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iD Mobile Review and Network Coverage

6th November 2019

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 - we'll cover those things in detail below. On top of that, iD Mobile has also started offering plans with unlimited data.

There are some ways in which iD Mobile doesn’t do such a good job though, which we’ll also look at below, giving you a full review and overview of the network.

Summary

Pros

Cons

Affordable and flexible plans

No 5G yet

Data rollover

Free roaming is mostly limited to Europe

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
4G  99.8%
3G 98.7%
2G N/A

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 doesn’t yet offer 5G coverage and nor has it announced if or when it will. However, for as long as it is partnered with Three it will only be able to offer 5G coverage in places where Three does. At the time of writing that would mean just parts of London (and in Three’s case only for home broadband). Though Three plans to expand its 5G coverage and offer 5G on mobile soon.

Network Speeds and Frequencies

OpenSignal – Mobile Network Experience, October 2019

Network

4G download/upload speeds

4G latency (ms)

EE

33.7/8.9Mbps

37.3ms

iD Mobile (Three)

21.6/7.4Mbps

46.3ms

Vodafone

25.1/7.8Mbps

39.4ms

O2

16.9/5.7Mbps

37.4ms

In an OpenSignal report from October 2019, Three was found to have the third fastest 4G download speeds at 21.6Mbps 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 7.4Mbps.

However, Three’s latency (the amount of time it takes for the network to respond to a request), averaged 46.3ms in this report, which is slower than any rival. Latency has improved since February 2019’s report though, while downloads speeds have remined the same and upload speeds have seemingly decreased – though that’s true of every network.

Network Frequencies

Frequency

Frequency Band

Network

800MHz

Band 20

4G

1800MHz

Band 3

4G

2100MHz

Band 1

3G

iD Mobile uses 800MHz 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. You can find in depth details of those bands in our 4G frequencies guide.

If and when it rolls out 5G, it’s likely to start leveraging the 3.4GHz and 3.6-3.8GHz bands, which Three also has access to and plans to use for 5G.

Planned improvements

iD Mobile’s improvements are tied to Three’s, and that’s no bad thing as Three’s network and 4G coverage is continually improving.

Three is currently focused on fully launching 5G, and while iD Mobile hasn’t yet revealed any 5G plans, it’s still likely to benefit from some of the network improvements.

Traffic management

Currently iD Mobile doesn’t publish its traffic management policy, other than to say that “at certain times the Network traffic will be managed when it begins to affect other customers on our Network.”

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 the EU, data rollover and spending caps.

iD Mobile Plans

 

Phone plans

SIM plans

Data Rollover

EU Roaming

Spending Cap

Tethering

4G

Max Data

50GB

Unlimited

Contract

24 months

1 month

Deals

View Plans

View Plans

 

SIM Only Deals
iD

1 Month Contract

1 GB data

500 mins

UNLIMITED texts

£5.00 a month

View Deal

iD

1 Month Contract

250 MB data

150 mins

UNLIMITED texts

£4.00 a month

View Deal

iD

1 Month Contract

2 GB data

500 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, especially on SIM Only where you can get unlimited data. Pay Monthly plans don’t impress quite as much because data tops out at 50GB, and oddly even that isn’t available with all phones.

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 your credit limit.

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 Huawei P30 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S10. 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, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, Samsung Galaxy S10, Huawei P30 Pro, Google Pixel 4 and others. 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. 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 a trio of 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

8GB

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

£5 Value

150

Unlimited

500MB

£10 Value

500

Unlimited

4GB

£15 Value

1000

Unlimited

8GB

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

According to the Which? H1 2017 UK Mobile Network Survey, iD Mobile has a customer score of 63% and comes in 8th place overall. That’s based on responses from 4,026 members of the public.

It additionally has a score of 2/5 for customer service, 3/5 for ease/speed of contacting, 4/5 for value for money and 2/5 for incentives. This report suggests that iD Mobile is average to slightly below average for customer service.

On TrustPilot meanwhile, iD Mobile has an overall score from customers of 3.5/5, which is considered ‘average’. That’s based on 4,076 ratings at the time of writing.

Conclusion

iD Mobile is a robust, good value 4G 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 4G network overall, especially as it now offers unlimited data, but those wanting to roam much beyond Europe should consider looking elsewhere.

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