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iD Mobile Review and Network Coverage

10th June 2021

iD Mobile Logo

Who are iD Mobile and which network do they use?

iD Mobile is a mobile network owned by Dixons Carphone that uses Three’s network. It offers a range of great value Pay Monthly, Pay As You Go and SIM Only plans.

But it really stands out due to the fact that plans come with data rollover and spending caps. On top of that, iD Mobile has also started offering plans with unlimited data, which is fairly common now but still not something that all networks offer.

Plus, you can get both Wi-Fi Calling and 4G Calling on iD Mobile, which are two features that are usually reserved for ‘premium’ networks like EE, Three, O2 and Vodafone. The network has also started offering 5G.

There are some ways in which iD Mobile doesn’t do such a good job though, such as limited free roaming.

Summary

Pros

Cons

Affordable and flexible plans

Free roaming is mostly limited to Europe

Data rollover

 

Offers Wi-Fi and 4G Calling

 

Our Rating

Coverage

As iD Mobile uses Three’s network it has the same coverage as Three, as you'd expect.

iD Mobile Coverage

Network Type Coverage by population
5G Now available in 194 locations
4G  99.8%
3G 98.7%
2G N/A

Check iD Mobile Coverage

That means iD Mobile has around 99.8% UK population coverage with 4G and around 98.7% with 3G.

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

Towns and cities with partial or full coverage include but are not limited to: Aberdeen, Birmingham, Blackpool, Bolton, Bournemouth, Bradford, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Coventry, Derby, Dundee, Durham, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Gloucester, Huddersfield, Ipswich, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Luton, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northampton, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Preston, Sheffield, Southampton, Southend On Sea, Stoke On Trent, Swindon, Watford and York.

That's a very small subset of locations and the full list is growing all the time, so expect 4G from iD Mobile in your area soon if you don't have it already.

5G coverage

iD Mobile has launched its 5G service and as with 4G it’s available in all the same places as Three’s. At the time of writing that means 5G is available in parts of the following 194 locations:

Aberdeen, Abingdon-on-Thames, Adlington, Aldershot, Aldridge, Ashford, Balloch, Barnsley, Barrow-in-Furness, Basildon, Bath, Bedford, Belfast City, Belfast International Airport (Aldergrove), Billericay, Billingham, Birdwell, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Bishopthorpe, Blackburn, Blackpool, Borehamwood, Bournemouth, Bradford, Brentwood, Brighton, Brimington, Bristol, Bromsgrove, Brookmans Park, Broughton Astley, Burton upon Trent, Campton, Cannock, Cardiff,  Carlisle, Castlereagh, Chatham, Chelmsford, Cheltenham, Chesham, Chorley,  Christleton, Clayton-le-Woods, Clifton, Coedkernew, Colchester, Copmanthorpe, Corringham, Coventry, Crawley, Crook, Cullingworth, Danderhall, Delph, Denholme, Derby, Dewsbury, Dinnington, Doncaster, Dundee, East Kilbride, East Midlands Airport, Edinburgh, Egginton, Ellesmere Port, Exmouth, Falkirk, Gateshead, Glasgow, Gorebridge, Grays, Greenock, Grimsby, Guildford, Hamilton, Hartley, Hatfield, Heanor, Heathcote, Hedge End, Hemel Hempstead, Hertford, Heswall, Heywood, Horley, Horwich, Huddersfield, Huntington, Inchinnan, Ingleby Barwick, Ipswich, Irlam, Isle of Grain, Iver Heath, Kings Hill, Kings Langley, Kingston upon Hull, Kinmel Bay, Kirkheaton, Kirknewton, Knowl Wall, Leeds, Leicester, Leyland, Lincoln, Liverpool, London, Loughborough, Lower Stondon, Luton, Maidenhead, Maidstone, Manchester, Mansfield, Margate, Marlow Bottom, Marston Moretaine, Merthyr Tydfil, Metropolitan Newtownabbey, Middlesbrough, Milnrow, Milton Keynes, Motherwell, Neston, Newark-on-Trent, Newcastle upon Tyne, Newhall, Newport, Newquay, Newtonabbey, Newton Aycliffe, Newton-le-Willows, Normanton, Northampton, Nottingham, Nuneaton, Ottershaw, Oxford, Peterborough, Plymouth, Pontefract, Porthcawl, Portsmouth, Preston, Reading, Redcar, Redditch, Royston, Scunthorpe, Sheffield, Shelly Green, Shrewsbury, Slough, South Heighton, South Kirkby, South Normanton, South Ockendon, Southampton, Southend-on-Sea, Southport, St Albans, St Blazey, St Columb Road, Stafford, Stansted Airport, Stevenage, Stockton-on-Tees, Stoke-on-Trent, Stratford-upon-Avon, Sunderland, Sunninghill, Sutton in Ashfield, Swadlincote, Swindon, Swinton, Tamworth, Telford, Thornaby-on-Tees, Ullesthorpe, Wakefield, Wallingford, Walton, Warrington, Washington, Westhoughton, Weybridge, Wickford, Wigan, Winterbourne, Worcester, Worksop, Writtle, and York.

Note however that iD Mobile only supports 5G on select handsets at the time of writing. You can find the full list here.

Network Speeds and Frequencies

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

Network

4G download/upload speeds

4G latency (ms)

EE

36.4/9.1Mbps

37.3ms

iD Mobile (Three)

22.2/8.0Mbps

46.3ms

Vodafone

22.4/8.5Mbps

39.4ms

O2

18.2/6.2Mbps

37.4ms

In an Opensignal report from October 2020, Three was found to have the third fastest 4G download speeds at 22.2Mbps on average. Since iD Mobile uses Three’s infrastructure it’s likely to offer similar speeds. Its average upload speeds also come in third, at 8.0Mbps.

However, in an earlier report from April 2020, Three’s 4G latency (the amount of time it takes for the network to respond to a request), averaged 46.3ms, which is slower than any rival. We’re using older data for latency because the October report didn’t include it.

For 5G meanwhile, iD Mobile might be looking at average speeds of around 158.7Mbps based on tests of Three done by Point Topic in September 2020. Its 5G latency could be around 17ms, based on late 2020 RootMetrics data (again looking at Three).

Network Frequencies

Frequency

Frequency Band

Network

700MHz

n29 5G

800MHz

Band 20

4G

1400MHz

Band 32 4G

1800MHz

Band 3

4G

2100MHz

Band 1

3G

3400MHz

n78 5G

3600-4000MHz

n77 5G

As a Three MVNO, iD Mobile presumably uses all the same frequency bands, meaning the 800MHz, 1400MHz and 1800MHz bands for 4G, as well as the 2100MHz band for 3G. The 800MHz band helps with indoor and rural coverage, while the 1800MHz helps meet data demands in congested areas, and the 1400MHz band is a middle ground. You can find in-depth details of those bands in our 4G and 5G frequencies guide.

For 5G, iD Mobile will be leveraging the higher frequency 3.4GHz and 3.6-4GHz bands. It should also have access to low frequency 700MHz spectrum, which could be used for 5G too.

Planned improvements

iD Mobile is largely reliant on Three for improvements, so as Three’s network (and particularly coverage) improves, iD’s should too. Right now there’s likely to be a focus on improving 5G coverage.

Traffic management

Currently iD Mobile doesn’t publish its traffic management policy, other than to say that “we may deploy traffic management measures from time to time.”

Beyond that there’s no information on whether it will slow certain types or amounts of data traffic.

Plans

iD Mobile has a range of plans available from as little as £6 per month. All plans come with free roaming in 50 countries, data rollover and spending caps.

iD Mobile Plans

 

Phone plans

SIM plans

Data Rollover

EU Roaming

Spending Cap

Tethering

4G

Max Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

Contract

24 months

1, 12 or 24 months

Deals

View Plans

View Plans

 

SIM Only Deals
iD

1 Month Contract

15 GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

£8.00 a month

View Deal

iD

1 Month Contract

1 GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

£5.00 a month

View Deal

iD

1 Month Contract

4 GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

£6.00 a month

View Deal

iD

24 Month Contract

4 GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

£6.00 a month

View Deal

iD

12 Month Contract

3 GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

£6.00 a month

View Deal

View All iD Sim Only Deals

You’ll find more information on the extras offered by iD Mobile below, but looking at the core plans, the network offers a decent selection and up to unlimited data, whether on Pay Monthly or SIM Only.

Free Data Rollover

All plans (except unlimited data plans) come with data rollover, meaning that unused data is carried over to the next month. That’s a great feature because it means you are less likely to run out of data.

Spending Caps

iD Mobiles plans are perfect for those who want to control their spending. They let you set an out-of-plan spending cap of between £0 and £25.

What that means is that once your allowance is used up you won’t spend more than a set amount each month. Caps are great for parents looking to control their child’s spending or for those fearful of unexpected bills.

Tethering

iD Mobile didn’t used to allow you to tether but has now reversed that decision, so you can use your phone’s data to get other devices online.

WiFi Calling

Wi-Fi Calling means making and receiving calls and sending text messages over Wi-Fi, rather than over a mobile network. This allows you to stay in touch even when there’s no signal, and it’s seamless – you use your normal number, dialler and SMS app.

iD Mobile offers Wi-Fi Calling, but currently only on select handsets, including iPhones from the iPhone 5S onwards, and select Android handsets, such as the Samsung Galaxy S21 and many others. Head here for a full, up to date list of supported phones.

VoLTE

VoLTE stands for Voice over LTE and is sometimes called 4G Calling. It’s similar to Wi-Fi Calling, but it works over 4G – so you can continue to call and text when you have a 4G signal but no 3G or 2G signal.

iD Mobile offers 4G Calling but only on a subset of handsets, including iPhones from the iPhone 6 onwards, and many but not all Android handsets. You’ll find the full list of supported devices here.

Free Roaming Abroad

iD Mobile plans give you free roaming abroad in 50 countries, so are perfect for those who regularly travel to foreign countries. That said, its free roaming is limited mostly to European locations. When abroad in a destination you can use texts, calls and data allowances (subject to a fair usage policy which varies from plan to plan) like you would at home.

Free roaming is available in Austria, Azerbaijan, Azores, Belarus, 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, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madeira, Malta, Martinique, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Réunion, Saint Barthélemy, Saint-Martin, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Vatican City.

Pay As You Go

iD Mobile also offers some Pay As You Go bundles which come with a combination of texts, data and minutes. Bundles last for 1 month and can be set up to recur each month.

Pay As You Go Plans

Plans Available

Add-ons available

Max Data Allowance

Unlimited

Add-on expiry 

1 month

Top Up Expiry

90 days inactivity

Tethering

EU Roaming

No credit check

Pay As You Go SIM Cards

Bundle

Minutes

Texts

Data

£6 Value

Unlimited

Unlimited

1GB

£8 Value

Unlimited

Unlimited

4GB

£10 Value

Unlimited

Unlimited

6GB

£15 Value

Unlimited Unlimited 20GB

£20 Value

Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
View Pay As You Go Deals

Once your allowance runs out you’ll enjoy low rates of 3p per min, 2 per text and 1p per MB of data. And if you prefer you can top up and use your allowance without a bundle.

Customer service

Not many studies have been done into iD Mobile’s customer service, but on Trustpilot, iD Mobile has an overall score from customers of 3.8/5, which is considered ‘great’. That’s based on 9,055 ratings at the time of writing.

An Ofcom study covering 2019 meanwhile found that 10 customers per 100,000 had reason to complain, which is slightly better than most networks.

Conclusion

iD Mobile is a robust, good value network. Its major strengths come from the low prices and the extras you get from the plans – whether that’s rolled over data or 4G Calling and Wi-Fi Calling. If any of those things are important to you it’s one of just a small number of suitable networks.

It's a well above average network overall, especially as it now offers unlimited data and 5G, but those wanting to roam much beyond Europe should consider looking elsewhere.

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