgaff, O2, SMARTY, Three, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone websites.

For more information about zero-rated data offers, see the EE, Three, Virgin Mobile and VOXI websites.

Your Comments 33 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 33 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • We’re buying a rural property that BT offer max 8mb. Nearby is a EE mast. Speed check on 4g 68mb. No brainier to go 4g. Already have a MiFi unit do I just change plan to unlimited?

    • Hi Chris,
      Thanks for your comment. It definitely sounds like 4G broadband might be the way to go here! I’d personally recommend changing to a mains-powered router as you’ll get much better performance compared to a battery-powered mi-fi. You can either get a 4G home broadband package like 4GEE Home, or you can buy an unlocked 4G router for your existing SIM card.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • Hi, looking at getting a EE 4GEE home router to replace snail pace and falling over BT fixed broadband – rural property. EE will charge me £50 per month for 18 months incl the router for 500GB per month or I can buy an unlimited sim off them for £34 per month over 12 months and buy the router for £130 from BT. Surely they offer the same but the latter is better value?

    • Hi Andrew,
      Thanks for your comment. EE only introduced their unlimited data plans last week, and unfortunately these haven’t yet filtered through to 4GEE Home. In theory, I think it should be possible to do what you’re suggesting, but do be aware of the tethering limit on this plan (no more than 12 devices can be tethered or connected to your router). In addition, you’ll also miss out on the 5GB data boost from 4GEE Home (though to compensate, you do get a 100GB giftable data allowance from EE’s unlimited plan that can be transferred to other accounts like your mobile phone SIM card).
      Ken

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