Network Comparison 2019: BT Mobile Vs Three – 5 million Wi-Fi hotspots or unlimited Netflix streaming?

Three & BT Mobile are two mobile networks operating in the UK. Three has its own network and BT Mobile uses EE’s network to provide its customers services. Both networks focus on providing additional perks that go beyond your standard mobile package to attract & retain customers. In this article we go in depth into both of these networks, to see how they compare across a number of different areas including network coverage & speeds, international roaming offers & customer rewards. Read on to learn more.

Sep 6th, 2019

Latest Offer: 6 Months Half Price – Unlimited for £10 a month!

Three is currently offering customers unlimited data with unlimited minutes and texts for only £10 with their 6 months half price deal. This SIM only deal offers great value, being the cheapest unlimited plan available in the UK. On top of this you still get the extra perks of 5G at no extra costs and Go Roam, which lets you roam abroad at destinations such as USA & Australia inclusive in your data plan on top of all EU destinations. This is only a promotional offer so click through to ensure you don’t miss out.

 

bt mobile vs three comparisonBT Mobile is a great all round network. Powered by EE, BT Mobile gets the basics right by providing 99% population coverage and the fastest data speeds in the market. In addition to this with 5 million Wi-Fi hotspots in the UK, Family SIM offers with great discounts and access to the BT Sport App, BT Mobile has developed a well round proposition while providing quality and additional perks at a more reasonable price point than some of the bigger networks.

Pro’s

  • Best coverage & fastest data speeds with 29 MB/S on 4G.
  • Access to over 5 million Wi-Fi hotspots in the UK saving you data.
  • Family SIM’s with 20% off additional plans and no strings attached 30 day plans.

Con’s

  • Only 12 month plans.
  • Limited loyalty perks.
  • No data rollover.
Want to know more about BT? Read our BT Mobile review.
 
 
bt mobile vs three comparisonThree have 99.8% 4G coverage with data speeds second only to EE. With inclusive roaming in more destinations worldwide than any other network and unlimited streaming on popular apps such as Netflix and Apple Music, Three not only gets the basics right but also leads the way with a number of unique perks in the market. The Three network is the smallest out of the big 4 operators in terms of the number of customers they have but they rank among the top in terms of their product offerings and with their incredibly competitive price point half cooked gives Three a ranking of 4.5/5.
 

Pro’s

  • Inclusive Roaming of 71 destinations worldwide
  • Unlimited streaming data on apps such as Netflix and unlimited Snapchat use
  • Easy to use Wi-Fi calling 99% 4G coverage and fast speeds

Con’s

  • No data rollover is available
  • Limited Wi-Fi hotspots
  • No free subscription services
Want to know more about Three? Click here to read our Three Review.
 

Network Coverage & Speeds

bt mobile vs three network coverageUtilizing the EE network, BT Mobile provides its customers with a 4G coverage that’s considered the widest in the UK. BT Mobile network covers more than 99% of the UK with a 4G download speed of 31 MB/s. EE’s 3G coverage is also great, covering around 99% of the population and is still fast enough to comfortably browse online and stream videos or music.
 
Three is one of the big 4 UK networks and it covers 99.8% of the population with its 4G coverage, which has average data speeds of around 23 MB/s – this is second only to EE and well ahead of the likes of O2.
 
Half Cooked’s Winner:
bt mobile vs three networkBT and Three are both great network providers, offering similar levels of network coverage. However, the faster downloading and browsing speeds of the BT Mobile network places it ahead of the Three network.
 

Voice Call Quality

bt mobile vs three voice call qualityIf we want to know about BT Mobiles call quality we need to look at EE. Looking at P3’s recent tests, EE performed ahead of its competitors (Vodafone, Three & O2) for voice call quality. They were ahead of the pack due to their audio quality & connection times supported by their seamless switching between 4G calling & Wi-Fi calling.
 
Covering most parts of the UK and constantly improving on their 4G networks, Three has been able to reach more rural areas and smaller towns with its 4G Super-Voice (VoLTE). The VoLTE allows you to make super clear voice calls over 4G. The major highlight of this service is its ability to boost coverage when calling in enclosed spaces and rural areas.
 
Half Cooked’s Winner: bt mobile vs three comparison
 
When it comes to call quality, EE comes out on top, performing ahead of Three in the latest P3 tests.

 

Tethering

bt mobile vs three tetheringTethering is a service that enables you to connect other devices to the internet through your phone’s data.  Your handset serves as the Wi-Fi hotspot while you broadcast your mobile data as a Wi-Fi network.
 
Both BT Mobile and Three offer tethering services but the data allowance and terms differ.
 
For pay monthly and SIM only customers, BT Mobile allows 60 GB and 40 GB of network tethering respectively. The service is not available to Pay As You Go customers on the BT network.  Three offers unlimited network tethering for all packages except from essential plans.
Half Cooked’s Winner: bt mobile vs three comparison
 
In this category, Three comes out on top as they put no limit on tethering or the data plans on which the service can be used. But there is a catch: you will need an Advanced plan as the service isn’t available on Essential plans.

International Roaming

bt mobile vs three international roamingIf you often travel out of the UK, then it is important to know which networks work better in international destinations. International roaming schemes of networks in the UK vary significantly, so you should know what benefits you stand to gain.

BT’s roaming scheme (BT Roam Like at Home) offers international roaming to all customers on pay monthly plans in over 47 European destinations, in line with EU roaming regulations. The service allows their customers to utilize the service to make calls, text and browse without incurring any extra charge. However, this service is only accessible if you live in the UK. It also comes with a 15 GB data limit that is billed in a single cycle. Extra charges apply if you go over the limit.

Whether you’re a Pay Monthly or SIM Only customer, Three offers free international roaming on all Advanced plans. Three’s Go Roam service covers 71 destinations. Some of the international destinations include USA, Australia & New Zealand.

In Europe, customers can use up to 19 GB on Pay Monthly plans, 15 GB on Pay As You Go plans, and 12 GB in destinations outside Europe, at no extra cost. Receiving calls and texts in these destinations are also free.

Half Cooked’s Winner:

bt mobile vs three comparisonWe rate Three’s international roaming scheme as the best in the UK due to it being available on almost all plans but check out our detailed Vodafone Review where we look at their roaming scheme in detail which has 77 inclusive destinations to offer.

Find out more about Three Mobile’s International Roaming

Wi-Fi Calling & Wi-Fi Hotspots

bt mobile vs three wi-fi callingWi-Fi calling allows customers to place calls and send texts using wireless networks instead of using their 3G/4G network. This is a great perk if you are somewhere without mobile connection but have access to Wi-Fi.

BT Mobile only recently introduced their Wi-Fi calling scheme and it isn’t available on all devices. However it is free regardless of the plan you are on.

Three on the other hand offers much more flexibility with their Wi-Fi calling scheme, Three In Touch. We rate this as the best scheme in the market as there are few compatibility issues and it intuitively auto connects when customers are connected to Wi-Fi and have poor mobile network.

In terms of Wi-Fi hotspots, BT mobile blows Three out of the water. Three only offers Wi-Fi hotspots on the London Underground, keeping you connected at around 250 stations. BT Mobile on the other hand has more than 5 million hotspots in the UK & 13 million hotspots in the EU & worldwide. The service is free & unlimited for its customers.

Half Cooked’s Winner:

We call this section a draw, Three comes out on top for Wi-Fi calling but BT Mobiles Wi-Fi hotspot scheme is the best in the market.

Data Rollover

bt mobile vs three data rolloverWi-Fi calling allows customers to place calls and send texts using wireless networks instead of using their 3G/4G network. This is a great perk if you are somewhere without mobile connection but have access to Wi-Fi.

Networks including Sky Mobile, iD Mobile and Virgin Mobile all have some sort of data rollover policies for Pay Monthly and SIM Only customers. Vodafone, EE and O2 offer data rollover to Pay As You Go customers.

Unfortunately, Three and BT networks don’t allow you to rollover data so there is no rating for either of them in this category.

We recommend checking out SMARTY Mobile, they have the best data rollover plan in the market with customers getting unused data discounted off their next bill at £1.25 per GB.

Multi Buy Discounts/ Family Plans

Having a family usually leads to pricey mobile bills each month! But most of the leading networks in the UK now offer shared plans that will help you consolidate and reduce your total household bill.

BT Mobile has one of the best shared plan discounts for customers. Once you purchase a main contract on a 12 or 24 month SIM only or phone contract, you can then add additional SIMs. Each additional SIM you add gets a 20% discount and is also on a rolling 30 day deal, which means there are no strings attached and no commitment necessary. These SIMs can also be managed from one account or separately.

Three also offers a discount plan offer called ‘Existing Customer Offer’s. Customers can add additional devices which come at a reduced monthly contract cost.

Three have begun providing ‘Existing Customer Offers’ which are discounts on Phone & SIM Only contracts. You can make some strong savings on phone contracts with an on average saving of £3 per month on iPhone contracts and a £5 per month saving on Samsung & Huawei contracts. SIM only deals you can expect to save a little less with an on average saving of £1-£2 per SIM contract.

Half Cooked’s Winner: bt mobile vs three comparison

Generally, BT Mobile offers you the chance to save more with the flexibility they offer. We consider it better than Three in this category. Check out our detailed review of the best mobile family plans available in the UK market to learn more about what offers are currently available.

Find out more about BT’s Family Plans

Customer Rewards

bt mobile vs three proritySome networks offer customer reward applications that provide customers with offers to incentivise them to stay with the network and build up loyalty.

Three has a reward app called Wuntu and this is available to all their customers including those with SIM only contracts and on PAYG. Wuntu offers several exclusive offers to customers including discounts at retailers and free food and drink.

Half Cooked’s Winner:

bt mobile vs three comparisonUnfortunately, BT Mobile doesn’t offer any customer reward app to its customer, so Three comes out on top.

We rate O2 priority as the best reward scheme in the UK for mobile customers. It’s been around for a while and with great savings every week, as well as early access to tickets to see your favourite artists, you can’t go wrong.

Find Out More About Three Mobile’s Customer Rewards

Other Perks

bt mobile vs three other perksBT customers on a smart phone contract and SIM only plans get to enjoy the BT Sport app with a free subscription. The app gives customers access to stream live events including soccer, tennis and rugby. This feature however doesn’t work on TV or laptops, only mobile devices.

Introducing the Go Binge scheme, Three offers free unlimited data to stream Netflix and other media on other online entertainment channels. The Go Binge feature is available for Three customers on phone contracts and SIMs on an Advanced plan with a minimum of 12 GB monthly data.

Half Cooked’s Winner: bt mobile vs three comparison

With their new Go Binge scheme, Three transcends other major networks including BT as regards inclusive entertainment streaming.

A perk offered by Tesco Mobile is free data, money off or Clubcard points – check out our detailed review to learn more.

Find Out More About Three Mobile’s Perks

Half Cooked’s Overall Winner

BT Mobile definitely wins out when it comes to the basic, with great coverage and even better network speeds. However with Three being market leading with a number of perks including unlimited streaming with Go Binge, inclusive roaming in 71 destinations with Go Roam & the best Wi-Fi calling proposition in the market with In Touch, we have to give Three the win. bt mobile vs three comparison