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Who uses O2's network?

14th August 2023

There are currently four significant MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) using O2's network, namely Giffgaff, Virgin Mobile, Sky Mobile, and Tesco Mobile. 

By choosing one of O2's MVNOs you can save money and get extra features, while still enjoying the excellent network coverage provided by O2's mobile network.

Table of Contents

1. Giffgaff

Low prices plus 5G and unlimited data available

GiffGaff

Giffgaff is one of the more famous MVNOs and it stands out in a number of ways, perhaps most notably through offering plans with unlimited data and 5G. Neither of these things are unique to this network, but a number of MVNOs lack one or both of those things.

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 also offers Pay Monthly plans with a phone.

You can also tether, Pay As You Go, 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).

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2. Sky Mobile

Data rollover, 5G and great extras for existing Sky customers

Sky Mobile

Sky Mobile is an 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 lets you use an unlimited amount of data for streaming on Sky apps. Plus, it offers tethering, and both 4G Calling and Wi-Fi Calling, the latter two of which are not offered by all MVNOs. It also offers 5G.

The main downside to Sky Mobile is simply that data tops out at 50GB a month, which won’t be enough for power users. Plus, there’s now a £2 daily fee required to roam in Europe.

Sky Mobile sells both Pay Monthly and SIM Only plans, but no Pay As You Go.

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3. Tesco Mobile

A good range of value plans plus 5G support

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 offers 5G and plans with unlimited data, plus 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. Tesco Mobile also offers SIM Only and lets you tether, but it doesn’t have premium features like VoLTE and Wi-Fi Calling.

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4. Virgin Mobile

Great if you want something as close to O2 as possible

Virgin Mobile has made a lot of moves, switching from EE to Vodafone and finally to O2, where it’s likely to stay as it’s now run by O2 as well.

In fact, over time its customers will all be moved over to O2 plans, complete with perks like access to the O2 Priority app, for discounts, freebies, and early gig tickets. So there will be little to set the network apart from O2 then.

At the time of writing though, SIM Only customers can choose between a 12-month O2 plan or a 30-day Virgin Mobile one, the latter giving you more flexibility and coming with different perks like data rollover, though only the 12-month plans allow for unlimited data.

Either way though you’ll be getting 5G data as standard, and the ability to roam abroad at no extra cost. Virgin Mobile also offers a selection of handsets on either a 24 or 36-month contract.

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Editorial Manager

James has been writing for us for over 10 years. Currently, he is Editorial Manager for our group of companies ( 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk) and sub-editor at TechRadar. He specialises in smartphones, mobile networks/ technology, tablets, and wearables.

In the past, James has also written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media, Smart TV Radar, and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV. He has a film studies degree from the University of Kent, Canterbury, and has over a decade’s worth of professional writing experience.

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