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BT Mobile Review and Network Coverage

22nd June 2020

BT Network Coverage

BT Mobile has a lot going for it, including higher 4G speeds than most networks and slightly better 4G coverage.

Both of those points are largely down to the fact that it uses EE's 4G network (which it also owns), as that network is bigger and faster than its main rivals.

But there are also reasons you might want to choose BT over EE. For example, it offers discounts to BT Broadband customers. That said, it doesn’t do everything perfectly.

With that in mind, we’ve crafted this review of BT Mobile, highlighting the areas where it excels and those where there’s room for improvement.




High speeds

No Pay As You Go plans

Discounts for broadband customers

No inclusive roaming beyond the EU

Good 4G coverage

No unlimited data unless you have Halo

Our Rating


BT Coverage

Network Type

Coverage by population







BT Mobile uses the same core network as EE, giving it excellent coverage across the UK with 99, 98 and 99 per cent 4G, 3G and 2G coverage respectively. That puts it in a strong position when it comes to coverage, but you also benefit from access to BT's WiFi hotspots across the UK.

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

4G Network Coverage Comparison


4G coverage by population

BT Mobile (EE Network)








As you can see in the coverage comparison above, BT is ahead of rivals, other possibly than Three, but not by much, as Vodafone and O2 both have almost as much 4G population 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.

5G coverage

BT Mobile launched its 5G service on October 11th, 2019, making it the first UK MVNO to do so. In fact, that even put its 5G mobile launch ahead of O2 or Three (the latter of which already offered 5G, but only for home broadband).

It's available in the same places as EE, which means 80 towns and cities in total at the time of writing. These include:

Ashton Under Lyme, Bath, Belfast, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Borehamwood, Bransholm, Bristol, Bury, Cardiff, Castlereagh, Chatham, Chelmsford, Cheshunt, Chesterfield, Clevedon, Clifton, Clydebank, Coventry, Dartford, Dinnington, Dudley, Edinburgh, Gillingham, Glasgow, Grays, Guildford, Hamilton, Harlow, Hoddesdon, Huddersfield, Hull, Inchinnan, Kimberley, Kingston, Leeds, Leicester, Lichfield, Lisburn, Liverpool, Loughborough, Loughton, London, Maidstone, Manchester, Milnrow, Motherwell, Newcastle, Newton-le-Willows, Northampton, North Shields, Nottingham, Oldham, Paisley, Potters Bar, Rochdale, Rochester, Romford, Rotherham, Rugeley, Salford, Sheffield, Solihull, Southend On Sea, South Shields, Staines, Stevenage, Stirling, Sunderland, Sutton Coldfield, Swadlincote, Sydenham, Wakefield, Walsall, Waltham Cross, Watford, West Bromwich, Westhoughton, Weybridge, and Wolverhampton.

The chart below highlights the key places BT 5G is available in now, and where it’s coming to next.

BT 5G Coverage Rollout

Major locations with 5G

5G from later in 2020




















More TBC



















As the chart above shows, there are nine locations confirmed to be getting 5G from the network in 2020, but expect plenty more to get it beyond those.

Note that 5G coverage isn't comprehensive in the places that currently have it. The focus is mostly on the busiest areas, but coverage will continue to improve.

As for BT's 5G speeds, the network has said to expect average speeds of around 150Mbps more than 4G, with peak speeds apparently able to reach 1Gbps.

Network Speeds and Frequencies

BT mostly uses standard 4G, which is roughly 5 times faster than a standard 3G network. However, it also has an Extra Speed service as an optional extra, which reaches speeds of up to 60Mbit/sec.

OpenSignal – Mobile Network Experience, April 2020


4G download/upload speeds

4G latency (ms)

BT Mobile (EE network)












According to an OpenSignal report from April 2020, EE’s average 4G download speed is 35.9Mbps. BT’s speeds aren’t part of the report, but they’re likely to be similar to EE’s, meaning probably higher than any major rival. The same applies to EE’s average 4G upload speed of 10.2Mbps.

EE’s average latency meanwhile is 36.0ms. That’s the measure of how long the network takes to respond to a request, so a lower number is better here, and EE (and likely by extension BT) is once again in the lead.

BT Mobile Network Frequencies


Frequency Band



Band 20



Band 3

2G & 4G


Band 1

3G & 4G


Band 7



Band 42 5G

BT Mobile uses the 800MHz band, 1800MHz band, 2100MHz band and 2600MHz band for 4G. The 800MHz band is long range, making it a great fit for countryside locations, but it can also penetrate walls, for good indoor coverage.

The 2600MHz band on the other hand is shorter range but higher capacity, which means it can deal well with congested areas like inner cities. The 3400MHz band is even shorter range and is used for 5G. The 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands are somewhere in the middle.

For more in depth information, check out our 4G frequencies guide.

Planned improvements

BT is seemingly mostly now looking to expand its 5G coverage across the UK.

Traffic management

BT Mobile doesn’t have any speed restrictions, no matter how much you upload or download, even at peak hours. BT Mobile also won’t slow down peer to peer file-sharing, so you’re free to use the network however and whenever you want without being slowed.


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24 Month Contract

1 GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

£10.00 a month

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1 GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

£12.00 a month

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12 Month Contract

6 GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

£14.00 a month

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24 Month Contract

20 GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

£15.00 a month

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12 Month Contract

15 GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

£17.00 a month

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BT Mobile offers a range of Pay Monthly and SIM Only plans, which are detailed below. Note that they all include free use of BT’s 5 million+ Wi-Fi hotspots, and many of them support Family SIM, which lets you add additional SIM cards to the contract at a reduced price, each with its own data, and each additional one only being tied into a 30-day contract.

All of BT’s plans come with 4G at no extra cost. The network also now offers a number of 5G plans on Pay Monthly - so these are only available alongside a 5G phone.

BT Mobile Pay Monthly Plans


Mobile Phones

SIM Only

Plans Available

Max Data



Contract lengths

24 months

12 months

EU Roaming

Global Roaming



WiFi Calling

Data Rollover

Spending Caps

Free BT Sport on mobile

✔* ✔*


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* On select plans

BT Mobile’s Pay Monthly plans are all 24 months long and all allow you to use your data allowance towards tethering. You can get up to 100GB of monthly data with Pay Monthly plans.

BT’s SIM Only plans are all 12 months long and come with up to 100GB of monthly data. As with Pay Monthly, you can use any or all of that data for tethering. SIM Only plans also allow you to switch your allowance each month, so while you’re tied into a contract for 12 months you don’t have to stick with the same allowances.

Note that those 100GB max allowances can be exceeded but only if you're a BT Halo customer. In that case you get the option of unlimited data.

Highlights of BT Mobile’s plans include free access to BT Sport on many plans, and discounts if you’re a BT Broadband customer. There are also extras, detailed below, however data limits (outside Halo) are middling given that many networks now offer unlimited data for all.

BT also offers Data Only plans. These come on 12-month contracts with up to 30GB of data.

Pay As You Go

BT Mobile doesn’t currently offer any Pay As You Go plans.

BT Extra Speed

BT's Extra Speed service is available as an optional add-on (though it comes as standard with some plans), doubling 4G speeds to up to 60Mbps. It's available in many of the same places as standard 4G. This is the equivalent of EE’s double speed service (which now comes as standard on that network) and isn’t as fast as EE’s 4G+ or 5G.


BT Mobile lets you use as much of your monthly data allowance as you want for tethering, so you can get tablets, laptops and other devices online by sharing your phone’s network connection. The only limit is your data allowance.

WiFi Calling

Wi-Fi Calling refers to the act of calling and texting over a Wi-Fi network, while using your normal number, dialler and SMS app, so it’s completely seamless. BT Mobile offers this to all new and existing customers, but currently you need an iPhone 5S or later, or a select Android handset bought from BT, including the Samsung Galaxy S20, Samsung Galaxy S10, OnePlus 7, Huawei P30 and more.


VoLTE stands for Voice over LTE (sometimes called 4G Calling) and lets you make and receive calls over 4G, so you’ll be able to stay in touch in places that don’t have a 2G or 3G signal. BT Mobile offers this to all customers, but at the moment it only works on the iPhone 6 or later, or a number of Android phones bought from BT, including the Samsung Galaxy S20, Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, Google Pixel 4, Oppo Reno 5G, and others.

Roaming Destinations

BT Mobile lets you use your full allowance of minutes and texts at no extra cost in 47 European destinations. You can also use your data, but above 50GB a surcharge may be applied. The applicable destinations are as follows:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Martinique, Mayotte, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal (Incl. Azores & Madeira), Reunion, Romania, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Vatican City.

BT Mobile also offers a Travel Data Pass, which lets you use 500MB of data for £6 each day in Andorra, Australia, Canada, China, India, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, and the US.

Customer service

While hard to judge conclusively, one report suggests BT’s customer service may leave something to be desired.

According to an Ofcom service quality report from late 2018, 33 of every 100,000 customers found reason to complain about BT to Ofcom. That may not sound like many, but of the networks on test only Virgin and Vodafone performed worse, with the average being just 18.


Overall BT Mobile is a good network choice, but exactly how good depends on your needs. By leveraging the power of EE’s infrastructure BT has one of the fastest 4G networks around – especially if you opt for its Extra Speed service, plus you can also get 5G, and if you’re a Halo customer you can even get unlimited data.

But it has also got benefits of its own, such as free access to BT’s extensive network of Wi-Fi hotspots, along with Wi-Fi Calling and 4G Calling on select handsets.

It's not an all-rounder - its offerings feel slightly limited, as there’s no Pay As You Go. BT also isn’t as competitive for roaming as some rivals, and its customer service record doesn’t look great, but if you’re happy to have a contract and will mostly be using your phone in the UK it’s a strong option.

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