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ASDA Mobile Coverage and Network Review

7th November 2018

Asda Mobile Network Coverage

Asda Mobile is an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) which uses EE’s infrastructure. That means wherever EE has coverage, Asda Mobile does too, which means that its 4G service currently reaches over 99% of the UK population.

Beyond that, 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.

There’s plenty more to Asda Mobile though, so read on below for a full look at what the network offers and an overview of 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

4G 

>99%

3G

98%

2G

99%

Asda Mobile has over 99% UK population coverage for 4G, and 4G coverage for around 91% of the UK’s geography. That’s spread across thousands of towns, cities and villages.

Additionally, Asda Mobile has 99% 2G coverage and 98% 3G coverage. Locations with 4G coverage include but are not limited to the following cities:

Aberdeen, Armagh, Bangor, Bath, Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Canterbury, Cardiff, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Chester, Chichester, Coventry, Derby, Derry, Dundee, Durham, Edinburgh, Ely, Exeter,  Glasgow, Gloucester, Hereford, Inverness, Kingston upon Hull, Lancaster, Leeds, Leicester, Lichfield, Lincoln, Lisburn, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Newport, Newry, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Peterborough, Peterlee, Perth, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Preston, Ripon, Sheffield, Southampton, St Albans, St Asaph, St David’s, Salford, Salisbury, Stirling, Stoke, Sunderland, Swansea, Truro, Wakefield, Wells, City of Westminster, Winchester, Wolverhampton Worcester and York.

Use the coverage checker above to find out more about Asda Mobile's coverage in your area, including signal strengths and details on both indoor and outdoor coverage.

Network Speeds and Frequencies

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

Speedtest – Mobile Speedtest Data, Q3-Q4 2017

Network

Download/upload speeds

Asda Mobile (EE)

28.80/9.29Mbps

Vodafone

17.26/8.16Mbps

Three

14.58/7.35Mbps

O2

14.11/7.13Mbps

According to a Speedtest report (above) from late 2017, EE offers average download speeds of 28.80Mbps and average upload speeds of 9.29Mbps. That’s faster in both cases than any rival and since Asda Mobile uses EE’s infrastructure its results are likely to be similarly speedy – though probably slightly slower, since Asda Mobile can’t access EE’s fastest 4G+ speeds.

OpenSignal – Mobile Networks Update, October 2018

Network

4G download speeds

4G latency (ms)

Asda Mobile (EE)

28.9Mbps

39.77ms

Three

18.78Mbps

48.15ms

Vodafone

21.92Mbps

40.78ms

O2

14.61Mbps

42.38ms

In the OpenSignal report above you can see that EE again comes out on top, this time with average 4G download speeds of 28.9Mbps and an average latency (the time the network takes to respond to a request) of 39.77ms. For the former figure it again needs to be noted that Asda might be a bit slower, but it should still be among the faster 4G networks.

Asda Mobile Network Frequencies

Frequency

Frequency Band

Network

800MHz

Band 20

4G

1800MHz

Band 3

2G & 4G

2100MHz

Band 1

3G & 4G

2600MHz

Band 7

4G

Being an EE MVNO, Asda Mobile uses EE’s spectrum bands, which means it has access to the 800MHz band, the 1800MHz band, the 2100MHz band and the 2600MHz band for 4G.

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

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

Planned improvements

EE is working to upgrade more than 500 of its 3G towers to support 4G, which will of course benefit Asda Mobile too. The towers are mostly found in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Exeter, Hull, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast.

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 and can use any or all of your data allowance to tether.

Asda Mobile Pay As You Go Bundles

Plans Available

Max Data

15GB

Bundle Expiry

30 days

EU Roaming

Tethering

VoLTE

WiFi Calling

Data Rollover

 

View deals

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

Asda Mobile has a handful of Pay As You Go SIM Only bundles, each of which lasts 30 days. These come with a maximum of 15GB of data, and these bundles automatically recur every 30 days.

Asda Mobile also offers a standard rate Pay As You Go service with rates of 8p per minute, 4p per text and 5p 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. The fairly low data limits may also prove restrictive for some users.

Tethering

Asda Mobile allows you to use some or all of your monthly data allowance to tether (getting other devices online). However, as Asda Mobile’s plans don’t come with more than 15GB of data it’s still more restrictive for this than many networks.

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.

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 allowances at no extra cost everywhere in the EU (for a total of 50 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 recent 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.

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 EE’s robust infrastructure it’s a solid choice, but data limits aren’t high and free roaming is limited to the EU (which almost all networks offer), so Asda Mobile isn’t ideal if you travel a lot or use a lot of mobile data. It's also a write-off if you want a new phone on contract, since it doesn't offer any Pay Monthly plans.

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