Talkmobile Review 2020: Simple, Affordable 30 Day and 12 Month SIM Only Deals with Vodafone Coverage

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Talkmobile is an online based, low-cost mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) powered and owned by Vodafone. The carrier currently offers 30-day and 12-month SIM Only plans and all their plans come with unlimited UK calls and texts.

The network was originally launched by Carphone Warehouse in October 2007, however Vodafone acquired the MVNO in 2015. Talkmobile started utilising Vodafone’s 4G and 4G+ network in July 2017 and the carrier will eventually launch a 5G service too.

Talkmobile used to offer a traditional pay as you go service, but said product was withdrawn from the mobile market in August 2017. You’ll also have to undergo a credit check to get your hands on a Talkmobile SIM only tariff.

Pro’s

  • Offers one of the cheapest 30-day rolling contracts.
  • Simple, affordable and good value plans.
  • 4G+ data speeds thanks to Vodafone’s coverage.

 

Con’s

  • No PAYG option.
  • No extra features such as 5G, Wi-Fi Calling, 4G Calling, unlimited plans.

 

Half Cooked’s overall rating for Talk Mobile: 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Table of Contents

Plans & Pricing

SIM Only Deals

If you want to sign up for a Talkmobile tariff, SIM only deals are your only option. You can either choose a monthly rolling contract or opt for the 12 month contracts with better value. The carrier’s goal is to keep things simple and affordable by offering straightforward plans with decent prices. You can even get a plan for £5 per month, but it only comes with 250MB of data. On the other hand, all Talkmobile tariffs have unlimited UK calls and texts.

Talkmobile 30 Day Contracts
Talker A250MB£5.00
Talk A73GB£7.00
Talk B95GB£9.00
Talker D12GB£12.00
Talkmobile 12 Month Contracts
Purple 73GB£7.00
MySIMO Purple Extra 89GB£8.00
MySIMO Purple Extra 1115GB
£11.00
MySIMO Purple Extra 1325GB
£13.00
All Talkmobile plans come with unlimited UK minutes & texts.

At Half Cooked we think these plans offer good value for money, but don’t support super high data users such as SMARTY does with its unlimited data plan. Unfortunately, the most amount of data you can get in any Talkmobile plan is capped at 25GB. Don’t get us wrong, it’s plenty, but may not be enough if you’re a heavy user. SMARTY uses Three’s network and we strongly recommend reading our SMARTY Review if you want to learn more about the network’s deals.

Pay As You Go

The network used to offer a traditional pay as you go service, but Talkmobile shelved it in August 2017. Currently, Talkmobile doesn’t offer any pay as you go plans, bundles or services and we don’t think the network plans to bring the old service back any time soon either.

Alternatively you can have a look at giffgaff’s super flexible goodybag deals. Using O2 as its network provider, giffgaff offers a great old school pay as you go service as well as monthly bundles called goodybags. Best part is, if you finish up your allowances in a goodybag, you can get a new one right away, no need to wait till the end of the month. If you want to know more about the network, jump to our extensive giffgaff Review!

Pay Monthly Phones

Unfortunately, Talkmobile doesn’t offer any pay monthly phone deals.The mobile virtual network operator only sells SIM only plans and nothing else.

If you wish to get a new handset with a high value tariff, we’d recommend having a look at O2’s phone deals. The network’s ‘Refresh’ feature splits your airtime bill and phone bill so that you can upgrade your device any time you want. To learn more about their offers make sure to read our O2 Review. We covered every single detail you need to know about O2 in our extensive review.

Network Coverage & Speeds

2G, 3G and 4G Coverage

4G network coveragePiggybacking on Vodafone’s 2G, 3G and 4G network, Talkmobile offers over 99% population coverage. The network also provides the second most UK geographical coverage thanks to Vodafone’s great infrastructure. Looking at Open Signal’s October 2020 speed test results, we see that Vodafone’s average download speed hangs around 22.0Mbps and upload speed is at 8.5Mbps.

However, when it comes to 4G coverage and data speeds, no network can rival EE, read our EE Review to learn more.

As always, we strongly recommend checking out a network’s coverage map before committing yourself to a deal. Be it EE, Vodafone ,Three, O2 or their virtual networks, always use the coverage map first. Getting a great deal, but bad coverage will be frustrating and you won’t get to enjoy all the benefits of your plan

5G Coverage

5gEven though the host network Vodafone offers 5G in the UK, Talkmobile skips this completely. It might take another year or perhaps a bit longer before Talkmobile offers 5G coverage. If you’d like to access Vodafone’s 5G Coverage, you must either purchase a Vodafone Red plan (or an eligible PAYG 5G bundle) or get VOXI’s endless data deal. OOKLA’s October 2020 speed test measured Vodafone’s 5G download speed at 152.2Mbps, which means the carrier is the third fastest 5G mobile network in the UK.

Alternatively you can have a look at Three and Tesco Mobile’s 5G offers. Three’s 5G is available to all customers at no extra cost and Tesco provides 5G plans at affordable rates. You can read our Three Review and Tesco Mobile 5G Review to learn more. 

Voice Call Quality

talkmobile-voice-call-qualityIn terms of voice call quality, we prefer to rely on independent testing bodies such as Open Signal, umlaut and OOKLA. They perform voice call tests nationwide and their research is very reliable.

Looking at the latest test results we see that Talkmobile’s host Vodafone comes in second, right after EE. The call setup times are quite fast and Vodafone’s voice calls seem to be significantly better than O2 and Three’s. In fact in some cities and towns Vodafone has the lead over EE.

Wi-Fi Calling & 4G Calling

talk-mobile-4g-calling-5g-calling4G Calling allows you to make higher definition audio calls and it also eliminates many indoor blackspots. This feature allows you to make calls over a 4G network rather than 2G or 3G.

Most major network operators as well as some of the MVNOs offer these two voice call quality improving features. 4G Calling lets you make higher definition audio calls by using your network’s 4G spectrum rather than 2G/3G. This feature also eliminates indoor blackspots, where you normally wouldn’t get any reception.

Wi-Fi Calling keeps your phone connected if you’re using a Wi-Fi network which has access to the internet. Thanks to Wi-Fi Calling your device can stay connected even when you aren’t getting any regular phone signal.

As you can guess, offering simple and affordable SIM only plans means you have to make some cuts and these two perks got cut out too, Talkmobile customers don’t get Wi-Fi Calling or 4G Calling. We’d suggest checking out iD Mobile for competitively priced 30 day deals with 4G & Wi-Fi Calling. You can read Half Cooked’s extensive iD Mobile Review to learn more about the network too!

Wi-Fi Hotspots

wifi-hotspotsOnly a few mobile network providers offer free Wi-Fi hotspots and unfortunately Talkmobile isn’t one of them. Considering Vodafone doesn’t offer this feature either, we don’t expect this to change for Talkmobile any time soon.

If you think you’ll need free Wi-Fi across the country, you should have a look at our BT Mobile Review. The network is using EE’s unrivalled infrastructure, plus it also offers millions of free Wi-Fi hotspots in the UK and also in the EU. Besides BT Mobile, you can also check out O2 and Virgin Mobile’s offers.

Tethering

tetheringTethering means turning your mobile phone into a personal Wi-Fi hotspot and allowing other compatible devices to connect to yours. This way, connected devices can use your mobile data and gain access to the internet, basically sharing your data allowance.

It’s a great feature and you can tether freely on Talkmobile, just remember that you don’t have that much data, even if you’re running their 25GB data plan. Tethering eats up your data at a much faster rate and you should always keep an eye on how much data you’ve spent after tethering. Also don’t forget to turn it off once you’re done.

If you’re going to tether on a regular basis we strongly recommend getting an unlimited data plan or at least a large data plan. For instance, you can check out Superdrug’s unlimited data plan. The carrier is powered by Three, and their unlimited data plan is truly an unlimited one, meaning there are no restrictions or fair usage limits. Make sure to read our Superdrug Mobile Review to learn more about their offers and features.

International Roaming

roamingTalkmobile offers inclusive roaming in 41 destinations across the EU, but that’s about it. No fancy extra perks, no advantages whatsoever. Talkmobile accounts are set to have roaming turned off, so if you want to use your phone abroad you should give Talkmobile a call at 5888 to change your account’s settings. Alternatively, you can get in contact with the network’s online customer support and get it done there too.

We’d recommend checking out Vodafone’s deals if you regularly make trips abroad. Plus, you’ll get 5G coverage in some of the European countries if you have a pay monthly plan. You can also read our Vodafone Review to learn more about what other benefits you’ll be getting if you sign up for a Vodafone pay monthly deal.

Features

Simple and Affordable SIM Contracts

Talkmobile emphasises on their deals offering great value at affordable prices and they are not lying. They keep everything simple and straightforward to offer competitive prices.

Half Cooked’s Overall Breakdown

Half Cooked’s overall rating for Talk Mobile: 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

  • Network Coverage and Speeds – Talkmobile runs on Vodafone, therefore the carrier’s mobile network reaches 99.7% of the UK population and decent landmass coverage comes with it too.
  • Voice Call Quality – Reliable testing bodies like Open Signal and umlaut rank EE as the best network in terms of voice call quality. As testing isn’t for MVNOs, TTM wasn’t tested, but the results would be likely identical.
  • Tethering – There are no restrictions, you can tether as you wish. Just keep in mind that you’ll burn through data at a much faster rate.
  • Wi-Fi Calling & 4G Calling – Talkmobile doesn’t have Wi-Fi Calling or 4G Calling.
  • Wi-Fi Hotspots – Talkmobile customers don’t get any specific free Wi-Fi hotspot perks.
  • International Roaming – You can use your allowances like at home in 41 destinations. We’d expect more as Talkmobile belongs to Vodafone.
  • Simple & Affordable Plans – Talkmobile focuses on keeping their offers as vanilla as possible, while offering great prices.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What network is Talkmobile using?

Talkmobile is using Vodafone’s 2G, 3G and 4G network. Their customers also enjoy 4G+ speeds of Vodafone’s.

Who owns Talkmobile?

Talkmobile was launched by Carphone Warehouse, but as of August 2015 Vodafone owns the mobile virtual network operator.

Does Talkmobile have 5G?

No, even though Vodafone and VOXI offer 5G coverage to their customers, Talkmobile doesn’t. We don’t expect Talkmobile to offer 5G speeds any time soon.

Does Talkmobile have Wi-Fi Calling?

No, Talkmobile aims to keep things as simple as possible, therefore skips Wi-Fi Calling.

Does Talkmobile have 4G Calling?

No, Talkmobile doesn’t offer any voice call quality improving features like 4G Calling.

Does Talkmobile have pay as you go?

The network used to offer a traditional pay as you go deal, but it was withdrawn years ago. At the moment Talkmobile only offers 30-day and 12-month SIM Only plans.

Can I transfer my number to Talkmobile?

Yes, you easily can. Just get your PAC code from your current network provider and deliver it to Talkmobile’s online customer service or call them. They’ll do the rest and in less than two days your current phone number will work with your new SIM.

Does Talkmobile have data rollover?

No, data rollover is almost always unique to PAYG deals (with a couple exceptions here and there). Since the network doesn’t offer any PAYG methods they skip the data rollover feature.