March 24, 2016

4G frequencies – Which UK networks will my phone work on?

4G frequencies in the UK: What you need to know

What frequencies are used in the UK?

There are a total of 5 different frequencies used in the UK used by the mobile networks to deliver their 2G, 3G and 4G mobile services.

  • 800MHz (Band 20)
  • 900MHz (Band 8)
  • 1800MHz (Band 3)
  • 2100MHz (Band 1)
  • 2600MHz (Band 7)

What frequencies do the different operators use?

Each operator in the UK utilises different frequencies to deliver their mobile networks with the core networks being EE, O2, Vodafone and Three. Then there are also operators, called mobile virtual network operators (MVNO), who utilise the backend of the core networks to offer their own services.

The frequencies used by the major UK networks are listed below:

 2G3G4G (LTE)Coverage
EE1800MHz2100MHz1800MHz & 2600MHzEE-Coverage-compressor
O2900MHz & 1800MHz900MHz & 2100MHz800MHzO2-Coverage-compressor
Vodafone900MHz & 1800MHz900MHz & 2100MHz800MHz & 2600MHzVodafone-Coverage-compressor
ThreeN/A2100MHz800MHz & 1800MHzThree-Coverage-compressor

The frequencies used by UK’s MVNO’s are listed below:

 2G3G4G (LTE)Coverage
Asda Mobile1800MHz2100MHzN/AAsda-Coverage-compressor
BT Mobile1800MHz2100MHz800MHz, 1800MHz & 2100MHzBT-Coverage-compressor
iD MobileN/A2100MHz1800MHziD-Coverage-compressor
Freedom PopN/A2100MHz800MHz & 1800MHzFreedomPop-compressor
GiffGaff900MHz900MHz & 2100MHz800MHzGiffGaff-Coverage-compressor
Lebara Mobile900MHz900MHz & 2100MHzN/ALebara-Coverage-compressor
Lyca Mobile900MHz900MHz & 2100MHz800MHzLyca-Coverage-compressor
TalkMobile900MHz900MHz & 2100MHzN/ATalk-Mobile-Coverage-compressor
TalkTalk900MHz900MHz & 2100MHz800MHzTalkTalk-Coverage-compressor
Tesco Mobile900MHz900MHz & 2100MHz800MHzTesco-Coverage-compressor
The People’s Operator1800MHz2100MHz800MHz, 1800MHz & 2100MHzTPO-Coverage-compressor
Virgin Mobile1800MHz2100MHzN/AVirgin-Coverage-compressor

Frequency in bands: 800MHz (Band 20), 900MHz (Band 8), 1800MHz (Band 3), 2100MHz (Band 1) and 2600MHz (Band 7)

How can I find out which operators my phone is compatible with?

In order to check if your phone is compatible you need to get your phone specification from your manufactures website and find out the frequencies and bands it supports which you can then reference to the tables above.

In order to get maximum speeds and coverage you want your phone to support all the bands offered by an operator, but don’t forget to check coverage and speeds in your area before making a final decision.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of the relevant 4G frequencies?

Three different frequency bands are used for 4G LTE in the UK. There’s the 800MHz band, the 1800MHz / 1.8GHz band and the 2600MHz / 2.6GHz band.

800MHz frequency band

The 800MHz frequency band is one of two which was auctioned by Ofcom in February of 2013. Previously this band was used to provide analogue television signals, but since TV’s switched over to digital it was freed up to be used with 4G.

The lower the frequency of the band the further it can travel, so the 800MHz band is the most adept of the three at travelling over long distances, which means users can get a 4G signal even when they’re a long way from a mast. This becomes particularly useful in rural areas where masts are likely to be quite spread out.

However, it also has some advantages in cities, because low frequencies are also good at passing through walls and other physical objects. So the 800MHz band is good for indoor coverage and for heavily built up areas where a signal might otherwise struggle to travel.

On the other hand it has a comparatively low capacity, as it was only available in small 5 and 10MHz blocks, which means that it can’t always deal brilliantly with lots of people trying to connect at once, particularly if they’re carrying out demanding actions such as streaming HD video. So even in places with a good connection it may not always deliver consistent speeds, especially in urban areas where there’s likely to be a lot of data traffic.

2.6GHz frequency band

The 2.6GHz band is the other frequency which was auctioned by Ofcom and it’s essentially the opposite of the 800MHz band. So it’s not great at travelling over long distances, meaning that masts need to be closer together to deliver reliable coverage and as such it’s not so suited to rural areas.

It’s also not all that adept at penetrating walls so indoor signal on the 2.6GHz band won’t always be perfect.

But on the other hand with 35MHz blocks available it has a high capacity. So it can cope with thousands of simultaneous connections, which in that sense makes it a good fit for cities and other busy areas.

1.8GHz frequency band

Unlike the other two frequencies the 1.8GHz one wasn’t auctioned, instead it’s a frequency band which EE already had access to and which now Three does too. As you might have guessed, the 1.8GHz band falls somewhere in the middle of the other two.

Which network is in the best position when it comes to frequencies?

The easiest way to see just how the network’s stack up is perhaps to put it into a table, as below:

It’s clear from the table that EE is the only network that’s covering all its bases. It’s also worth bearing in mind that the more MHz of each spectrum a network has the better and more consistent the connection can be and the more future-proofed it is.

With that in mind EE is well prepared for future data demands, with a whole lot of 1.8GHz spectrum, which covers an ideal middle ground, as well as quite a lot of 2.6GHz spectrum and a bit of 800MHz spectrum.

O2 is on paper in the worst position, as while it has more 800MHz spectrum than any network other than Vodafone that’s all it has. So its 4G network should be good at covering rural areas and providing indoor coverage, but it’s not likely to have the same capacity as its rivals. On the other hand O2 has a large network of Wi-Fi hotspots to help out in city centres.

Vodafone has an identical amount of 800MHz spectrum but also has a lot of 2.6GHz spectrum, so it should be quite well served to cover data requirements in the future, as well as being better positioned to provide reliable coverage to rural areas than EE or Three.

Three meanwhile only has a little 800MHz spectrum and no 2.6GHz spectrum, but with 2 x 15MHz of 1.8GHz spectrum it should be fairly well equipped to provide both indoor and outdoor coverage

Conclusion

Going purely on the frequencies and amounts of spectrum that each network has EE is in by far the best position, while O2 may struggle the most to keep up with data demands, particularly in urban areas.

Neither Three nor Vodafone can quite match EE but they should be fairly well served, especially Vodafone, which has the extremes of both the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands covered quite well, even if it has no spectrum in between.

Looking to find out more about 4G LTE or 4G LTE Advanced?

  • Tank

    This report is a little short of research and intuition. O2 has been the most efficient as an investor in this network, bearing in mind that behind the scenes sharing of Vodafone infastructure is commonplace. EE has spent lots of it’s shareholders money and will have to recoup that that in increased tariffs in the future. They have a British Gas type business plan of ‘mega deal’ followed by ‘mega hikes’. O2 with Vodafone provide a sure and steadily increasing investment and will be able to maintain there lower bills for customers across the usage range. Capacity can increase with new modular boards reletively easily whereas a 3 tier infasrtucture is less easy to upgrade in a cost effective manner in the future. I fear EE may trap customers now and empty their pockets at some stage in the process. 3 are a waste of space with extremely poor customer service. I have been with all the networks and my businesses now rely on Blackberry and O2. Both of which more than nail my needs.

  • http://onixdna.com onix dna

    I have been with O2 since it was celnet. .. since Telefonica took over each and every year it’s network and service has declined .. its coveridge is the worst of any one of my networks and costs have spiraled out of control . The O2 comment is just not correct. . O2 is a shadow of Its former self

  • Glenn Smith

    I’ve been 4g ready for an eternity! When!!!

  • Adel Mandani

    Thank you

  • Paul Frith

    If a phone has band 26 (800Mhz) will that work on a band 20????

    • Mark Meakins

      yes in the uk

    • leexgx

      why detected as spam , as it is correct a band 26 phone will not work on band 20 network this is 100% fact hmm

      • Paul Frith

        why detected as spam. What does that mean?

        • leexgx

          my last post was marked as spam and was showing on my disqus panel, so came on here and it was deleted/hidden (mostly same post as above) just removed 4G before bands numbers this time and reposted it

  • Jonathan Hodgson

    I believe that O2 might now have some space on the 1800mhz frequency according to one of their Gurus.

    • http://www.jongibbins.com/ Jon Gibbins.com

      This is quite likely. I’m on GiffGaff (O2 network) and took my OnePlus One phone to Sheffield. Supposedly my handset doesn’t support 4G on O2 (800MHz) but I had a booming 4G reception there.
      Strange I can’t seem to find any information anywhere on the frequencies O2 use around the country, I’d love to see what frequencies are used where.

    • Ibster

      You are right, in certain parts of the UK, o2 has switched on 4g on there 1800mhz frequency, but only in selected areas, it will slowly be pushed out across the country. The Big cities like London, Manchester and Birmingham are receiving it but will slowly be pushed out across the country, just like what Vodafone is doing with the 2600mhz frequency.

  • BMC

    Hi Nice article but I have a question…. I have just bought a LG V10, wonderful phone and upgrade after 4 years of Samsung Notes. (Korean Version) .. I put my 3 sim in and its is great with fast 4g,m but when I put my vodafone sim in it does not display 4g at all…only 3g …very slow… any help please. This is the spec of the Korean LG V10.

    TechnologyGSM / HSPA / LTE2G bandsGSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 19003G bandsHSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 21004G bandsLTESpeedHSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE Cat6 300/50 MbpsGPRSYesEDGEYes

    • Ibster

      I have a feeling you have a handset that does not support LTE Band 20 (800mhz) frequency. So basically it can only be used with EE or THREE 4g network or any MVNO that use EE or Three, i.e BT mobile etc

      • BMC

        Can I ask a question why would a mobile phone operator disable a frequency 800mhz. Surely if it covers all available then it would be better phone?

        • Ibster

          It is not the mobile operator who has disabled the frequency. The phone you have is meant to be for specific countries in the Asian market, hence why they have only made available LTE frequency that are used in those countries in Asia. It is by chance that both Asia and UK use the 1800mhz and 2600mhz. The 800mhz frequency is only used in a majority of European countries for LTE along with some in Africa, a few in Australasia, a couple in Asia (not a major smartphone market country) and the middle east, hence why the phone you have is not meant for the European market. This is why the phone you have that is sold on the internet by UK based countries are imported from Asia

          • BMC

            Thanks Ibster for the info, does Apple do the same thing to make phones for specific countries? Seems crazy to me to make top end phones only for specific markets or countries. i travel around the world and would not want a phone which can’t work in many countries. I have not had a problem with Samsung Notes and Xperia Z phones before in china, Europe, Hong Kong, I normally get a local sim with lots of 4G data and let the phone do the business!

          • Ibster

            You should be ok with Apple, but most importantly always check before buying any phone what lte band it can be used on and do some research on the internet to see the countries that you do visit, what lte frequency is used there. wikipedia will display a list. type in ‘ List of LTE Networks ‘ in search box in wikipedia…. hopefully it will be of help….

  • marklola12 .

    I’m on Vodafone and the phones I want only have the 2600 and not the 800 SOOOO should 4g work still as ive seen comments on some of the phones that support 2600 saying they don’t support Vodafone :/
    yet they should if Vodafone uses 2600

    • Ibster

      Vodafone only have 2600mhz for 4g switched on in London, Manchester and Birmingham as part of there LTE-A Carrier aggression.

    • Brian Gregory

      If a mobile company uses two or more 4G bands they are unlikely to use them all in all areas. Presumably Vodafone don’t bother with 2600 in low population areas where they would need many masts to provide complete coverage and don’t bother with 800MHz in densely populated areas where 2600MHz is better.

  • Tobias

    GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900MHz WCDMA 850/1900/2100 MHz LTE 850/2100/1800MHz (Phone specs) I’m planning to buy a phone from asia will this work in uk with ee 4g network planned sim?

    • Ibster

      Yes, will work on EE and Three networks LTE only. Also will work on any MVNO that use EE or Three, i.e BT mobile etc

      • Tobias

        can i also message and call on this planned sim using 2g or 3g?

        • Ibster

          Yes, it will work on all UK network providers on 2g and 3g to call/text and use the internet on 3g. It is only 4g that is the issue due to different frequency bands.

          • Overdere Indemtrees

            Hi lbster, please can I ask you a question? I’m thinking of getting an LeTV Max. I am on 3 and the LeTV Max only supports 1800mhz/band 3, not 800Mhz/band 20. So my understanding is I will be able to get 4G but will I get 3G when required too? Does 1800Mhz support both? I live in London so by my phone not having 800Mhz does this mean my signal will be weaker as as I understand it 800mhz is better at going through walls? I love the phone but won’t get it if I’m going to have connectivity problems. Thanks for any advice, this is a hard topic to get reliable info on.

          • Ibster

            Hi Mate

            The phone in question will work fine on both 3g & 4g on the 3 network. 1800mhz for 4g and 2100mhz for 3g. 3 network have also switched on 4g on there 800mhz frequency too, but since this phone does not support it you will not derive the benefits of that frequency, having said that 3 network has always been quick when it comes to both 3g and 4g. Always remember the higher the frequency, the higher the bandwidth which means consistently good speeds as it can cater for more traffic/users at anyone time, but restricted to how far the signal will go from a cell tower and not as good at penetrating walls if quite far from a cell tower. On the other hand the lower the frequency, the lower the bandwidth, which could mean speeds slowing if traffic/users are high at any one time, but excellent at reaching out further from a cell tower and better indoor penetration.

            I hope the above info is of help to you……and nice phone by the way….

          • Overdere Indemtrees

            Hello,

            Many thanks for the quick reply. From my research I didn’t think 3 operate on 2100mhz, it’s not listed on the wikipedia page or the article above, are you sure? Sorry to doubt you, it’s just I don’t want to spend the money and be stuck with the phone!
            Thanks again.

          • Ibster

            Yes, they operate 3g on 2100mhz, as do EE, o2, & vodafone.

            Search under ‘Three UK’ on wikipedia….

          • Overdere Indemtrees

            Thanks for confirming that, I really appreciate your time and help this evening. I think I’m going to take the plunge!

          • Ibster

            All the best…..

    • Scottie

      If that’s the above bands of the phone then yes! EE 2G is 1800 as is its 4G and 3G is 2100 in this country

  • stoney

    Hi, I am in the process of purchasing the LG V10 (spec) below and want to know if it would operate on a three sim in UK

    Spec
    :GENERAL2G Network850/900/1800/1900
    3G Network850/900/1900/21004G Network – FDD700(B28)/900(B8)/1800(B3)/2100(B1)/2600B7)
    4G Network – TDD1900(B39)/2300(B40)/2600(B38)/2600(B41) Cat.6, VoLTEOperation SystemAndroid 5.1.1 (Lollipop)ProcessorHexa-Core 1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 808

    • Ibster

      Yes it will work on Three UK sim and will be able to take advantage of 4g on 1800mhz frequency only.

  • Lilwarski

    Will The galaxy Note 5 N920 work in the UK on all major UK networks?

    • Ibster

      There are 3 variants. N920A, N920I, N920G. The variant you want is N920A. This is the one that will provide 4g on all network providers. If you get the other 2 variants you will be limited to EE & Three UK providing 4g as the variants don’t support Band 20 (800mhz). All 3 variants will support 2g & 3g from all network providers.

  • ANDREW CANE

    Hi I am new to this and I am wondering if a cubot x12 phone will work for me on Vodafone in Ireland I have other phone but in my job I damage it and I was going to purchase this phone the spec is 2G GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHZ: 3G WCDMA 900/2100MHZ :4G FDD-LTE BAND 1-3-7-20 , I am a mechanical engineer but I am a bit out of my depth here what can I do to solve my problem.

    • Siraaj Ahmed

      (For 4G) From my understanding:

      FDD-LTE bands 1-3-7-8-20 is the same as 800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2600 MHz.

      So yours would support bands 1, 3, 7, 20 (800, 900, 1800, 2600 MHz)

      Think you are pretty much covered in Ireland but I would double check with your networks bands.

    • Siraaj Ahmed

      (For 4G) From my understanding:

      FDD-LTE bands 1-3-7-8-20 is the same as 800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2600 MHz.

      So yours would support bands 1, 3, 7, 20 (800, 900, 1800, 2600 MHz)

      Think Vodaphone support bands 1 and 20. So you would be ok.

      But I would double check with your networks bands and coverage.

      • ANDREW CANE

        Thanks Siraaj that explains it more to me about the frequencies and now I am sure the phone will work thanks again

        • Siraaj Ahmed

          No problem. Hope it works.

      • Brian Gregory

        No. Vodafone use 800MHz (band 20) and 2600MHz (band 7) for 4G.
        As far as I know nobody uses 2100MHz (band 1) for 4G in the UK.

        • Siraaj Ahmed

          Cool. So I was right in terms of MHz just not the bands. Sorry. But glad to clear that up cheers.

          • Siraaj Ahmed

            Im making a little list:
            4G LTE bands 1(2100), 2(1900), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 12(700), 17(700), 20(800)

  • Jamie01

    I’m thinking of getting the Xiaomi Mi5 which has

    4G

    FDD-LTE bands 1 / 3 / 7

    TDD-LTE bands 38 / 39 / 40 / 41

    3G

    TD-SCDMA bands 34 / 39

    WCDMA bands 1 / 2 / 5 / 8

    CDMA 2000 bands BC0 / BC1

    2G

    GSM bands 2 / 3 / 5 / 8

    CDMA 1X BC0 / BC1

    Will this work with Three UK?

    • XdaDev X

      yes fdd bands are in uk 1,3,7,

    • Bill Hedworth

      4g might not work well, three support band 20 and band 3. the phone doesnt have 20 which provides best coverage and penetration.

  • Mrs Genghis Khan

    I’ve just bought a Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Duos and only seem to be getting H+ on 02. The spec for the handset seems to imply I should get 4G:

    Technology : GSM / HSPA / LTE

    2G bands : GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900

    3G bands : HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100

    4G bands : LTE band B1(2100), B2(1900), B3(1800), B4(AWS), B5(850), B7(2600), B8(900), B12(700), B17(700), B18(800), B19(800), B25(1900), B26(800), B28(700)

    Is that correct?

    • leexgx

      your phone lanks 4G800 Band 20 support (B26 800 is actually somthing around 820-850, it is Not a EU 4G band, somthing china as its a Duos which has dual sim support)

      when getting a phone that has Dual sim support assume from the start its Missing Band 20 4g800 (unless you have really checked like 5 times)

      the phone will work fine on EE (most of their 4G network, no 4g800) and some parts of 3 4G network (as 3 have spotty support 4G at the moment, and you won’t be able to use the B20 4g800 network)

      • Mrs Genghis Khan

        Thanks leexgx. You say it will work ok on EE, how about Vodafone? We’re looking at moving to them at work soon and that’ll take over as my primary sim.

        • leexgx

          Vodafone at the moment lacks 4g1800 (b3) so your phone will not support on Vodafone or o2

          Vodafone only has 4g800 b20 and be 4g2600 b7 (it’s range is short on 4g2600 as its ment for large events or train stations)

          Only ee and 3 have 4g1800 support at the moment (your phone will work fine on 3g)

          ee and 3 main 4g band is 1800 (ee is adding 4g800 and 2600)

          O2 and Vodafone main 4g is b20 4g800

      • Siraaj Ahmed

        cheers! that’d explain why I can’t get 4G signal on my Elephone p7000. I’m on 02, thought it supported the right bands for UK but clearly not. Oh well :/

    • samz roney

      Check whether the serving mast nearby has LTE deployed on it or not. if Yes, then check your phone settings if it is tuned to 2G/3G only option. You can see that by going into your phone’s network settings. O2 does have both LTE 800 and 1800 bands so if the serving mast around your area has 4G deployed and your phone is 4G enabled in the settings then you should be able to receive 4G.

  • Jurijs Krotovs

    An interesting observation. I’m on O2 and I have Huawei P8. And it just happends that out of 7 versions I’ve got myself GRA-UL00 that does not support LTE 800.
    So. That means that unless I switch to EE I would not get any 4G. Which is correct most of the time. Exept for Dover Port area, where for the last few month I do get 4G.
    Does that mean that O2 “rents” 4G in that area from someone else? Could it be because of demolition of Burlington house that hosted some masts on the roof?

    • Ibster

      o2 have switched on 4g in limited parts of the country of 1800mhz spectrum they were previously using for 2g services. Only Three UK and EE along with MVNO who use there respective networks will you be able to derive benefit of 4g from your phone.

  • Siraaj Ahmed

    4G bands question.

    Is FDD-LTE band 1 equal to 2100 or 800 MHz ?

    Cheers

    • Ibster

      Band 1 is 2100mhz & Band 20 is 800mhz. No provider in the UK uses Band 1 (2100mhz) to provide 4g. 2100mhz is used by all the main network providers for 3g only.

      • Brian Gregory

        So the table is wrong.
        It shows several of the MVNOs using 2100MHz for 4G.
        Presumably is should say 2600MHz.

        • Ibster

          I don’t know where they have got 2100mhz for 4g from. If the MNO are not providing it, then how can the MVNO provide it. It has got to be a typo. It is available on 2600mhz

          • Siraaj Ahmed

            Awesome thanks!

  • Tony Powell

    A supplier in Latvia has given me the following details for this phone LG V10 H960A 4G (LTE ) Bands:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 17, 20, 28, 38. He can only provide the bands but not the frequencies, not sure if that makes a difference? Can someone please confirm if all these 4G LTE bands would be compatible with EE network? Any help greatly appreciated, thank you

    • Kevin4G

      At the top of the article above the tables you can see the frequencies in bands.

      Thanks

      • Tony Powell

        The article is wrong…as confirmed by EE and others on here…EE do not support 4G LTE 800mhz!

    • James Vincent

      For 4GLTE EE has band 7 = 2600MHz. band 20 = 800MHz. band 3 = 1800MHz. I believe it’s only using 1800 & 2600 at the moment

      • Tony Powell

        Thank you James, much appreciated. Funnily enough someone from EE called James confirmed the same thing. You get so many conflicting reports on the internet! Do you know what bands are best…does it matter?

        • James Vincent

          That’s alright, I do like to think I know this stuff! Happy to help you.
          Higher bands like 2600 & 1800MHz are best for capacity & speed. Low bands – 800MHz – are best for distance. Lower bands are best for battery life also. A phone sat on standby on a high band requires more power, whether that be over 2G,3G,4G. It’s not a huge difference, generally one wouldn’t notice. But as I’m a tech nerd I’ve done the tests. The Operators are still rolling out 4G Voice over LTE/VoLTE over 800. That’ll bring HD quality calls, easier on the battery as when we use voice calling the phone forces itself to 3G or 2G if sat on 4G 1800/2600MHz. And 3G is on 2100MHz! It will bring more blanket coverage to. I’m on Three in South Wales & think they’re doing excellent here with 4G VoLTE. We’ll see huge benifits from all four Operators.
          So to answer your question in short it doesn’t matter much to your average consumer. Technically, maybe a little!
          Hope I made that clear.

  • James Vincent

    There’s something wrong here. For 4G – Three use 1800MHz. Yes It’s now launched VoLTE/’SuperVoice’ on selected phones. Only… It’s not opened up 800MHz band for MVNOs yet. So, e.g – iD Mobile will only use 1800MHz, Not 800MHz for voice calls yet. I’ve recently asked them about this.
    Also O2 & vodafone 1800MHz for GSM as well as just 900MHz

  • James Vincent

    Another point. For those of you on Three, with a phone that supports band 20 = 800MHz. You will only be able to take advantage of VoLTE/Voice over LTE “SuperVoice” if you have bought your phone directly from Three themselfs

    • Zim Ruiz

      Hi James, is it sure they dont let people use?? Cuz I am definitely experiencing this problem right now.. I own a chinese phone that supports band 20… but it only lets me use band 3….. I disabled band 3 and forced my phone to use band 20.. everytime I try to force LTE ONLY it goes to 4g.. then switches back to 3g…. is really annoying.. I bought this phone so I can make use of band 20 4g…

      • James Vincent

        I have a Huawei P8. Didn’t get it from Three. It’s also supports 800MHz but Three won’t activate it & Huawei customer service couldn’t care less on providing advice on UK updates. There’s no option for 4G only or VoLTE. I’m going to get a phone from my Network Operator soon. That’s the only way to go right now. It’s gonna be some time before phones will have 4G voice only option.

    • Tomas Thorley

      Actually I have VoLTE on a galaxy S7 that was not purchased from Three.

  • Safa Brian

    Hi, I’m coming to London to work on an event and the only 4G band my phone has that seems to be compatible on UK carriers is band 7 (2600). Was wondering if ee or vodafone is best to go with. I will be in Central London and the event is near the 02 arena.
    Any help appreciated. Thanks.

    • Ibster

      Both Vodafone & EE have 4g Spectrum on 2600mhz. Both should have it switched on in London so you should be able to pick up 4g. Both Three & o2 do not hold any spectrum space on 2600mhz. Hope this answers your question.

      • Safa Brian

        Thanks mate. Was just wondering who would be better, but I guess it’s much of the same.

        • Ibster

          I would say it would probably be the same, it all depends on the location of the phone masts…. But they should both be similar

  • AngelitoGuillermo

    Hi I have an Xperia M5 Dual Model E5663. Sony said this is not a UK model. But after checking with BT Mobile, EE and this very helpful website the only band not “supported” by this device is Band 20 800) which to my knowledge helps with indoor signals. Is Band 20 important at all? Shall i return the device and just get a UK model? Pls help.

    • 4gcouk

      Hi

      Head here https://3g.co.uk/ there is a 50% sale on now for the next few days
      Don’t miss out.

    • Ibster

      This is your choice entirely to make as only you would know if the signal from EE & Three is strong in the area you live/work in.

      Both EE & Three have Band 3 (1800mhz) switched on in most parts of the country they have 4g coverage in.

      If you really want Band 20, then you will need the Xperia M5 Dual Model E5633 as this will cover Band 3 (1800mhz), Band 7 (2600mhz) & Band 20 (800mhz)

      Hope the above is of help

  • Freddie Halliwell

    Will the one plus 3 work on any UK networks.

    • Ibster

      Yes, as long as you buy the Europe/Asia Model it will be compatible on 2g/3g & 4g on all network providers.

  • Mesh308

    i hope someone can put my head at ease….i am currently thinking about getting a LGV10. the h960(EU) model seems hard to locate or just expensive with some sellers on either amazon or ebay but the h961n(US) and the h962 dual sim are easy to find and cheaper.

    i have read comments saying that the h961n and h962 won’t work well with the 4g in the uk regardless on whatever frequency they support. i am currently using 3 mobile so my question is if i were to purchase the h961n or the h962 dual sim would i get the full 4g experience?

    • Ibster

      Hi

      H961N will work on both Three network & EE on 4g as it is compatible with Band 3 (1800mhz) & Band 7 (2600mhz) – Band 3 & 7 both used by EE, Band 3 only used by Three

      H962 will work on both Three network & EE on 4g as it is compatible with Band 3 (1800mhz) & Band 7 (2600mhz) – Band 3 & 7 both used by EE, Band 3 only used by Three

      H962 will work on both Three network & EE on 4g as it is compatible with Band 3 (1800mhz) & Band 7 (2600mhz) – Band 3 & 7 both used by EE, Band 3 only used by Three

      H901 will work on all networks on 4g as it is compatible with Band 3 (1800mhz) Band 7 (2600mhz) & Band 20 (800mhz)

      H960 will work on all networks on 4g as it is compatible with Band 3 (1800mhz) Band 7 (2600mhz) & Band 20 (800mhz)

      Hope the above answers your question…

  • AngelitoGuillermo

    Many thanks for the response.

  • AngelitoGuillermo

    Would a percentage of coverage be a better measuring tool than the frequencies and bands a network is compatible? In this case: Three vs BTMobile/EE as I can get an equally better deal from the former. PLEASE advice. Thanks.

    • Ibster

      Percentage of coverage doesn’t necessarily mean you will get good coverage as there are areas of poor coverage hotspots in areas with good coverage. You may have excellent coverage in your area, but where you live or work may have areas of a hotspot with poor coverage. PAYG sims are a good way of identifying this going forward.

      It is also important to not ignore Frequency & Band as some frequencies are better at indoor coverage than others, so you cannot ignore this.

      One of the recommendations made by reviewers/experts is to buy PAYG sims and experiment before tying yourself into a long term deal.

      Apologies for the above presentation, but i hope it makes sense to some degree.

      • AngelitoGuillermo

        Many thanks for the reply. As I was reading the site it would seem EE is the best network in terms of overall country coverage and the various bands/frequencies it supports. I’m thinking of going back to them.

        • Ibster

          All the best.

  • http://twitter.com/davidmcclelland David McClelland

    Worth pointing out that Vodafone is now supporting LTE on B3 1800MHz and B1 2100 MHz in select areas in the UK. As a result my old iPhone 5 can now happily sit on 4G on central London (as it is right now). This in being rolled out from June 2016, part of a small base station technology partnership with Ericsson.

    • Ibster

      This is very true David, as are o2 who are utilising the 1800mhz too. Vodafone plan is to offer LTE-A using 800mhz, 1800mhz & 2600mhz combined to provide super fast speeds.

      only problem is how long it will take them to roll this across across the UK as they are only concentrating on the bigger cities at the moment.

      Only thing is i was not aware they are utilising Band 1 2100mhz. that is interesting….

      Do you have an app or some type of software where you can tell the frequency/band they are using….

  • Kazi

    Xiaomi Mi5 this phone will support EE 4g and Three 4g? U.K.

    • Ibster

      Yes it will be supported by EE & Three as it is compatible with Band 3 (1800mhz) & Band 7 (2600mhz), but not Band 20 (800mhz) which is mainly used by Vodafone & o2 to provide 4g services

      • Patryk

        Will it work with full lte speed or it will be reduced

        • Ibster

          It should work at full speed. It will not be down to the phones capability, but the quality of the reception of the area you are in at the time.

  • Abdi Abdulkhadir

    Will the Meizu pro 6 work with EE?

    • Ibster

      Yes it will be supported on 4g by EE & Three as it is compatible with Band 3 (1800mhz) & Band 7 (2600mhz), but not Band 20 (800mhz) which is mainly used by Vodafone & o2 to provide 4g services

  • apolloa

    I’m after a little help. I live in North Dorset and am thinking of changing providers. I’m currently on EE, I have an iPhone 6S. No contract as its expired now. As an example and how I’ve been testing signals, If I walk my dog my signal goes from edge to 3G to 4g to edge to 4g etc. It’s all over the place, most of the time it’s on very slow edge.
    So I have been trying O2 which has a few patchy areas but otherwise it’s edge and 3G with some 4g. It seems faster once it does have a signal then EE and changes bands faster too.
    So I am now trying Tesco Mobile, which seems to get a 3G signal or a patchy no signal but refuses to get a 4G signal anywhere, including the town I went to today where their checker advises full 4G signal, I got full 3G instead?
    Both the O2 and EE have been pay as you go sims I’ve got just to test before moving my number across to a contract.

    Anyone know why on Tesco Mobile I can only get 3G? I don’t understand why it’s so different to what O2 signal I can get, then again I can get better 3G on Tesco Mobile then O2 in some spots in my home?

    • JINNAH

      Hi do you have a postcode for some street near you ? so i can check the best network for you as i’m on three PAYG £25 top up unlimited data ive mange to get 80+ meg download speed on a old Samsung Galaxy Note 3 but i am in the heart of England Worcester, anyway without a postcode i couldn’t really give you solid advice on witch network to go on ?

    • Ibster

      Tesco & o2 are both identical in terms of coverage as Tesco uses o2 network. You may need to check the Tesco sim to see whether it is 4g compatible as the sim also needs to be compatible.

  • andy stables

    thinking of getting the non uk z5 premium as it seems the bandwidth will be supported for use in th UK, is this not advisable though? just want it because its cheaper

    • Ibster

      You should be fine. The only stumbling block could be warranty/support if something goes wrong. But if the seller is genuine and has good reviews then you should be ok. Otherwise the phone should be supported on all bands on 4g

  • Craig Gilman

    I’ve got a oneplus one and when I bought it – I was told it couldn’t get 4G in the UK due to the frequency it uses. I have been able to get 4G in various places in the last couple of months though so I assume that o2 ( I’m on giffgaff and they use o2s network) have started to use a few other frequencies including that supported by the oneplus. I have picked it up in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Durham, York and Oxford. I live in Birmingham and frustratingly have not yet had a 4G signal here! :( Grrr

    • Ibster

      One plus one does not use band 20 (800mhz) for 4g. o2 has switched on 4g on band 3 (1800mhz) in certain parts of the country where you have managed to obtain 4g on the phone as band 3 (1800 mhz) and band 7 (2600 mhz) are 4g compatible for the handset in question.

  • Jonny

    I’m working in the US for a couple of weeks, my LG G4 has just died, I thought I’d just quickly buy a replacement of another LG G4 but will the US991 work on Three when I get back?

    • Ibster

      According to the information I could find it will only work on 3g. You will not be able to access 4g on any of the network providers here in the UK.

    • Ibster

      It will only work on 3g network. The phone model stated is not 4g compatible on any network in the UK

  • Jayne Mcewen

    If I buy a Samsung Galaxy Note 5 from Asia will it work on EE UK network sim-only deal?

    • http://www.moonquddus.com Dauve

      There’s 4 models of the Galaxy Note 5, N920T, N920A, N920I & N920G. Please check the model number before buying your phone.

      For reference, they all have decent coverage, but only N920A supports band 20 (800Mhz). I think they should all be fine for EE.

  • Pip Ryland

    How do I get a mobile operator to fulfill their obligation to supply a signal? We are 7 miles from Norwich but have no signal on ANY network. O2 used to be just useable here so I switched back after 5 years of hell with Vodafone (just using the internet box as no signal here) and the signal is worse now. I cannot get any signal at all indoors and to send a text outdoors is a lottery: sometimes 10 minutes, sometimes 4 hours for a message to go or arrive! Mobile internet?? what’s that? Actually I discovered it in Egypt 2 years ago…..perfect 4g signal in a remote spot by the Red Sea. I tried putting a booster up in the roof, but there is no signal to boost. How can I get providers to give me 2g?

    • JINNAH

      They wont give you much, best thing to do is get a Mobile Repeater Mobile Booster Kit!

      • Gasman

        No signal to boost! I have already bought one and put the aerial outside at rooftop. No change, no signal.

        • Chris smith

          signal box running off wifi is your best bet, they will likely charge you for it though unless you manage to blag your way through customer services

          • Gasman

            4 years with Vodophone just for that box! It has aged me 20 years! Vodafone do not deserve to be in business. See their reviews on Trust pilot if you use them or are tempted to do so.

        • JINNAH

          What one did you purchase ? As i really need to pick one moved house dam signal really sucks indoors!

    • Archie Quinn

      Woah, are you me? I live 7 miles from Norwich and my reception is dire as well. I usually resort to using O2’s internet text/calling app “TU go”, although it’s hardly reliable either.

      • Gasman

        Tugo is poor.
        Whatsapp is better, but only works where both subscribe.
        I am in Brooke, how about you?

    • Sepehr

      Gasman, I don’t know what phone you use but Three is bringing Wifi Calling straight to your phone (no app needed) and also it works on airplane mode.
      Currently is available on LG G5 and Galaxy S6/S6Edge(make sure the frimware provided by Three or the phone sold by Three otherwise the software is not compatible with wifi calling) and from 12th of December on iPhone 5 and above !
      I tried it on London Underground and on airplane mode.
      Also they have an application like O2Tugo which is called Three in Touch and it works better than O2 app but wifi calling is more reliable!

  • BMC

    Hi everyone, thinking to buy the LGV20, getting confused with the amount of bands which it covers…I’m on Vodafone and travel around the world and like to swap to a local SIM when. I’m abroad…I have had no problems with UK phones but last year made a mistake buying a LG V10which did not work on Vodafone 4g…but great on the 3 network…don’t really want to make another mistake again …thanks in advance

    • Ibster

      You can get a 4g compatible LG V20 that supports Band 20 for Vodafone/o2 (800mhz). You just need to ensure that you buy the correct model that supports it.

      If you check out the frequencycheck website there is useful guidance that will help.

    • Sepehr

      V20 is compatible with Three, Vodafone and O2 on 4G.

      • BMC

        Thanks Sepehr and Ibster for your knowledge…, I thought that it would be easier for Mobile phone manufacturers to make the phones so that they can work any where in the world on as many frequencies as possible…. Checking out frequencies is a hassle!!

  • Cam

    Hello,

    if i buy an iphone 7 plus in canada the model A1784 will it work in uk? it says on the apple website it is band 1, 3, 7, 8 and 18?

    thanks !

    • Cam

      i am with vodafone