Carrier Best Carriers in the UK

softandy

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 7, 2009
57
1
I'm thinking of switching carrier and wanted to know your experiences and who you would rate well.
 

hobsgrg

macrumors 6502
Jun 26, 2010
379
137
EE has the best speeds by a long distance, however local variations do apply so the best network for someone depends on where the live. Personally I've found speeds on Three highly erratic, sometimes very fast and sometimes very slow. Vodafone hasn't been particularly fast but a reliable speed and O2 has been patchy. Just switched from Three to EE as got sick of the massive variability of speed, so sacrifice unlimited data for something reliably fast.
 
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davidjearly

macrumors 68020
Sep 21, 2006
2,206
241
Glasgow, Scotland
In Central Belt of Scotland, Three is by far the best. No other networks come close, and I've tested them all. Moving slightly further away from the larger cities and EE is the best speed wise.

Three are the only network to offer truly unlimited data.
 
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Azzin

macrumors 601
Jun 23, 2010
4,235
1,619
London, England.
I'm thinking of switching carrier and wanted to know your experiences and who you would rate well.
Ask the people that live, work and socialise where you do.

That's the only way to gauge coverage where you will be using it.

Asking people that live in various corners of the UK won't help you.

Failing that, get a free PAYG from each network and test it yourself.
 
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softandy

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 7, 2009
57
1
Thanks guys.

I do travel quite a bit with work particularly between the north west and london.

I seem to get no signal what so ever on the train into London and have to put the phone onto aeroplane mode otherwise by battery will be effected..
 
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ohms12

macrumors 6502
Jun 21, 2012
335
141
Scotland
In Central Belt of Scotland, Three is by far the best. No other networks come close, and I've tested them all. Moving slightly further away from the larger cities and EE is the best speed wise.

Three are the only network to offer truly unlimited data.
Agreed. I also travelled East Coast a few weeks back, whilst tethering from my iPhone 5 on Three to my laptop - can't think of a time it cut out. Absolutely brilliant.
 
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Rasta4i

macrumors regular
Dec 13, 2010
129
14
London
What are you looking for?

Are you interested in coverage, data speed, data allowance and price? What is your priority?
 
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TrueBlou

macrumors 68040
Sep 16, 2014
3,900
2,641
Scotland
In Central Belt of Scotland, Three is by far the best. No other networks come close, and I've tested them all. Moving slightly further away from the larger cities and EE is the best speed wise.

Three are the only network to offer truly unlimited data.
Another vote for Three here. I've been with all of the major networks over the years and I was admittedly surprised to find that Three has provided me with the best coverage and fastest speeds I've had.
I also find their tariffs to be excellent value, especially when it comes time to renew a contract. I've had great discounts with Three, the last time I negotiated a contract with them I was told that they will do whatever it takes to keep customer's from leaving their network and my bill got slashed in half.
 
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Azzin

macrumors 601
Jun 23, 2010
4,235
1,619
London, England.
I've just move from 3's One Plan, where I had unlimited handset data and unlimited tethering, to an EE SIM Only deal, with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 10 gig of data and the difference has been astounding.

I now get 4G everywhere I go and speed tests return 40-60Mbps down and 20 up.

Using 4G (finally!) has proved to be a real night/day experience.

I only did it because EE gave away a SIM with 100GB of data per month for 2 months, so it seemed rude not to!

I stuck £15 of voice calls on it and forwarded all the calls from my 3 SIM to the EE number.

2 days later, I decided to go for the 10 gig SIM Only EE tariff, despite paying £28 per month for a 10 gig allowance, as opposed to £15 to 3 for unlimited everything, but I found a deal that gave me £156 Cashback, which means I'm paying an average of £15 per month.

Out of interest, I've used 1GB in the last 8 days, which makes me realise that I'm one of the people that wanted unlimited data, as opposed to genuinely needing it.
 
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The-Real-Deal82

macrumors G3
Jan 17, 2013
8,528
14,038
Wales, United Kingdom
It obviously depends where you are but Three are getting the title as best right now. O2 which is what I am on has flaky coverage and EE which had great coverage is getting continued reports of poor customer service and dire coverage. Quite a few of my work colleagues here in Cardiff are losing signal around the Capital on EE and when you consider a major headquarters is in South Wales, its very strange indeed. A few months ago coverage was excellent. Their complaints have fallen on deaf ears and my boss is in the process of proceeding with legal action against them as they have failed to live up to expectation and won't terminate his contract to get a decent service elsewhere. Just check out their twitter account for thousands on non-satisfied customers.
 
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Tobias Funke

macrumors 6502a
Apr 3, 2012
628
61
3 for me.

EE was slower and had terrible signal.

Also blocked websites randomly even after proving I was over 18!!

3 I havent a single complaint.
 
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Azzin

macrumors 601
Jun 23, 2010
4,235
1,619
London, England.
I had no real issues with 3, other then getting bored of waiting for 4G and getting annoyed that they are getting rid of the One Plan, when peoples contracts run out.
 
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cookiesnfooty

macrumors 6502
Jul 1, 2009
420
11
Harrogate
I find Three to be the best for the unlimited data but EE are quite quick for downloads.

I am super impressed with Three's ping rate and upload very similar to my Fibre connection.
 
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cambookpro

Contributor
Feb 3, 2010
6,660
2,103
United Kingdom
In my immediate family, we're almost all on different networks. 3, giffgaff, O2, EE or Vodafone.

I'm on 3 as it's fairly cheap, and download speeds are fairly good but coverage isn't perfect. A lot better than it was three years ago though. Plus £15 p/m for unlimited data is a good deal.

gg/O2 have pretty good coverage everywhere, but gg is very slow compared to other networks with download speeds.

EE and Vodafone both seem to be very reliable, but they are a lot more expensive.
 
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Azzin

macrumors 601
Jun 23, 2010
4,235
1,619
London, England.
I find Three to be the best for the unlimited data but EE are quite quick for downloads.

I am super impressed with Three's ping rate and upload very similar to my Fibre connection.
Agreed, it's just a shame they have decided to backtrack and move everyone that's on One Plan tariffs off of them and phase it out completely.

It was good while it lasted.
 
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rcw2012

macrumors member
Oct 9, 2012
73
0
I've just move from 3's One Plan, where I had unlimited handset data and unlimited tethering, to an EE SIM Only deal, with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 10 gig of data and the difference has been astounding.

I now get 4G everywhere I go and speed tests return 40-60Mbps down and 20 up.

Using 4G (finally!) has proved to be a real night/day experience.

I only did it because EE gave away a SIM with 100GB of data per month for 2 months, so it seemed rude not to!

I stuck £15 of voice calls on it and forwarded all the calls from my 3 SIM to the EE number.

2 days later, I decided to go for the 10 gig SIM Only EE tariff, despite paying £28 per month for a 10 gig allowance, as opposed to £15 to 3 for unlimited everything, but I found a deal that gave me £156 Cashback, which means I'm paying an average of £15 per month.

Out of interest, I've used 1GB in the last 8 days, which makes me realise that I'm one of the people that wanted unlimited data, as opposed to genuinely needing it.
Out of interest where did you get the £156 cashback deal? I see Quidco pay £70. Thanks.
 
Comment

afd

macrumors 65816
Apr 12, 2005
1,025
242
Scotland
Was with 3 for the 2 years I had an iPhone 5, was more than happy until the last couple of months. The Internet stopped working while at work, nowhere else. Also there were people at work that were on 3 that had no problems. I contacted 3 but nothing changed. I did wonder if I was being throttled by the local cell tower because I downloaded too much data?
Changed to Vodafone when iPhone 6 came out, and got 8GB of data and spottily for £40.50 a month. Enjoying spotify but coverage in Scottish central belt not nearly as good as 3. When I get a 4G signal Internet is pretty fast but I can get 3 or 4 bars of 3G and the Internet crawls. If phone only connects to GPRS, which is quite often at work, you can forget the Internet. I remember when I had O2 and an iPhone 1 and 3 I hardly saw 3G and almost never Edge but the Internet worked even if it was slow, with Vodafone you get lost connection errors.
I'll try Ee next time maybe.
 
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Mike Boreham

macrumors 68000
Aug 10, 2006
1,758
414
UK
Agreed, it's just a shame they have decided to backtrack and move everyone that's on One Plan tariffs off of them and phase it out completely.

It was good while it lasted.
Three are still going to offer unlimited data for phone usage....it is tethering which is going to be capped.
 
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Azzin

macrumors 601
Jun 23, 2010
4,235
1,619
London, England.
Three are still going to offer unlimited data for phone usage....it is tethering which is going to be capped.
Yes, sorry, I should have been clearer about that.

It also looks like the plan they are looking to move people to is £23/£28 (1/12 month contract), so more expensive too.
 
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cookiesnfooty

macrumors 6502
Jul 1, 2009
420
11
Harrogate
Agreed, it's just a shame they have decided to backtrack and move everyone that's on One Plan tariffs off of them and phase it out completely.

It was good while it lasted.
I jail broke and brought the feature of the One Plan back so it's all good.
 
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