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Which networks offer unlimited data?

9th May 2017

Unlimited data is great because you never need to worry about overspending or running out of data as you endlessly use up gigaloads of data. Here in the UK there are currently only two networks which offer unlimited data, which are Three and GiffGaff.

Both these operators have some form of restriction so it makes sense to get fully up to speed with the ins and outs of unlimited data packages.To find out more read on and see which network provides the best unlimited data option for you.

You can also quickly look at the remaining mobile operators to see which offers the best non-unlimited data package. You never know one of these may suit your needs.

Three

Three Logo

Unlimited data at maximum speeds

Three offers truly unlimited data on Pay Monthly, SIM Only and Pay As You Go plans which all come with 4G at no extra cost.

Tethering is included with Three's unlimited data plans but is limited to 30GB each month. You can also use up to 12GB data when roaming in 60 Feel At Home locations across the world at no extra cost.A fair usage policy is in place with Three’s unlimited data plans, but this is used to prevent commercial use. Realistically you shouldn’t see any limits on personal data use even if you’re the heaviest of heavy users.

Three also offers Mobile Broadband plans, but these aren't available with unlimited data and come with a maximum of 20GB data.

View deals on Three


Giffgaff

GiffGaff

Unlimited data with speed restrictions

Giffgaff offers an unlimited data goodybag (add-on), which can be purchased with SIM Only or a Mobile Phone.

There are some restrictions with only the first 6GB of use per month being at full 4G speeds. After that speeds are capped at 256kbps between 8am and midnight, which is quite slow.

Tethering is also capped at 6GB per month and the only way to use your data abroad is at pay for the roaming data separately (which costs between 20p and £5 per megabyte).

Mobile broadband add-ons are available called 'Gigabags' but the maximum data available is 1GB per month, so far from unlimited.

View deals on GiffGaff

What about the other UK networks?

The other UK networks currently don't offer unlimited data. However, many do have high data limits (as high as 60GB), the full details are displayed below.

Operator

Max data

Tethering

Roaming

EE

40GB

40GB

15GB

O2

50GB

50GB

N/A

Vodafone

60GB

60GB

60GB

iD Mobile

10GB

N/A

10GB

BT

30GB

30GB

N/A

FreedomPop

4GB

4GB

200MB

Lycamobile

10GB

N/A

3GB

Plusnet Mobile

4GB

4GB

N/A

Sky Mobile

5GB

5GB

N/A

TalkTalk

4GB

4GB

N/A

Tesco Mobile

30GB

30GB

N/A

The People's Operator

8GB

N/A

N/A

Virgin Mobile

20GB

N/A

N/A

Asda Mobile

6GB

6GB

N/A

EE

EE

EE’s Pay Monthly plans top out at 40GB of data, while SIM Only offers a maximum of 20GB and on Pay As You Go you can get bundles of up to 5GB.

There are no restrictions on its general use, or on its use when tethering, however you can only use up to 15GB for roaming – and even then, only if you’re on a 4GEE Max plan. On Essential plans you don’t get any roaming allowance, and on 4GEE plans you’re capped at 500MB.

EE also offers mobile broadband plans with data limits that max out at 32GB.

While you can’t get unlimited data on EE, one advantage of it is high speeds, with double speed and 4G+ services on some plans.

O2

o2

O2 offers up to 50GB of data on Pay Monthly and up to 25GB on SIM Only, while you can get 20GB bundles on Pay As You Go, all of which can be used for tethering.

O2 also offers mobile broadband plans with up to 40GB of monthly data.

O2 doesn’t offer any inclusive roaming services, instead you have to buy an add-on, and it only offers standard 4G speeds.

Vodafone

Vodafone

Vodafone’s Pay Monthly plans come with up to 60GB of data, while SIM Only comes with up to 40GB and Pay As You Go includes up to 12GB, all of which can be used for tethering or roaming.

Vodafone also has mobile broadband plans with up to 50GB of data and has a speed advantage over most networks in some areas, as it has partial UK coverage with LTE Advanced, which is roughly 3 times faster than normal 4G.

iD Mobile

iD Mobile

iD Mobile offers a range of plans on Pay Monthly or SIM Only, topping out at 10GB of data, while Pay As You Go comes with up to 4GB, and data only plans include up to 15GB of data.

Opt for a Takeaway plan (with up to 10GB) and you can also use any or all of your data to roam in 29 countries.

However, tethering isn’t allowed on any plans and while you get 4G speeds as standard this is just normal 4G.

BT

BT Mobile

BT has Pay Monthly plans with up to 30GB of data and SIM Only ones with up to 15GB. The network doesn’t offer any Pay As You Go or data only plans. You can use all of your data for tethering if you want, but roaming isn’t included.

BT also has an Extra Speed service, giving you twice the speed of standard 4G.

FreedomPop

Freedom Pop

FreedomPop has a range of SIM Only plans offering up to 4GB of data. You can use this data to tether if you also subscribe to its Premier service.

The network doesn’t currently offer any Pay Monthly, Pay As You Go or mobile broadband plans, and you can only roam using one of the network’s special ‘WhatsApp SIMs’ – which limit you to 3G speeds and 200MB of data. All other plans come with 4G speeds as standard.

Lycamobile

LycaMobile

Lycamobile doesn’t offer any Pay Monthly plans, but with SIM Only you can get up to 10GB of monthly data. In most cases you can’t roam, but there’s one ‘International Bundle’ with 3GB of roaming data.

You can also get up to 5GB of UK data on data only plans or Pay As You Go.

None of Lycamobile’s plans allow you to tether, but you get 4G at no extra cost.

Plusnet Mobile

Plusnet Mobile

Plusnet Mobile only has SIM Only plans and these come with up to 4GB of data. You can use any or all of this for tethering, but not for roaming. 4G is included as standard.

Sky Mobile

Sky Mobile

Sky Mobile just offers SIM Only plans and these include up to 5GB of monthly data. You can use as much of this as you want for tethering, but roaming isn’t included. Sky Mobile offers standard 4G speeds.

TalkTalk

TalkTalk

TalkTalk doesn’t offer any Pay As You Go or mobile broadband plans, but on Pay Monthly you can get up to 4GB of data and on SIM Only you can get up to 2GB. You can use this data for tethering, but roaming isn’t included. TalkTalk only offers 3G speeds.

Tesco Mobile

Tesco Mobile

Tesco Mobile gives you up to 30GB of data on both Pay Monthly and SIM Only plans, and you can use as much as you want for tethering.

You can also get Pay As You Go bundles with up to 4GB of data, but there aren’t any mobile broadband plans and roaming isn’t included. 4G data is included as standard.

The People’s Operator

The People's Operator

The People’s Operator offers up to 8GB of data on SIM Only, 6GB with a Pay As You Go bundle, or 1GB for mobile broadband.

There aren’t any Pay Monthly plans or inclusive roaming, and nor can you use any of your data to tether. Speeds are standard 4G.

Virgin Mobile

Virgin Mobile

Virgin Mobile offers up to 20GB of data on Pay Monthly and SIM Only. Pay As You Go bundles top out at 3GB and data only plans at 10GB.

However, neither roaming nor tethering is included on any plans, and while most plans come with 4G, Pay As You Go only offers 3G speeds.

Asda Mobile

Asda Mobile

Asda Mobile’s SIM Only plans come with up to 6GB of data, all of which can be used for tethering. You can also get up to 4GB of data on a data only plan, or you can Pay As You Go.

The network offers standard 4G speeds, but roaming isn’t free.

Do I need unlimited data?

That’s the big question, and the answer in most cases is no. If you’re streaming multiple hours of video each day over mobile data, or using mobile data to download movies, games or lots of music then you might, but even most quite heavy users should be fine on 10GB or less and lighter users can often get by on just 2 or 3GB of data.

The easiest way to be sure is to look at how much data you’re using each month on your current plan, then move to a plan that gives you slightly more than that.

Summary

Three and GiffGaff are the only UK operators offering unlimited data. Three are the currently the best option for those looking for unlimited data because they don't limit download speeds.

Operator

Unlimited data

Restrictions

Tethering

Roaming

Three

Yes

Fair Usage

30GB

12GB

Giffgaff

Yes

Reduced speed after 6GB usage

6GB

N/A

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