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iD Mobile Review and Network Coverage

7th March 2022

iD Mobile Logo

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. Below, we’ll look in detail at every key aspect of the network.

Summary

Pros

Cons

Affordable and flexible plans

Free roaming is mostly limited to Europe

Data rollover

 

Offers Wi-Fi and 4G Calling

 

Our Rating

Table of Contents

Coverage

Which network does iD Mobile use?

iD Mobile uses Three’s network, so it offers 5G, 4G and 3G coverage in all the same places as Three. So if you want a network with Three’s coverage but different prices or perks, then iD Mobile is a good option. Details of that coverage can be found below.

iD Mobile Coverage

Network Type Coverage by population
5G Now available in 303 locations
4G  99.8%
3G 98.7%
2G N/A

Check iD Mobile Coverage

5G coverage

iD Mobile has a 5G service and it’s available in all the same places as Three’s. At the time of writing that means 5G is available in parts of at least 303 locations, including but not limited to:

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.

4G coverage

iD Mobile has around 99.8% UK population coverage with 4G, which is a highly competitive amount.

Towns and cities with partial or full 4G 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.

3G coverage

iD Mobile has around 98.7% UK population coverage with 3G. So that figure isn’t quite as impressive as its 4G one, but it’s not far off. Anyway, 3G is a dated technology now, so it’s better that the network is focused on 5G and 4G coverage.

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

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

Max Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

Contract lengths

24 months

1, 12 or 24 months

Deals

View Plans

View Plans

SIM Only Deals
iD

1 Month Contract

1 GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

£5.00 a month

View Deal

iD

1 Month Contract

5 GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

£6.00 a month

View Deal

iD

24 Month Contract

5 GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

£6.00 a month

View Deal

iD

12 Month Contract

5 GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

£6.00 a month

View Deal

iD

12 Month Contract

4 GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

£6.00 a month

View Deal

View All iD Sim Only Deals

The network offers both SIM Only plans and smartphone plans, with the former coming in 1, 12 or 24-month durations, while the latter are all 24 months. The network doesn’t offer data only plans, and nor are there mobile broadband or home broadband options, so it’s a relatively basic network in some ways, but data rollover (detailed further down) helps it stand out.

iD Mobile also offers some Pay As You Go bundles, which come with an allowance of data along with unlimited minutes and text. 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

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

iD Mobile Perks and Policies

 

Mobile Phones

SIM Only

5G

Roaming

Tethering

Wi-Fi Calling

VoLTE

Data Rollover

Spending Caps

Unlimited Data

Family Plans

Credit Check

As the table above shows, iD Mobile offers a number of perks and extras. We’ve detailed these in full below.

5G

iD Mobile offers 5G as standard on its SIM Only plans and with 5G phones, so you won’t have to pay any extra for the latest generation of mobile technology. That said, 5G only works with select phones on iD Mobile. The full list is here.

Roaming destinations

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.

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. If you have unlimited data then you can do this with no limits.

Wi-Fi 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.

Data rollover

All plans (except unlimited data plans and Pay As You Go) come with data rollover, meaning that unused data is carried over to the next month. That’s a great feature because it means you’re less likely to run out of data, and it’s something now many networks offer.

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.

Unlimited data

You can get unlimited data on both SIM Only and with a smartphone on iD Mobile, and there’s no fair usage policy when in the UK, so you truly can use an unlimited amount.

Family plans

iD Mobile doesn’t currently offer any kind of family plan, so you can’t get discounts or other perks for adding multiple plans to your account. That’s a shame, but only of concern if you actually want to have multiple people on your account.

Credit checks

iD Mobile will run a credit check on you when you apply for a SIM Only plan, or a Pay Monthly plan with a handset. If you’d like to join the network without getting credit checked, then Pay As You Go is your only option. This though is in line with other networks.

Awards

iD Mobile hasn’t won any major awards recently, but we’ll update this section if that changes. It’s worth noting that in general MVNOs like iD Mobile win fewer awards than the big networks.

Network

Network Speeds

Opensignal – Mobile Network Experience, September 2021, and April 2020

Network

Download/upload speeds

4G latency (ms)

EE

44/9.7Mbps

37.3ms

iD Mobile (Three)

25.2/6.3Mbps

46.3ms

Vodafone

21.6/7.4Mbps

39.4ms

O2

17.1/5.4Mbps

37.4ms

In an Opensignal report from September 2021, Three was found to have the second fastest download speed at 25.2Mbps on average. Since iD Mobile uses Three’s infrastructure it’s likely to offer similar speeds. Its average upload speed meanwhile comes in third, at 6.3Mbps. Those speeds were recorded using a mix of 5G, 4G and 3G, much like you’d be getting when moving around many locations in the real world.

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 48.3ms, which is slower than any rival. We’re using older data for latency because later reports 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, with a median 5G download speed of 231Mbps according to H1 2021 data from Ookla. That’s a higher median than any rival. Its 5G latency could be around 17ms, based on late 2020 RootMetrics data (again looking at Three), though a 2021 Ookla report put it at 33ms.

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.

Network Frequencies

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.

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 3.6/5, which is considered ‘average’. That’s based on 10,690 ratings at the time of writing.

An Ofcom study from 2021 meanwhile found that 15 customers per 100,000 had reason to complain to Ofcom, which is about average.

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 then 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.

Alternatives

The key alternatives to iD Mobile are those networks with the same coverage. That includes Three, of course, since iD Mobile uses Three’s infrastructure.

Being a major network, Three offers a wider variety of plans, as well as extras like its Three+ app, but it’s also often pricier, and it’s discontinuing free roaming, so you may not find it a better fit.

A closer rival might be Smarty, which also uses Three’s network but is cheaper than Three. However, its selection of plans is very limited, with just SIM Only available.

You could also consider Sky Mobile or Virgin Mobile. These networks have different coverage to iD Mobile, but like iD Mobile they both also offer data rollover, so if that perk is important to you then they’re suitable alternatives.

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