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Who uses Three's network?

10th June 2021

Three Network Logo

There are currently three MVNOs (Mobile Virtual network Operators) that use Three's network, specifically SMARTY, iD Mobile and FreedomPop.

Being a Three MVNO means using the same core network infrastructure, so that means you'll get coverage in all the same places as you would on Three direct. The advantages of choosing an MVNO include potentially lower prices and extra benefits you won't get on Three itself. Below you’ll find an overview of the three MVNOs using Three.

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Money back for unused data

SMARTY is run by Three directly and currently only offers SIM Only plans, but these stand out through – in some cases - refunding you for any unused data and in one case offering unlimited data.

On the data discount plans, any data you have left over at the end of the month gets discounted against next month’s plan at the price you paid for it, so as long as you keep using SMARTY you’ll never be paying for data that you don’t use.

If, however, you find that you need more data than your plan comes with then you can also buy extra, which is priced at the same rates, making the network simple and fair.

Note however that not all of its plans offer data discounts. If you want a high data limit you’ll have to opt for a more conventional plan.

SMARTY also offers tethering, Wi-Fi Calling, 4G Calling and free EU roaming, and all of its plans are just 30 days long with no credit check. However, there’s no 5G at the time of writing, but SMARTY has confirmed that this is in the works.

2. iD Mobile

Data rollover and good value

iD Mobile

iD Mobile is a mobile network run by Dixons Carphone that uses Three's network. The main selling point of iD is data rollover, which means you can roll over unused data from one month to the next, giving you a second chance to use it. It also has a plan with unlimited data.

iD Mobile also has quite affordable plans, and it offers Wi-Fi Calling and VoLTE (Voice over LTE). Those two services are offered by the four main networks, but not by many MVNOs. The network additionally lets you set a spending cap and has a full suite of plans, including Pay Monthly, SIM Only and Pay As You Go.

Tethering and free European roaming are supported too, as is 5G (on selected phones), so this network is far more feature-rich than most MVNOs.

3. FreedomPop

Very cheap entry-level plans

Freedom Pop

FreedomPop used to stand out through offering a free basic tariff, but this has been discontinued, leaving the network slightly less notable in the process. However, it still has low-cost plans and the most basic one is very cheap at just £3.49 per month.

FreedomPop also has a range of optional extras like data rollover, tethering and visual voicemail. These all cost extra, but can be added to any plan, so you can tailor your plan more than most networks allow.

The main downside to FreedomPop – and it’s a big one – is that the network doesn’t let you roam at all on any of its current plans, so you won’t be able to use your phone abroad without a Wi-Fi network. FreedomPop also has very low data limits.

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