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Talkmobile Review

1st December 2023

Talkmobile Review and Coverage

Talkmobile is an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) owned by Vodafone, so of course it also uses Vodafone’s infrastructure and spectrum – meaning it has coverage in all the same places.

But where Vodafone is a premium network with loads of options, Talkmobile focuses instead on keeping things affordable and simple.

That means there aren’t many phones to choose from and there’s not much in the way of extras, but you also won’t have to pay much, making it ideal – on paper – for lighter users.

But does Talkmobile deliver in practice? Read on to find out, as we’ve looked at every key aspect, all of which are detailed below.

Summary

Pros

Cons

Low prices

Few plans or extras

Unlimited data

No family plans

Our Verdict 

Table of Contents

Plans

Talkmobile offers a range of SIM Only plans at the time of writing, and it also offers a small selection of smartphones that can be paired with these plans – though you have to already have a SIM Only plan with the network in order to purchase a phone from it.

Talkmobile Pay Monthly Plans

 

Mobile Phones

SIM Only

Data Only SIM

Plans Available

x

Max Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

N/A

Contract lengths

24 months

1 or 12 months

N/A

 

 

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Talkmobile’s SIM Only plans last either 30 days or 12 months, and all come with unlimited minutes and texts. They’re also all very cheap.

You can also now get unlimited data – which didn’t used to be an option – and the unlimited minutes make these plans a great affordable choice if you make a lot of calls.

Basic extras such as Wi-Fi Calling and tethering are included (more on which below), but these plans don’t have any premium features that would drive the price up.

Value for money

At both the low and high end, Talkmobile’s prices are generally lower than what a lot of other networks charge for similar allowances, so it’s a good value network, especially as 5G comes as standard. Though it’s not the very cheapest.

It’s a basic network with few extras and only a small selection of plans, so it’s not ideal for those looking for a premium or customisable experience, but if your needs fit with what Talkmobile is offering, it makes for a great value choice.

SIM Only Deals
Talkmobile

60 GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

12 Month Contract

£4.98 a month

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Talkmobile

50 GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

12 Month Contract

£7.95 a month

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Talkmobile

15 GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

1 Month Contract

£3.98 a month

View Deal

Talkmobile

4 GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

1 Month Contract

£4.95 a month

View Deal

Talkmobile

30 GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

1 Month Contract

£4.98 a month

View Deal

View All Talkmobile Sim Only Deals

Extras and benefits

Talkmobile Plan Policies and Perks

 

Mobile Phones

SIM Only

5G

Free Roaming

Tethering

Wi-Fi Calling

VoLTE

Data Rollover

Spending Caps

Unlimited Data

Family Plans

Credit Check

As you can see in the chart above, there are a range of things to consider with Talkmobile beyond the allowances. We’ve explained these more below.

5G

Talkmobile offers 5G as standard and it’s available in all the same places as Vodafone’s 5G service.

Roaming Destinations

You can roam at no extra cost in 42 European destinations on all new Talkmobile plans, up to a fair usage limit of 5GB of data.

If you need more data than that, you can buy a ‘Euro Holiday Booster’, which gives you 15GB of data and costs £2.25 per day, or can be had for as little as £1 per day if you buy a 15-day pass.

Tethering

Tethering is included on all Talkmobile plans as standard, meaning you can share your data connection with other devices to get them online. That’s handy when there’s no Wi-Fi available. There also doesn’t appear to be any limit to how much you can tether other than your own data allowance.

Wi-Fi Calling

Wi-Fi Calling means making calls over Wi-Fi, and this service is available on Talkmobile, so you can keep calling and texting even when there’s no signal, as long as there’s a Wi-Fi network.

VoLTE

VoLTE or Voice over LTE (also sometimes known as 4G Calling) means making calls over 4G. It’s beneficial as you can make calls in places that have 4G coverage but no 3G or 2G. This is offered by Talkmobile but only on select devices. You can see the officially supported device list here.

Data rollover

Talkmobile doesn’t offer data rollover, so you only get one month to use your data, or you’ll lose what’s left. This is standard though – networks that offer data rollover are the exception to this.

Spending caps

Talkmobile offers spending caps, which it calls your Spend Limit, and which you can set to a level of your choice. That’s how much you can spend outside of your plan. This is a handy tool to keep you in control of your spend, but it’s a common feature of mobile networks.

Unlimited data

You didn’t used to be able to get unlimited data on Talkmobile, but at the time of writing you now can, and there don’t appear to be any fair usage limits for it in the UK.

Family plans

There aren’t any family plans on Talkmobile, meaning you won’t get a discount or any perks for having multiple SIMs on your account.

Credit checks

Talkmobile doesn’t carry out credit checks, but will do an ID check.

Network

Which network does Talkmobile use?

Since Talkmobile is owned by Vodafone it of course also uses Vodafone’s coverage and infrastructure, so wherever you can get 5G, 4G or 3G on Vodafone, you’ll also find it on Talkmobile.

Coverage

Talkmobile Coverage

Network Type

Coverage by population

5G

Now available in at least 318 locations

4G 

>99%

3G

99% (switching off in January 2024)

2G

99%

Talk Mobile Coverage Checker

Network Speeds

Opensignal – Mobile Network Experience, September 2023, and April 2020

Network

Download/upload speeds

4G latency (ms)

EE

40.0/9.3Mbps

36.0ms

Three

34.5/6.3Mbps

48.3ms

Talkmobile (Vodafone)

27.9/8.0Mbps

39.0ms

O2

20.9/5.0Mbps

38.1ms

While there isn’t much data on Talkmobile’s network, there’s plenty on Vodafone’s, which should broadly be the same. According to an Opensignal report from September 2023, Vodafone’s average download speed is 27.9Mbps and its average upload speed is 8.0Mbps. That’s factoring in a combination of 5G, 4G and 3G, and puts Vodafone behind EE but ahead of O2 – and also ahead of Three for uploads, but not for downloads.

Vodafone’s average latency (how long the network takes to respond to a request) was found to be 39.0ms in an earlier report from April 2020 (used because newer reports don’t include latency). That’s better than Three’s latency but worse than EE's or O2’s. Talkmobile’s figures then are likely to be similar.

As for 5G, the same September 2023 Opensignal report as above found that Vodafone’s average 5G download speed was 114.3Mbps, which is faster than O2’s and EE’s but slower than Three’s.

There’s also a RootMetrics report from the first half of 2023, which found Vodafone’s median 5G download speed was 131.5Mbps. That is better than O2 but worse than Three or EE, and it’s likely that Talkmobile’s results would be similar.

Traffic management

Talkmobile states that “if you do anything (or allow anything to be done) which we reasonably think may damage or affect the operation of the Network such as for example creating a GSM Gateway, Artificially Inflated Traffic or similar” then it reserves the right to cancel your service.

Beyond that there doesn’t appear to be any real traffic management policy, but it’s likely similar to Vodafone, which prioritises calls (including emergency services calls) over data traffic, and will always prioritise VoLTE, in order to maintain call quality. However, these things only really come into play when the network is congested.

Network Frequencies

Talkmobile Network Frequencies

Frequency

Frequency Band

Network

800MHz

Band 20

4G

900MHz

Band 8

2G & 3G

1400MHz SDL

Band 32

4G

1800MHz

Band 3

2G

2100MHz

Band 1

3G

2600MHz FDD

Band 7

4G

2600MHz TDD

Band 38

4G

Vodafone (and therefore also Talkmobile) uses the 800MHz, 1400MHz and 2600MHz bands for 4G. The 800MHz band works over a long range and is ideal for passing through walls, while the 2600MHz band has greater capacity, giving it an advantage when connecting lots of devices at once. The 1400MHz band is a middle ground.

If and when Talkmobile starts offering 5G, it’s likely to use the 3400MHz and 3600MHz bands for that. These are even higher frequency than the 2600MHz band, and therefore take the good and bad points of the 2600MHz band even further.

For more in-depth information, check out our 4G and 5G frequencies guide.

Customer service

There isn’t much data on Talkmobile’s customer service, but there is some on Vodafone’s, which runs the network.

According to a 2023 Ofcom customer service report, 86% of customers were satisfied with their service on Vodafone, but just 56% were satisfied with the way complaints were handled. Vodafone also had 9 complaints to Ofcom per 100,000 subscribers, which is slightly above the average across UK networks of 8.

Conclusion

Talkmobile is a very basic network – there’s no unlimited data, and not much in the way of extras.

But some people only need basic. If you don’t need endless data or other perks, and particularly if you’re a big talker (since all plans come with unlimited minutes), then Talkmobile could be a solid, affordable option.

Alternatives

Since Vodafone owns Talkmobile it’s an obvious alternative. It tends to be more expensive, but you’re also getting more from it, including access to the company’s VeryMe Rewards service, entertainment subscriptions, unlimited data, and other potential perks.

LebaraVOXI, and Asda Mobile all use Vodafone’s infrastructure and coverage too, so they’re valid alternatives if you want the same coverage as Talkmobile offers.

If you’re just after something similarly cheap, simple and basic though then Asda and VOXI remain good choices, as do the likes of Giffgaff and Smarty Mobile.

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