Updated: November, 2016
TalkTalk is an MVNO that currently uses Vodafone, but it will soon be switching to O2 as part of a new multi-year deal.
At the moment it only offers 3G, but once it makes the move to O2 you’ll be able to get 4G as well. It’s also a small player in the mobile market, with only around 350,000 users, but the move to 4G is likely to help it grow as well.
Given that TalkTalk will soon be using O2’s infrastructure we can already see what its 4G coverage will be like.
O2 currently has 4G coverage for over 70% of the UK population and aims to have 98% population coverage as soon as possible, so TalkTalk will be jumping on board with a well-established network and will presumably deliver the same level of coverage. O2 customers also report a 4G signal 55.97% of the time according to OpenSignal, which again should apply to TalkTalk - and is a figure that's sure to grow.
Types of 4G from TalkTalk:
TalkTalk is currently 3G-only, but it will soon offer 4G that is around five times faster than a standard 3G connection. *4G speeds will vary depending on location and number of people using the service.
TalkTalk will only have access to 800MHz spectrum, as that’s what O2 uses.
It can travel over long distances, so it’s good for bringing 4G to rural locations and for widespread coverage. It’s also great at passing through walls for stronger indoor signal.
But it has a low capacity, as it is only available in small 5 and 10MHz blocks, which means that it may struggle to deliver consistent speeds when large numbers of people connect at once. Though this will only be an issue in extremely busy areas if at all.
Check coverage in your area here.
TalkTalk doesn’t currently offer 4G, but it soon will and it will share coverage with O2, which currently has 4G in over 600 towns and cities.
Towns and cities with 4G from O2 include but are by no means limited to: Antrim, Bradford, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bridgend, Brighton, Burnley, Castleford, Coleraine, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Leigh, Liverpool, Livingston, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield, London, Macclesfield, Newtownabbey, Nottingham, Nuneaton, Pontypool, Poole, Portsmouth, Reading, St Albans, Sittingbourne, Southampton and Tamworth.
Once TalkTalk’s 4G network is live it will hopefully add 4G to its coverage checker, but in the mean time you can always use O2’s coverage checker to find out where you’re likely to be able to get TalkTalk 4G. Details also include a breakdown of indoor and outdoor coverage.
Recent locations to get an O2 4G upgrade include:
Crick, Burton upon Stather, Barton-upon-Humber, Braemar, Whitehead, Clehonger, Crewkerne, Ilminster, Swarland, Westruther and Winterbourne. So TalkTalk will have 4G in these places too once it switches to O2.
TalkTalk doesn’t currently offer any cheap or inclusive roaming for data, texts or calls. Data use will cost you 4p per megabyte in Europe and £3 per megabyte in the rest of the world.