flame Compare Deals and save hundreds of pounds Sim Only Deals Phone Deals

Which networks offer unlimited data?

6th April 2018

Unlimited data is great because you never need to worry about overspending or running out of data as you endlessly use up gigaloads of the stuff.

Here in the UK there are currently only four networks which offer unlimited data, which are Three, GiffGaff, Lycamobile and Virgin Mobile.

All of these operators have some form of restriction so it makes sense to get fully up to speed with the ins and outs of unlimited data packages. To find out more read on and see which network provides the best unlimited data option for you.

You can also quickly look at the remaining mobile operators to see which offers the best non-unlimited data package. You never know, one of these may suit your needs.

Three

Unlimited data at maximum speeds

Three offers truly unlimited data on Pay Monthly, SIM Only and Pay As You Go plans which all come with 4G at no extra cost.

12 Month Unlimited SIM Plans
Three SIM Card

Unlimited data

200 minutes

Unlimited texts

£24 a month

Buy on Three.co.uk

Three SIM Card

Unlimited data

600 minutes

Unlimited texts

£27 a month

Buy on Three.co.uk

Three SIM Card

Unlimited data

Unlimited minutes

Unlimited texts

£30 a month

Buy on Three.co.uk

Tethering is included with Three's unlimited data plans but is limited to 30GB each month. You can also use up to 13GB data when roaming in 71 Feel At Home locations across the world at no extra cost. A fair usage policy is in place with Three’s unlimited data plans, but this is used to prevent commercial use. Realistically you shouldn’t see any limits on personal data use even if you’re the heaviest of heavy users.

1 Month Rolling Unlimited SIM Plans
Three SIM Card

Unlimited data

200 minutes

Unlimited texts

£27 a month

Buy on Three.co.uk

Three SIM Card

Unlimited data

600 minutes

Unlimited texts

£30 a month

Buy on Three.co.uk

Three SIM Card

Unlimited data

Unlimited minutes

Unlimited texts

£35 a month

Buy on Three.co.uk

Three also offers Mobile Broadband plans, but these aren't available with unlimited data and come with a maximum of 40GB of data.

Pay As You Go Unlimited SIM
Three SIM Card

Unlimited data

3000 minutes

3000 texts

£35

Buy on Three.co.uk

Giffgaff

Unlimited data with speed restrictions

Giffgaff offers an unlimited data goodybag (add-on), which can be purchased with SIM Only or a Mobile Phone.

There are some restrictions, with only the first 9GB of use per month being at full 4G speeds. After that speeds are capped at 384kbps between 8am and midnight, which is quite slow.

Tethering and roaming are also capped at 9GB per month and the only way to use your data beyond the EU is to pay for the roaming data separately (which generally costs 20p per megabyte).

GiffGaff Unlimited Goodybag
GiffGaff Unlimited SIM

Unlimited data

Unlimited minutes

Unlimited texts

£20

Buy on GiffGaff.co.uk

Mobile broadband add-ons are available called 'Gigabags' but the maximum data available is 500MB per month, so far from unlimited.

Lycamobile

Unlimited data with no tethering

Lycamobile Unlimited Data SIM
LycaMobile Unlimited SIM

Unlimited data

Unlimited minutes

Unlimited texts

£35

Buy on Lycamobile

Lycamobile has launched an unlimited data plan which costs £35 per month and also gives you unlimited minutes and texts.

The only major limitation comes when roaming, as you’re capped at 11.5GB. You also can’t tether on Lycamobile.

Virgin Mobile

Unlimited data for Virgin Media customers

Virgin Mobile Unlimited Data Plan (for Virgin TV or Broadband customers only)
Virgin Unlimited SIM

Unlimited data

Unlimited minutes

Unlimited texts

£25

Buy on Virgin Mobile

Virgin Mobile also offers unlimited data, but only to customers who have Virgin TV or Virgin Broadband.

That makes it quite restrictive, but if you fit into that camp then it is truly unlimited and at 4G speeds, and you can get it for £25 per month on SIM Only or at various prices on Pay Monthly.

However, unlimited data isn’t available on mobile broadband plans. There are also restrictions when roaming, with you currently capped at 8.22GB in the EU, and tethering doesn’t appear to be allowed at all (much as it isn’t with any other Virgin Mobile plan).

What about the other UK networks?

The other UK networks currently don't offer unlimited data. However, many do have high data limits (as high as 100GB), the full details are displayed below.

UK Networks Maximum Data Allowances

Operator

Max data

Tethering

Roaming

EE

100GB

100GB

15GB

O2

50GB

50GB

50GB

Vodafone

60GB

60GB

60GB

iD Mobile

10GB

N/A

10GB

BT

30GB

30GB

15GB

FreedomPop

4GB

4GB

N/A

Plusnet Mobile

8GB

8GB

8GB

Sky Mobile

10GB

10GB

10GB

Tesco Mobile

50GB

50GB

50GB

The People's Operator

8GB

N/A

8GB

Asda Mobile

12GB

12GB

12GB

Voxi

15GB

15GB

15GB

Smarty

8GB

8GB

N/A

EE

EE

EE’s Pay Monthly plans top out at 100GB of data, while SIM Only offers a maximum of 40GB and on Pay As You Go you can get bundles of up to 5GB.

There are no restrictions on its general use, or on its use when tethering, however you can only use up to 15GB for roaming.

EE also offers mobile broadband plans with data limits that max out at 30GB.

While you can’t get unlimited data on EE, one advantage of it is high speeds, with double speed and 4G+ services on some plans.

O2

o2

O2 offers up to 50GB of data on Pay Monthly and also up to 50GB on SIM Only, while you can get 20GB bundles on Pay As You Go, all of which can be used for tethering.

O2 also offers mobile broadband plans with up to 25GB of monthly data.

O2 only offers standard 4G speeds.

Vodafone

Vodafone

Vodafone’s Pay Monthly plans come with up to 60GB of data, while SIM Only comes with up to 40GB and Pay As You Go includes up to 20GB, all of which can be used for tethering or roaming.

Vodafone also has mobile broadband plans with up to 50GB of data and has a speed advantage over most networks in some areas, as it has partial UK coverage with LTE Advanced, which is far faster than normal 4G.

iD Mobile

iD Mobile

iD Mobile offers a range of plans on Pay Monthly or SIM Only, topping out at 10GB of data, while Pay As You Go comes with up to 4GB.

However, tethering isn’t allowed on any plans and while you get 4G speeds as standard this is just normal 4G.

BT

BT Mobile

BT has Pay Monthly plans with up to 30GB of data and SIM Only ones with up to 25GB. The network doesn’t offer any Pay As You Go or data only plans. You can use all of your data for tethering or roaming.

BT also has an Extra Speed service, giving you twice the speed of standard 4G.

FreedomPop

Freedom Pop

FreedomPop has a range of SIM Only plans offering up to 4GB of data. You can use this data to tether if you also subscribe to its Premier service.

The network doesn’t currently offer any Pay Monthly, Pay As You Go or mobile broadband plans, and you can’t roam on any of its plans. All plans come with 4G speeds as standard.

Plusnet Mobile

Plusnet Mobile

Plusnet Mobile only has SIM Only plans and these come with up to 8GB of data (though it tops out at 6GB if you’re not a Plusnet broadband customer). You can use any or all of this for tethering or for roaming. 4G is included as standard.

Sky Mobile

Sky Mobile

Sky Mobile just offers SIM Only plans and these include up to 10GB of monthly data. You can use as much of this as you want for tethering, but roaming isn’t included. Sky Mobile offers standard 4G speeds.

Tesco Mobile

Tesco Mobile

Tesco Mobile gives you up to 50GB of data on both Pay Monthly and SIM Only plans, and you can use as much as you want for tethering.

You can also get Pay As You Go bundles with up to 8GB of data, but there aren’t any mobile broadband plans. 4G data is included as standard, as is free EU roaming.

The People’s Operator

The People's Operator

The People’s Operator offers up to 8GB of data on SIM Only, 6GB with a Pay As You Go bundle, or 6GB for mobile broadband.

You can roam in the EU, but there aren’t any Pay Monthly plans and nor can you use any of your data to tether. Speeds are standard 4G.

Asda Mobile

Asda Mobile

Asda Mobile’s SIM Only plans come with up to 12GB of data, all of which can be used for tethering. You can also get up to 6GB of data on a data only plan, or you can Pay As You Go.

The network offers standard 4G speeds and provides free EU roaming.

Voxi

Voxi only offers SIM Only plans and they come with up to 15GB of data, any or all of which can be used for tethering or EU roaming.

The main limitation of Voxi is that you have to be 25 or under to use the network.

Smarty

Smarty offers just three SIM Only plans, topping out at 8GB of 4G data. Tethering is included but roaming isn’t – which is to say that you can’t currently roam at all, even for a price. However, the network claims to be working on this.

Do I need unlimited data?

That’s the big question, and the answer in most cases is no. If you’re streaming multiple hours of video each day over mobile data, or using mobile data to download movies, games or lots of music then you might, but even most quite heavy users should be fine on 10GB or less and lighter users can often get by on just 2 or 3GB of data.

The easiest way to be sure is to look at how much data you’re using each month on your current plan, then move to a plan that gives you slightly more than that.

Summary

Three, Lycamobile, Virgin Mobile and GiffGaff are the only UK operators offering unlimited data. Three are the currently the best option for those looking for unlimited data because they don't limit download speeds and have minimal restrictions on tethering and roaming.

Summary

Operator

Unlimited data

Restrictions

Tethering

Roaming

Three

Yes

Fair Usage

30GB

13GB

Giffgaff

Yes

Reduced speed after 9GB usage

9GB

9GB

Lycamobile

Yes

Fair Usage

N/A

11.5GB

Virgin Mobile

Yes

Only available to Virgin Media customers

N/A

8.22GB

Sign up for our newsletter.