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ASDA Mobile Review and Network Coverage

11th June 2021

Asda Mobile Network Coverage

Asda Mobile aims to stand out through a range of affordable tariffs, which can be changed every 30 days. However, the network doesn’t currently have a Pay Monthly service, so on paper it might sound quite limited.

There’s plenty more to Asda Mobile though, and as a Vodafone MVNO it offers strong coverage, so read on below for a full review and overview of the network, including where it excels and where it falters.

Summary

Pros

Cons

Short-term plans

No inclusive roaming beyond Europe

Competitive prices

No Pay Monthly

Our Verdict 

Coverage

Asda Mobile Coverage

Network Type

Coverage by population

5G

Now available in 100 locations

4G 

99%

3G

99%

2G

99%

Asda Mobile used to be partnered with EE for coverage, but at the time of writing it’s in the process of switching to Vodafone – all new customers will automatically be connected to Vodafone’s infrastructure, and existing customers should now be able to switch. So by the time you read this the switch may well be complete. With that in mind we’re focusing on Vodafone’s coverage for this article.

Asda Mobile then has - through Vodafone - around 99% UK population coverage for 4G. Additionally, Asda Mobile also has 99% 2G coverage and 99% 3G coverage. Locations with 4G coverage include but are not limited to the following cities:

Basingstoke, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bradford, Brighton, Coventry, Dudley, Edinburgh, Epsom, Ewell, Folkestone, Gateshead, Glasgow, Hatfield , Hove and Hastings, Hemel Hempstead, Huddersfield, Jarrow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Maidstone, Newbury, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oldham, Pontefract, Portsmouth, Reading, Rotherham, Sheffield, Slough, Stockport, Sunderland, Sutton Coldfield, Staines, Stourbridge, Swinton, Southampton, Tunbridge, Wakefield, Walsall, Watford, Wells and West Bromwich.

Use Asda Mobile’s coverage checker to find out more about Asda Mobile's coverage in your area, including signal strengths and details on 5G, 4G, 3G and 2G coverage.

5G coverage

Asda Mobile offers 5G in all the same places as Vodafone, meaning 100 UK locations at the time of writing. The full list is as follows:

Aberdeen, Alexandria, Ambleside, Aughton (Sth Yorks), Basingstoke, Bebington, Belfast, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Bishopbriggs, Blaydon, Bolton, Bootle, Bournemouth, Bradford, Bristol, Bristol Airport, Cardiff, Cheadle and Gatley, Cheltenham, Chesterfield, Clydebank, Crawley (West Sussex), Crosby, Dewsbury, Dinas Powys, Droylsden, Dudley (West Midlands), Dundee, Eccles, Edinburgh, Eston and South Bank, Felling, Gateshead, Glasgow, Gloucester, Gosforth (Tyne & Wear), Guildford, Hebburn, Helensburgh, Horwich, Huddersfield, Huyton-with-Roby, Inner London, Isles of Scilly, Jarrow, Kingston upon Hull, Kingswood (Bristol), Lancaster, Leeds, Lisburn, Liverpool, Llandudno, Long Benton/Killingworth, Manchester, Mangotsfield, Middlesbrough, Morley, Mosborough/Highlane, Newbury, Newcastle upon Tyne, Newtownabbey, North Shields, Oldbury/Smethwick, Outer London, Paisley, Penarth, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Prescot, Prestwich, Pudsey, Rawmarsh, Reading, Rochdale, Rotherham, Salford, Sheffield, Shipley, Solihull, South Shields, Southampton, Stockport, Stockton-on-Tees, Stoke-on-Trent, Stranraer, Stretford, Sunderland, Sutton Coldfield, Swansea, Swinton and Pendlebury, Tynemouth, Urmston, Wallasey, Wallsend, Warrington, Washington, Whitley Bay, and Wolverhampton.

Network Speeds and Frequencies

Asda Mobile customers can get 4G speeds which are roughly five times faster than a standard 3G connection.

Opensignal – Mobile Network Experience, October 2020, and April 2020

Network

4G download/upload speeds

4G latency (ms)

EE

36.4/9.1Mbps

36.0ms

Three

22.2/8.0Mbps

48.3ms

Asda Mobile (Vodafone)

22.4/8.5Mbps

39.0ms

O2

18.2/6.2Mbps

38.1ms

We don’t have much data on Asda Mobile’s speeds, but they’re likely to be similar to Vodafone’s (or EE’s for customers who haven’t been switched over yet). In an Opensignal report from October 2020, Vodafone was found to have average 4G download speeds of 22.4Mbps, and average 4G upload speeds of 8.5Mbps, both of which are the second highest averages on test.

4G latency (the time it takes for a network to respond to a request) is slightly less good though. Lower is better here, and Vodafone has the second highest latency of the four main networks in tests carried out in April 2020.

On 5G, Asda Mobile’s average download speeds could be around 143.6Mbps, based on Point Topic tests of Vodafone from September 2020.

Asda Mobile Network Frequencies

Frequency

Frequency Band

Network

800MHz

Band 20 4G

900MHz

Band 8 2G & 3G

1400MHz SDL

Band 32 4G

1800MHz

Band 3

2G & 4G

2100MHz

Band 1

3G & 4G

2600MHz

Band 7

4G

3400MHz

n78 5G

3600MHz

n77 5G

Being a Vodafone MVNO, Asda Mobile uses Vodafone’s spectrum bands, which means it presumably has access to all of the bands above.

That leaves the network able to deliver consistent 4G services both in urban and rural locations, indoors and out.

For 5G, it should have access to the 3400MHz and 3600MHz bands, which Vodafone currently uses for this.

You can find in depth details of those bands in our 4G and 5G frequencies guide.

Planned improvements

At the time of writing, Asda Mobile seems focused on switching its network partner from EE to Vodafone. Beyond that, expect its 5G coverage to grow along with Vodafone’s.

Traffic management

Asda Mobile doesn’t publish its traffic management policies, but chances are that they’re similar to most networks, in that emergency calls will always be prioritised and in general you won’t notice traffic management in play, unless there’s a fault on the network or your use is classed as excessive.

Plans

Asda Mobile offers a range of SIM Only bundles along with a Pay As You Go service. In either case you’ll get 4G at no extra cost, as well as 5G on many plans, and can use any or all of your data allowance to tether.

Asda Mobile Pay As You Go Bundles

Plans Available

Max Data

Unlimited

Bundle Expiry

30 days

EU Roaming

Tethering

VoLTE

Wi-Fi Calling

Data Rollover

 

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Asda Mobile doesn’t currently offer any Pay Monthly plans with a handset.

However, Asda Mobile does offer a handful of SIM Only bundles, each of which lasts 30 days. These come with a maximum of unlimited data, and these bundles can be set to automatically recur every 30 days.

Asda Mobile also offers a Pay As You Go service with rates of 4p per minute, 4p per text and 4p per megabyte of data.

With all that in mind the highlights of Asda Mobile’s plans include their low prices and their flexibility, however the lack of Pay Monthly is a major omission – if you want a new phone on contract you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Tethering

Asda Mobile allows you to use some or all of your monthly data allowance to tether (getting other devices online).

Wi-Fi Calling

Wi-Fi Calling means making and receiving calls over Wi-Fi using your normal number and dialler. It’s handy if you have no signal but do have access to a Wi-Fi network and it’s typically seamless, however it’s not currently offered by Asda Mobile at the time of writing. That said, the network has mentioned it as something that will be added in Q3 of 2021.

VoLTE

VoLTE stands for Voice over LTE and is sometimes called 4G Calling. It’s a similar concept to Wi-Fi Calling, but allows you to call over 4G, where typically you can only call using a 2G or 3G network. With VoLTE you can stay in touch in more places, as there are areas that have a 4G signal but no other kind. However, VoLTE isn’t currently offered by Asda Mobile. We’ll update this page if that changes.

Roaming Destinations

Asda Mobile lets you use your bundle allowances at no extra cost in much of Europe (for a total of 36 international destinations), so you can roam without racking up big bills. However, there's no free roaming offered outside Europe.

Customer Service

Customer service can be hard to judge, but based on the Which? H1 2017 UK Mobile Network Survey, Asda Mobile may be quite good for it.

It comes in fourth overall in the survey, which quizzed 4,026 members of the public. They gave Asda Mobile a customer score of 72%, beaten only by Tesco Mobile, Giffgaff, and, oddly, Utility Warehouse, while its 4-star customer service score was matched by a few networks but beaten by none.

Asda Mobile additionally got 4 stars for ease/speed of contacting and 5 stars for value for money, with all star ratings being out of 5.

On Trustpilot meanwhile it has a rating of 3.1/5 at the time of writing, which is considered ‘average’.

Of course, the Which? study is old, and there aren’t many ratings on Trustpilot, so we have less of a sense for Asda Mobile’s customer service than for most networks.

Conclusion

Asda Mobile has low prices and short-term plans that last just 30 days, giving you more flexibility than some networks.

With tethering allowed too and Vodafone’s robust infrastructure it’s a solid choice, but free roaming is limited to parts of Europe (which almost all networks offer), so Asda Mobile isn’t ideal if you travel a lot.

It's also a write-off if you want a new phone on contract, since it doesn't offer any Pay Monthly plans. Overall it’s a very average network, but will suit some users.

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