Mobile Network Comparisons

Mobile Network Comparisons

What is a mobile network operator?

A mobile network operator (also known as an MNO) owns and operates the infrastructure for mobile communications they provide. MNOs are also known as carriers and wireless service providers. You use their network to make & receive calls, texts and connect to the internet (when on mobile devices).

Who are the largest UK Mobile Networks?

There are four major mobile network operators in the UK: EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three. These four networks have countrywide 3G and 4G network coverage and they’re working on improving their 5G coverage. All the other smaller mobile network operators in the UK are powered by these four providers. The smaller carriers are also known as mobile virtual network operators.

What is a mobile virtual network operator?

A mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) piggybacks on a major wireless carrier to provide a network service. They might be directly owned by the network (like VOXI, which belongs to Vodafone), or rent infrastructure from one such as iD Mobile does with Three.

MVNOs offer identical network coverage as their host networks. However, they don’t always have the same download speeds or latency.

Which MVNO is powered by which network?

Popular mobile networks like BT Mobile, Sky Mobile, Tesco Mobile, VOXI, SMARTY, iD Mobile and giffgaff are all MVNOs, meaning they’re renting space from bigger network operators.

Which mobile network has the best 4G Coverage and data speeds?

According to both OOKLA’s and Open Signal’s October 2020 speed tests, EE is the best 4G network in the UK. The network has the fastest 4G download and upload speeds, as well as the most 4G coverage.

Which mobile phone networks have 5G?

In the UK, all four major mobile networks (EE, Three, O2 & Vodafone) have 5G. Sky Mobile, Tesco Mobile, VOXI & BT Mobile also offer 5G coverage. We expect giffgaff and SMARTY to launch their 5G services soon.

Which mobile network has the best 5G Coverage and data speeds?

EE has the largest 5G coverage in the UK with 112 cities and towns. They also have the widest coverage per location. However, the fastest 5G network in the UK is Three. The network offers 201Mbps average 5G download speeds. Vodafone’s 5G is only available in 57 locations in the UK, but the network offers 5G in 193 more locations across Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland. O2 is the second fastest 5G network and they also have the second largest 5G coverage in the country.

Which mobile network has the best customer service?

According to Ofcom, in the UK over 90% of mobile customers are satisfied with their overall service. Their research states that giffgaff & Tesco Mobile customers are more likely to recommend their provider to a friend. Other networks seem to be pretty much even.

Virtual mobile networks or big mobile networks? what’s the difference? Which is better?

It depends on what you’re looking for from a mobile network operator. When it comes to network coverage, both the parent network and the piggybacking network offer identical services. However, download speeds may be different as some MVNOs only get limited 4G access or some plans come with speed restrictions, but overall there shouldn’t be major differences. Bigger networks usually have extra features like 4G Calling & Wi-Fi Calling, some loyalty and reward programmes and freebies though.