Choosing a phone carrier can be complex. While most people just pounce on whatever carrier their family uses, or whichever offered the best contract on the phone they wanted, people wishing to get the best bang for their buck always do their homework. Not all wireless carriers are equal, and the differences between their offers can be noticeable.
Keeping that in mind, we’ve tried to compare some of the common plans from the top carriers to help you make a decision.
The Main Carriers
The UK has over a dozen mobile carriers. This makes it difficult to even know which to choose from to begin with. For this article, we’ll focus on the biggest four carriers: EE, O2, Three, and Vodafone.
While other carriers might offer great plans, these are the most widely used ones with the best overall coverage. Additionally, most of the other carriers use the infrastructure these companies have in place, piggybacking onto their services. Still, it’s possible another carrier offers a better deal for your specific uses, so don’t feel like you must go for one of these.
EE is the newest of the four main carriers, growing into a behemoth over the last four years. While its data plans are capped with no unlimited Netflix on offer, it is considered the fastest network in the UK, so at least you’ll get what you pay for.
EE also offer excellent coverage and free EU roaming that suits a regular traveler. If you also subscribe to EE’s Home Broadband plan, you’ll get bonuses in the form of 20 extra GB of bandwidth per month for your mobile line.
The other downside, besides data caps, is that it can be expensive. However, if you need a network you can trust 24/7, you might as well choose any of its phone plans.
While other carriers shine with their prepaid phone plans, O2 goes the other way. The plans offered by O2 are pricey, particularly the prepaid ones, but its pay-as-you-go plans are the best in the UK. The coverage is excellent, as it has been considered the best company in the UK in this regard
In terms of price, O2 offers its clients over 15,000 wi-fi hotspots all over the UK and the opportunity to buy tickets to music events up to 48 hours before they go on sale. These perks might seem silly for some – but for others, they might seal the deal.
Three doesn’t have the best coverage in the UK. While its mobile phone plans present to you a 4G coverage that extends to 97 percent of the nation.
However, whatever Three loses by a comparatively weak coverage it more than makes up with its plans and services. For one, you will get free roaming for more than 71 countries – that’s all the EU plus some other countries, including the USA. It also has affordable all-you-can-eat plans featuring unlimited data for those who just can’t stop reading our articles where they go.
On top of that, even if unlimited data is too much for you, Three allows you to stream video and audio from some of the biggest players in the field, including Netflix and Apple Music, without eating up your data allowance.
Vodafone is one of the older carriers in the UK, its services extending through most of the EU. It naturally has excellent coverage both locally and abroad, and the available cell phone plans are considered reasonable.
You will get global data roaming covering 152 countries, so you won’t likely find yourself unable to browse the internet and ping your loved ones while traveling. Its 4G service is also top-notch, with excellent coverage and speed.
The downside is that customer service is often considered bad, sometimes terrible. Still, if you’re looking for affordable plans and consistent 4G coverage all over the world, this one is easily the best for you.
There is no doubt that cheap phone plans are as attractive as headlines. What you need to consider before you sign-up for cell phone deals extends beyond just this. You need to assess the carrier’s coverage as well as network reliability before you shout hurrah.