Whether you’re after SIM-only plans or the whole package, Three offers some of the most comprehensive mobile deals on the market. It recently scooped a trio of gongs at the Uswitch Broadband & Mobile Awards 2021 - including the most popular network.
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Three, as a leading network provider, as a full range of all the very latest phones including iPhone and Samsung, though it keeps a healthy variety of other models at different price points like Nokia and Google. Three’s pay monthly plans come in different varieties to help you find the perfect deal for you.
As the name might suggest, Three Essential Plans are its entry-level range of mobile plans. They’re generally cheaper than Advanced plans and options start from as low as 1GB of data a month. Essential plans are low-cost and no-frills. You may find that with more premium handsets, these plans aren’t offered.
Three Advanced SIMs are where you’ll find most of the fun Three benefits, like Go Binge and Go Roam (more on those below). The cheapest plans sit at less than £20 a month, give a healthy amount of data (up to 12GB or unlimited on a selected 24-month plan) per month and unlimited texts and calls.
Three’s monthly contracts generally last 24 months, and like many major providers, your price won’t be fixed for the duration. Once a year, prices will increase in line with inflation= as of March 2021, this means an increase of 4.5%. If this is an issue for you, look for providers that promise to not do this, like Tesco Mobile.
All Three mobile deals come with unlimited texts and minutes, as well as fun Three features like Go Roam and Go Binge. It has a wide variety of the latest phone models, with added bonuses like free headphones thrown in on some deals. Three also offer up to 20% discount for students. Plus, like every major provider, you can always take advantage of seasonal sales, so keep an eye out for limited time offers.
There are a variety of Three SIM-only deals, ranging from as little as 1GB of data to unlimited. They typically come with unlimited minutes and texts included, and there’s a discount for paying via a recurring method like direct debit. Students and business owners can also take advantage of special discounts and deals.
You can order a SIM card free of charge and decide later which plan you want to add to it. You can choose:
Pay as you go Three SIM plans
Pay monthly Three SIM plans
You can top up your SIM in the traditional way, or get an additional add-on, which offers great value on extra data etc, though these must be used within a time limit, usually one month.
Three Mobile averages a 4G download speed of 21.6Mbps and an upload speed of 8/9Mbps. For gamers, Three’s 4G latency is 46.3ms, which is how long the network takes to respond to a request. So it’s pretty fast, and you won’t be able to notice any lag when you’re browsing online.
When it comes to 5G, speeds are a lot higher. Three's 5G download speeds average around 159Mbps throughout the UK.
Whether you purchase a device outright or in a lock-in contract, all phones, tablets and dongles from Three come unlocked, since 1 January 2014. If you still have an old device lying around your home from pre-2014, Three will even unlock it for you for free at your local store. This allows you the flexibility to leave whenever you like, without worrying about paying an extra fee to unlock your phone from the network.
To keep its customers connected and up to speed at all times, 4G is included in all of Three’s mobile deals. 5G is only included if the handset is 5G ready. The good news is that most new mobile phones are now 5G capable, even the mid-range options.
Always ahead of the curve, Three is fighting to keep those high ratings by focusing its resources on building the UK’s fastest 5G network. Priding themselves on having more usable 5G spectrum than anyone else, and being the only UK network with 100MHz of contiguous spectrum to deliver ultrafast speeds. As of March 2021, 5G is available through Three in 192 towns in the UK. There is a coverage checker on the site and you get 5G at no extra cost through Three.
If you’re a bit of a jet-setter, Three might just be the network for you. With its Go Roam feature, you can use your plan abroad in 71 destinations around the world, with absolutely no hidden costs or sneaky roaming charges. Go Roam is made up of Go Roam in Europe, which is available on all Three plans, and Go Roam Around The World, which is available on all plans except Essential Plans.
Go Roam in Europe allows you to call and text back to the UK, as well as call and text between Go Roam in Europe destinations within your allowance, as well as use your data. As of March 2021, this service has not changed and there are no plans to change it, even though the UK is no longer in the EU.
Go Roam Around The World destinations allows you to call and text back to the UK, and use your data at no extra cost. But bear in mind that you can’t call or text other countries within Go Roam Around The World.
Go Roam is subject to Three’s fair usage policy. This means you can call and text within the Go Roam in Europe destinations without limits. However, any usage over 20GB will incur a surcharge. Go Roam Around The World texts and calls are capped at 5000 texts and 3000 minutes, and data is capped at 12GB.
Perfect for those who are always on the go, Three’s Go Binge feature allows you to stream as much content as you want from Apple Music, Netflix, Deezer, Lifetime, SoundCloud and TVPlayer, without using any of your data allowance. Suddenly that four-hour train ride to visit your parents doesn’t seem so bad. It’s only available on selected plans, but if you’re an avid user of any of those streaming platforms, it’s definitely one to keep your eye out for.
Snapchat is also included in Three’s Go Binge, so you can film, snap and chat with your friends to your heart’s content without worrying about chewing up your data allowance. Go Binge is currently available on all plans with 12GB of data or higher.
At the recent Uswitch Broadband & Mobile Awards 2021, Three Best Network for Data, Best Network for Roaming and Most Popular Mobile Network.
Three offers a number of different ways to contact its customer support team, which is open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 6pm on weekends.
From Three phones: 333
Other phones: 0333 338 1001
Those who prefer to avoid calling can also contact Three customer support via Live Chat on its website.
Customer guides can also be found on Three’s website, which cover a wide range of topics from device and SIM support to upgrades and switching.
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to work from a cafe with an unreliable Wi-Fi connection - lucky, then, Three allows you to use your phone as a personal hotspot. All of its new Pay Monthly phone and SIM-only plans include personal hotspot functionality. Three does note that if you have a plan with a limited amount of data, then Personal Hotspot usage will be taken from your monthly data allowance.
Three doesn’t allow any data rollover from month to month, so if you have any leftover data at the end of the month it will be lost and your allowance will get reset.
Three does have a mobile app, and it’s readily available for both iPhone and Android phones. Through the app you can check your usage, see how much of your monthly allowance you have left and buy add-ons if you’re in danger of going over. You can also view your bills, set caps to control your spending, and use the live chat customer service feature.
No signal? No worries. Three inTouch Wi-Fi calling means you can call and text as long as you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network in the UK, regardless of whether there’s mobile signal available.
If you join Three from another network, it’s possible to keep your old number to save you from having to update it with all your contacts. You can switch to Three via a simple text, or do it online, and choose whether to keep your number or change it.
TrafficSense™ is Three’s answer to traffic management over its network. If there are lots of people using Three’s data, there’s a network or equipment failure or when roaming overseas, Three can decrease user download limits and speeds to keep its network running smoothly across the board.
This isn’t something most users are likely to notice, as it’s been created to give users an optimised data experience. The only time you might notice Three’s traffic management is when using your phone abroad in a Go Roam location, where high-speed downloads like video would be delivered in standard definition instead of HD.