1pMobile is relatively a young mobile virtual network offering the lowest pay as you go rates for UK calling, texting and data. The carrier uses EE as its network provider and it’s actually owned by Telecommunications Management Limited. 1pMobile launched back in September 2016 and since then it’s been growing at a steady pace.
1pMobile may not offer extra perks like 4G Calling, Wi-Fi Calling or a 5G service, but it’s using EE’s 2G, 3G & 4G so their customers get the best network coverage and fastest 4G speeds in the UK.
- Best 4G coverage & fastest data speeds thanks to EE.
- The cheapest pay as you go rates in the UK.
- You can select your own easy to remember phone number, provided it’s available.
- No contracts, no credit checks.
- No additional perks.
- Minimum 120 day top-up requirement.
Half Cooked’s overall rating for 1p Mobile: (4 / 5)
Table of Contents
Plans & Pricing
SIM Only Deals
1pMobile is only and solely a pay as you go network, therefore there are no pay monthly SIM only deals offered by them. Alternatively you can check out Virgin Mobile, Virgin is a MVNO that also utilises the EE network. You’ll get the best coverage in the UK and access to the fastest 4g data speeds in the market. You can also read our Virgin Mobile Review to learn more about the network.
Pay As You Go
As we stated above, 1pMobile only offers a PAYG service, but they offer the cheapest available today. No other network comes close to their 1p/minute, 1p/text and 1p/MB rates. 1pMobile’s super low PAYG rates make it the cheapest PAYG option in the UK.
You have to top-up your 1pMobile SIM card with at least £10 of credit every 120 days or alternatively you can top-up for £30 at one go and use your SIM card over 365 days.
If you fail to top-up in time, your SIM card will be deactivated and your phone number will be deleted. If you top-up early or top-up more than £10 your next top-up due date will be extended.
Pay Monthly Phones
1pMobile doesn’t offer any phone deals. Unless the network undergoes a drastic change they won’t sell phones any time soon. We would recommend checking out O2’s super flexible phone deals that come with a wide variety of selection. You can also read our O2 Review to find out what you’ll be getting if you sign up for an O2 plan.
Network Coverage & Speeds
2G, 3G & 4G Coverage
Being powered by EE’s infrastructure, 1pMobile offers the best 2G, 3G and 4G coverage in the country, as well as the fastest 4G download speeds to its customers. According to Open Signal’s October 2020 4G test results EE still holds the top spot in the UK with 36.4Mbps download speeds and 9.1Mbps upload speeds. However, 1p Mobile customers don’t get the same 4G download speeds as EE’s premium customers do.
Currently EE and therefore 1pMobile offer 99% population and 90% landmass coverage in the UK. EE aims to reach 95% landmass coverage by the end 2020. Having said that, we’d strongly suggest you check out the network’s coverage in your area before signing up for it. It’s a low chance but you might be in a blind spot for the network. You can also read our EE Review and see what makes them the best in the UK.
1pMobile is using EE as its network provider and EE offers the widest 5G coverage in the UK, but according to OOKLA’s speed tests on 5G connection, EE is the slowest 5G mobile network at the moment. Since 1pMobile doesn’t offer any 5G coverage, we’ll skip this section for the time being.
If you’re looking for a PAYG deal with 5G coverage, your two best options are Three or Tesco Mobile. You can read our Three Review and Tesco Mobile 5G Review to learn more about what each network offers. Three is the fastest 5G mobile network in the UK with 201Mpbs average download speeds, and Tesco Mobile’s host network O2 comes in second place with 176.9Mpbs 5G download speeds.
Voice Call Quality
According to independent & objective testing bodies, EE has been the number one network in terms of voice call quality in the last couple of years. It seems like Vodafone is catching up to EE in some cities, but 1pMobile’s host network performs considerably better in the majority of the UK.
Faster call setup times and noticeably better audio quality are the two key reasons why EE ranks as the best in this category in the UK. EE improves at a faster rate than other major networks too, so we don’t think this will change any time soon.
Wi-Fi Calling & 4G Calling
4G Calling (also known as VoLTE) is a mobile service which allows you to make & receive calls over a 4G network. These calls are clearer than the ones made over 2G & 3G connections. This is mainly because more data can be transferred over 4G. Many indoor blackspots are also eliminated with 4G Calling.
With Wi-Fi Calling, your smartphone can utilise a wireless internet connection to make and receive phone calls. This means you can stay connected even when you don’t get any regular cellular connection.
Sadly, 1pMobile doesn’t offer either one of these features. Being a low- cost mobile virtual network means you have to make cuts here and there. Most MVNOs don’t offer these two features, but iD Mobile does! Make sure to read our iD Mobile Review to find out what else you can get your hands on if you sign up for them.
Some network operators in the UK offer free Wi-Fi Hotspots, but sadly 1pMobile customers don’t get to enjoy any free Wi-Fi. The mobile provider doesn’t offer any type of free Wi-Fi access at all.
If this is a must have for you, we’d recommend checking out BT Mobile, O2, or Virgin Mobile. BT Mobile is also using EE’s infrastructure so you get the same network coverage, plus you get access to millions of free Wi-Fi hotspots in the UK. Make sure to check out our BT Mobile Review.
Tethering is using the data you have on your SIM and creating a mini Wi-Fi hotspot to connect other Wi-Fi enabled devices to the internet. However, these connected devices will directly use your mobile data and you’ll be burning through your allowance at a much faster rate.
You can freely tether on 1pMobile by paying the usual rates. However, we’d like to remind you that when tethering to other devices you burn through data at a faster rate. Also make sure to switch off applications that eat up your data in the background.
1pMobile isn’t the best network for tethering, but if you’re looking for a cheaper option with great value we’d recommend checking out SMARTY. It’s powered by Three, and their plans come with some great perks and super competitive prices. Also make sure to read our SMARTY Review too!
All the mobile network providers based in the UK must offer inclusive roaming in the EU and this includes 1pMobile too. You can roam in 46 destinations like at home, however, if you get the 10GB data boost you’re only permitted to use up to 7.5GB of data per month. Outside Europe additional roaming fees apply depending on where you are. You can check 1pMobile’s rates by clicking here.
1pMobile isn’t really the best option for roaming in the EU, but luckily we’ve prepared an international roaming guide, so you can find out which network offers the most suitable deal for you.
1pMobile allows you to choose your own phone number that is memorable, provided it’s not taken by someone else before. However, this is a paid service and there are five different tiers to choose from.
£2 gets you a regular phone number, while for £10 you can get a bronze number. £25 will get you a silver number and £50 will get you a gold one. The most pricey one is called platinum and it’s priced at £75. You don’t have to pay for a number to join 1pMobile, these payments only come into play when you want to get a memorable phone number. Although, there are currently only Gold Numbers available.
If you’re mainly using your data, there are also prepaid bundles called data boosts available to all customers. They last for 30 days and you get a discount starting from 40% reaching up to 75% off the regular 1p/MB rate. Given the nature of the network, it’s not really surprising that there’s no data rollover feature, which means any unused data will expire after 30 days.
If you’re using more than 600MB per month then you’d be better off purchasing a data boost as you would save versus standard 1p pricing. These bundles don’t come with minutes or texts, so you’ll still be using your regular credits for any calls you make or texts you send.
No Top-up For a Whole Year
For customers who don’t want to worry about topping-up, 1pMobile offers different tiers of options. You won’t have top top-up for a whole year, if you top-up for £30 in one go. A £20 top-up will extend your due-date by 240 days, a £15 top-up will extend it for 180 days.
Half Cooked’s Overall Breakdown
Half Cooked’s overall rating for 1p Mobile: (4 / 5)
- Network Coverage and Speeds– 1pMobile uses EE’s infrastructure to offer 99% population and 90% landmass coverage of the UK. You also get the super-fast 4G download speeds.
- Voice Call Quality – umlaut, Open Signal and many other independent testing bodies rank EE as the best network, so naturally 1pMobile is one of the best too.
- Tethering – You are allowed tether with your 1pMobile SIM, but it’s not the ideal network for tethering.
- Wi-Fi Calling & 4G Calling – Sadly, neither Wi-Fi Calling nor 4G Calling are available to 1pMobile customers.
- Wi-Fi Hotspots – 1pMobile doesn’t offer any free Wi-Fi hotspots.
- International Roaming – 1pMobile offers the basic EU inclusive roaming deal. You can only use 7.5GB of data if you have the 10GB data boost when roaming in the EU.
- Gold Numbers – You can select your own phone number by paying extra. There are five different tiers starting from £2, all the way up to £75.
- No Top-up for a Whole Year – If you top-up for £30 at one go, you don’t have to worry about topping-up for a whole year.
Frequently Asked Questions
What network does 1pMobile use?
1pMobile uses EE as its network provider. Its host network offers the best 4G coverage and fastest 4G data speeds and so does 1pMobile.
How often must I top-up?
You have to top-up at least once every 120 days for £10. If you top-up for £30 in one go, you can use your SIM without having to add credit for a whole year.
Does 1pMobile have 4G Calling and Wi-Fi Calling?
Unfortunately, no. 4G Calling and Wi-Fi Calling aren’t available to 1pMobile customers.
Do I get any free Wi-Fi access with 1pMobile?
No, 1pMobile is a low-cost mobile virtual network operator and to stay competitive they have to cut out many great features. If you’re looking for a network with free Wi-Fi, we’d recommend checking out BT Mobile’s deals.
Does 1pMobile have 5G?
No, 5G isn’t available to 1pMobile customers. It might take a while before 1pMobile offers a 5G service.
Who owns 1pMobile?
1pMobile is owned by Telecommunications Management Limited.