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Talkmobile Review 2022: Simple and Affordable SIM Only Deals with Vodafone Coverage

Talkmobile is a low-cost mobile network owned and operated by Vodafone, offering 30-day and 12-month SIM Only plans. Read this review to learn more!

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What is Talkmobile?

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

Originally, Talkmobile was launched by Carphone Warehouse way back in October 2007, however, Vodafone acquired the mobile network in 2015. Talkmobile delivers great coverage to 99.9% of the UK using 4G, 3G & 2G services, but 5G is yet to arrive.

Talkmobile used to offer a traditional pay-as-you-go service, but it no longer exists. You’ll also have to undergo a credit check to get your hands on a Talkmobile SIM only tariff since they only offer contract deals.

Pro's

  • Some of the cheapest 30-day rolling contracts
  • Simple, affordable, and good value plans
  • Great for light data users

Con's

  • No extra features
  • No 5G coverage
  • No PAYG

Network Coverage & Speeds

Talkmobile 4G Coverage

Talkmobile runs on Vodafone. Their mobile network reaches 99.9% of the UK population across 2G, 3G and 4G. Talkmobile and Vodafone customers get identical network coverage besides 5G. Talkmobile doesn’t have 5G yet.

Having said that, most Vodafone plans also come with WiFi Calling and 4G Calling. These two features improve your coverage and call quality by a large margin. Talkmobile currently doesn’t provide WiFi Calling or 4G Calling/VoLTE on any of their contracts. This means you can’t enjoy these features, even if your handset supports them. Hence, Vodafone’s deals are better in terms of coverage.

Talkmobile also provides identical data speeds across 4G and 3G, but once again the lack of 5G is the key difference here.

As always, we strongly recommend you use the network’s coverage map before you sign a contract with them. If their coverage is weak in your frequent areas, then your mobile experience will be poor.

Talkmobile 4G Speeds

Objective testing bodies such as OOKLA and Opensignal don’t test MVNOs like Talkmobile specifically, but that’s because they offer identical coverage and data speeds as the networks they operate on (unless stated otherwise). When we look at Opensignal’s September 2021 speed test results we can see that Talkmobile’s owner and provider Vodafone is ranking as the third-fastest UK mobile network operator. Per the testing body’s report, Talkmobile’s average 4G download speeds are around 21-22Mbps; the network’s upload speeds are around 7 to 8Mbps.

Please, keep in mind that your experience may greatly differ due to a number of reasons. Even the time of the day can drastically affect the data speeds you can get.

Talkmobile 5G

Talkmobile is a simple network that’s focused on offering customers basic SIM only contracts, therefore they’re yet to offer 5G to their customers. The network’s provider, Vodafone, however, offers 5G on almost all their plans. Having said that, you’ll need a 5G-ready handset, be in an area with Vodafone 5G and have a Vodafone 5G tariff to enjoy 5G data speeds. At the time of writing, Vodafone 5G is live in 123 UK towns and cities. Vodafone 5G is also available in 193 towns and cities across Germany, Spain, Italy, and Ireland.

According to Opensignal’s September 2021 test results, Vodafone’s average 5G download speeds are around 73.3Mbps, and their 5G upload speeds average around 12.3Mbps.

Both Opensignal and OOKLA say Vodafone offers the slowest average 5G download speeds, but even the slowest 5G data speeds are more than enough to stream 4K videos, and other heavy data activities without any issues.

WiFi Calling and 4G Calling

WiFi Calling and 4G Calling are two crucial features that increase your coverage and improve the quality of your voice calls. These two perks used to be included in premium SIM only deals, but as of late they’ve become somewhat essential. Almost all networks, be it major or small, offer them at no extra cost. Unfortunately, Talkmobile isn’t one of these mobile networks; you won’t get 4G Calling or WiFi Calling with a Talkmobile deal.

Wi-Fi Calling lets you make and receive voice calls and texts over an available WiFi network. 4G Calling lets you make calls over your network’s 4G service. Your calls can move seamlessly between WiFi Calling, 4G Calling, and your regular connection. We expect Talkmobile to offer these features eventually, but it’s not clear if this will happen any time soon.

Personal Hotspot

Tethering (also known as turning your phone into a mobile personal hotspot) is included on all Talkmobile SIM only plans at no extra cost. You are allowed to share all your mobile data with other compatible devices. We recommend opting for a large data plan, preferably an unlimited data plan, so Talkmobile isn’t the best choice for you if you wish to tether regularly. You don’t get any fancy extras either, meaning using your Talkmobile plan for streaming content on Netflix, Amazon Video Prime isn’t the best choice.

Roaming

Talkmobile lets you use your home plan (data, minutes, and texts) in 41 European destinations, but that’s it. The network doesn’t offer anything beyond that. Despite being powered by Vodafone, you’ll be charged in locations that are covered by Vodafone’s roaming scheme. Talkmobile’s inclusive roaming in Europe is subject to a fair usage policy.

Features

Talkmobile’s key selling point is to offer customers affordable, basic SIM-only deals. They don’t offer any extra features at all.

Half Cooked’s Overall Breakdown

Talkmobile constantly reviews the UK mobile market to give the best value for money. They offer 99.9% UK coverage thanks to Vodafone and all their plans come with unlimited UK calls and texts.

In many ways, they’re like Vodafone’s Basic Plans. In fact, they’re almost identical as there are only a few minor differences between these two services.

We give Talkmobile 3 stars out of 5 because their service lacks core features like WiFi Calling and 4G Calling. These core features can be found on most smaller networks. Even 5G is becoming more available. Talkmobile is keeping things simple, but maybe a little too simple for the current market.

FAQ

What network is Talkmobile using?

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

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 of exceptions here and there) Since the network doesn’t offer PAYG they skip the data rollover feature.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Half Cooked’s overall rating for Talkmobile