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Who uses EE's network?

7th November 2019

EE Network

There are a currently four MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) using EE's network, which are BT Mobile, Plusnet Mobile, Asda Mobile and Virgin Mobile.

Being an EE MVNO means using the same core network infrastructure, so you'll get the same coverage as you would on EE direct, although you won't always get the same maximum speeds.

The advantage of choosing an MVNO is they are often significantly cheaper and offer interesting extras not available on EE direct.

1. BT Mobile

Great choice for existing BT broadband customers

BT Logo

You could almost as well say that EE uses BT’s infrastructure as the other way around, since BT owns EE. That means there should be a level of synergy between the two networks that most MVNOs can’t offer.

Beyond that intangible benefit, BT has many of the same selling points as EE, including very high 4G speeds – though BT’s top out at 60Mbps compared to EE’s 90Mbps.

BT Mobile has also launched a 5G service in the same places as EE. Though its coverage is limited at the time of writing, and it’s only currently available to BT Plus customers.

And BT is one of the rare MVNOs that offers Wi-Fi Calling and VoLTE (Voice over LTE). Plus, you can use as much of your allowance as you want for tethering, the network has fairly high data limits, and if you’re a BT Broadband customer you can get discounts on plans. Some plans also come with BT Sport thrown in. Note however that there’s no Pay As You Go service on BT.

2. Plusnet Mobile

Lower prices and even better value for Plusnet broadband customers

Plusnet Logo

Plusnet Mobile is also owned by BT, which means it falls under the same banner as EE. It’s a less ‘premium’ service than either BT Mobile or EE though.

That means prices are typically lower, despite it offering just as good 4G coverage, and if you’re a Plusnet Broadband customer you get extra data for your money. Tethering is allowed too, however data limits are low and more premium extras like VoLTE and Wi-Fi Calling aren’t offered. 5G also isn’t offered yet at the time of writing, though we’d expect it will be added sooner or later.

You’re also limited to SIM Only plans – there’s no Pay Monthly or Pay As You Go. Still, as a basic service Plusnet Mobile shines.

3. Asda Mobile

Low prices and flexible 30-day plans

Asda Logo

Asda Mobile is another EE MVNO and like Plusnet it’s fairly basic, aiming to stand out through low prices rather than extras. But unlike Plusnet it’s not owned by BT.

It offers both SIM Only and Pay As You Go, but no Pay Monthly plans and its data limits top out at a fairly low 15GB. Tethering is supported but Wi-Fi Calling and VoLTE aren’t. Of course, 5G also isn’t offered yet (as of November 7th, 2019).

In all, the main selling point of Asda Mobile other than its competitive prices is the fact that all its SIM Only plans are just 30 days long, so you’re not tied into a contract.

4. Virgin Mobile

Data rollover for all and unlimited data plans for existing Virgin customers

Virgin Mobile Logo

Virgin Mobile has quite a lot of interesting features going for it. For one thing, it offers data rollover, so you can roll any unused data over to the following month. It also lets you use WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Twitter without it coming out of your data allowance.

Plus, if you’re a Virgin TV or broadband customer then you’ll also have the option of a plan with unlimited data, which is something not all networks offer.

Virgin Mobile also has reasonably high data limits on the plans that it offers to everyone and it lets you change your 4G plan up or down every month, so you’re not tied in to specific allowances long-term. Though note that its SIM Only plans are all 12 months long, so you are tied into a contract.

The main downsides of the network are that there’s no Wi-Fi Calling or VoLTE, there’s no 5G yet, and there’s no Pay As You Go.

It’s also worth noting that while Virgin Mobile is currently an EE MVNO, it will be moving to Vodafone’s network from 2021, with a 5G service likely to be offered using Vodafone’s infrastructure even before then.

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