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Networks using O2

8th January 2019

There are a lot of mobile networks in the UK, but only four have their own infrastructure, namely EE, O2, Three and Vodafone. All the others are MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) which use the infrastructure and spectrum of one of those four.

That doesn’t mean they can’t stand out though, as many offer different prices and allowances and even unique extras.

With that in mind we’ve highlighted here the networks that use O2’s infrastructure, complete with an overview of their selling points.

Giffgaff

GiffGaff

Giffgaff is one of the more famous MVNOs and it stands out from O2 in a number of ways, perhaps most notably through offering plans with unlimited data (though note that you only get 20GB of data at full 4G speeds. After that you’re capped at 384kbps between 8am and midnight until your allowances reset.)

Giffgaff’s prices are also competitively low and all of its SIM-only plans are just 30 days long, giving you plenty of flexibility. The network has also started offering Pay Monthly plans with a phone, and these are flexible too, as you can choose to pay the phone off over 6, 12, 18 or 24 months.

You can also tether, Pay As You Go at rates of 15p per minute, 5p per text and 5p per megabyte, and roam at no extra cost in much of Europe. However, the network – like most MVNOs – doesn’t currently offer Wi-Fi Calling or VoLTE (Voice Over LTE).

Sky Mobile

Sky Mobile

Sky Mobile is another O2 MVNO with some near-unique selling points, the first of which being data rollover. It lets you roll over any unused data to the next month and you can save it for up to three years, so you won’t have to pay for data that you’re not using. And if you’re never likely to use the data then you can cash it in for a range of rewards which change monthly.

However, you can also change your allowances every month, so if your plan has too much or too little data you’ll have plenty of opportunities to adjust it.

Sky Mobile is also a very tempting choice if you’re a Sky TV customer, as it rewards them with unlimited calls and texts for free (while everyone else will get that for £10 per month). The main downside to Sky Mobile is simply that data tops out at just 15GB a month, which won’t be enough for power users.

Tesco Mobile

Tesco Mobile

Tesco Mobile is another typically good value network, and it’s also quite flexible, as when getting a phone on contract you can choose between a 12, 18, 24, 30 or 36 month contract duration, while most networks force you to take a 24-month contract.

Tesco Mobile also has fairly high data limits (up to 50GB at the time of writing) and a range of Pay As You Go options, including both bundles and the option to triple your credit when topping up by £10, £15 or £20.

Lycamobile

Lycamobile

Lycamobile has some similarities to Giffgaff in that it offers plans with unlimited data, but as with Giffgaff you only get a limited amount at full 4G speeds. In Lycamobile’s case you get 9GB at full speed – less than half what you get on Giffgaff. After that your speeds are reduced to 128kbps for the rest of the month.

Lycamobile also has a wide range of plans, all of which are short-term, so you’re not tied in for long, and some of which come with inclusive minutes for select international destinations. The main downside of the network is that it doesn’t allow tethering.

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