Three Network Review 2020: Half Cooked’s favourite all around network!

Some of the fastest 4G speeds in the UK, perks such as rewards apps and all-inclusive streaming data as well as multiple international destinations like the USA and Australia where you won’t be paying any extra to use your phone – there are many reasons that half cooked rates Three as one of the best networks in the UK. Read on below to get the breakdown.

Jan 21st, 2020

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.

 

Pro’s

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

  • No data rollover is available
  • Limited Wi-Fi hotspots
  • No free subscription services

 

Half Cooked’s overall rating for Three: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Summary

Three Review

Three offer some of the best SIMO and handset deals in the mobile market today, with 99.8% 4G coverage and great data speeds. With inclusive roaming in 71 destinations worldwide & 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, learn more by reading on for our full Three network review.

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.

Click here to go direct to Three’s website and see their latest SIM offers.

Skip to the Half Cooked breakdown to find out how Three performed in each of our main categories by clicking here.

Otherwise read on for our full review or skip to a specific section by choosing from the table of contents below.

Table of Contents

1. Network Coverage & Speeds

2. Voice Call Quality

3. Tethering

4. International Roaming

5. Wi-Fi Calling & Wi-Fi Hotspots

6. Data Rollover – Discount off your next bill

7. Multi Buy Discounts/ Family Plans

8. Customer Rewards

9. Other Perks

10. Sim Deals & Phone Contracts

11. Half Cooked Overall Breakdown

Network Basics

Network Coverage & Data Speeds 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Three Network Coverage & Speeds 2020

Three is one of only 4 MNO’s (Mobile Network Operators) in the UK alongside EE, 02 and Vodafone.

For data speeds, we’ve looked at Open Signals Network Experience Report from October 2019. Three currently has an average 4G download speed of 21.6 MB/s. This is a fair download speed and absed on our testing, we had no issue streaming videos or downloading apps. Three ranks ahead of O2, but EE still lead the way with fastest download speeds in the market with an average 4G download speed of 33.7 MB/s.

To see who comes out on top between EE and Three, check out our detailed EE vs Three Network Comparison.

Network coverage with Three is strong with 99.8% 4G coverage and 98.3% 3G coverage. You can visit the Three site to use their coverage checker to find out the quality of coverage in your area.

Find out more about Three Mobile Network & Coverage Speeds
Useful info: Best 4G networks 

Voice Call Quality 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

Three Voice Quality

Three only operates on the 3G & 4G network and doesn’t have any 2G spectrum. With Three’s 4G super voice you can expect to get increased indoor and rural coverage on your Three SIM. 4G super voice gives Three customers the ability to make calls in areas they previously could not as signals are stronger than ever. To access this, you need to ensure your mobile device is 4G compatible.

Using another independent testing body to assess voice call quality, we looked at P3 communications tests. Three came third out of the major operators with a score of ‘good’. The main reason Three came out behind both EE and Vodafone was considerably longer call set up times in larger cities – about 1.5 seconds longer on average.

Find out more about Three Mobile Voice Call Quality

Tethering 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Three Tethering

Tethering is turning your mobile device into a personal Wi-Fi hotspot which in turn allows your data to be used by other Wi-Fi devices to access the internet.

Three allows tethering on all of their new Three Pay Monthly Plans with any mobile device. Customers can also tether on Three’s Pay As You Go deals, whether that be 321 or the range of PAYG add ons they offer. 

Customers can tether all of their data in the UK, it will be taken out of their standard data allowance. If you’re on an unlimited data plan you can use unlimited data for tethering.

The only restriction comes in when you tether abroad. In the EU you can tether your mobile device, but only if you have an unlimited data plan. For the rest of the world you can’t tether, unless you purchase a data passport for a fixed daily cost.

International Roaming 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Three International Roaming

Half cooked rates Threes roaming abroad as the best in the market. With their ‘Go Roam’ proposition customers can roam in up to 71 destinations worldwide, which includes 23 destinations beyond the inclusive EU countries you will find with the other operators.

Some of these worldwide destinations include – USA, Australia, Brazil, New Zealand and Hong Kong. You can travel to any of these destinations and a number of others (Full list can be found on the Three website) and use your minutes, texts and data within your plan as per normal.

You also don’t need to be a contract customer to get access to this, PAYG customers that purchase a 1 month add on can also get access to ‘Go Roam’.

For the other destinations outside of the Go Roam destinations whereby costs are per minute, text and MB of data used Half Cooked has found them as one of the cheaper operators.

Find out more about Three Mobile International Roaming

Wi-Fi Calling & Wi-Fi Hotspots 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Three WiFi Calling

Wi-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 coverage but have access to Wi-Fi.

Three’s Wi-Fi calling scheme is called ‘Three InTouch’ and is available to both PAYG & Contract customers.

It is simple and intuitive to use, unlike some of the other networks whereby you need to have a device purchased directly from them.

In most cases, if you have a fairly new device, Three will automatically direct calls to Wi-Fi if you have poor network coverage. If not, you can simply download the app and get it working.

If you are still undecided about Three Mobile’s Wi-Fi calling, we’ve written an informative article about the best UK networks for Wi-Fi calling.

Wi-Fi hotspots are however few and far between with the Three network. You will get free Wi-Fi on the London Underground at over 250 stations to keep you connected, but where some of the other networks have hotspots in useful public locations you won’t find this with Three. 

You can still get around this as many restaurants, bars and shopping centres now offer free Wi-Fi access to all.

Find out more about Three Mobile Wi-Fi Calling & Wi-Fi Hotspots

Data Rollover – Discount Off Your Next Bill 1 out of 5 stars (1 / 5)

Three Data Rollover

Data rollover means you can roll your unused data from one month to the next. For e.g. if you have a 2GB plan and only use 1GB the following month you will have 3GB as the extra 1GB would be rolled over.

Despite data roll-over plans becoming more common in the market, this is something still not offered by Three on any of its contract handset, SIM Only or PAYG plans.

If you’re looking for data rollover, Sky Mobile and iD Mobile have good plans available or find out more on our detailed best UK networks for Data Rollover review.

Multi Buy Discounts/ Family Plans 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Some networks are now offering customers discounts on any additional SIM or phone contract purchases they make to incentivise people to sign up their family & friends.

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.

See all Three Mobile SIM plans

Customer Rewards 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Three Customer Rewards

In terms of rewards schemes Three hasn’t got much to offer up against the likes of VeryMe rewards for Vodafone & Priority from O2.

Three recently shut down their reward app, which was called Wuntu. This offered customers free coffee’s & meal deals, as well as exclusive discounts.

Three’s website says they’re working on something on something even better, so it will be interesting to see what they offer with the other networks having strong customer reward schemes.

See all Three Mobile customer rewards

Other Perks4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Go Binge Three 2020

With the mobile market becoming more and more saturated with new networks popping up, some of these operators are trying to differentiate themselves by offering other perks.

Three has a proposition called ‘Go Binge’ which is available to its Advanced Plan phone or SIM only contracts who have a contract with 12GB or more available data. This allows unlimited streaming on some applications such as Netflix & Apple Music. None of your plan’s data is used when using these apps. Three also recently added Snapchat to this, another data heavy app will no longer impact your data allowance. 

Three have also recently teamed up with EasyJet to offer travel upgrades to customers including a free bag drop off, so you can go hands free.

Some networks are now offering inclusive entertainment subscriptions when you purchase a contract handset or SIM. For example EE offer customers use of Apple Music & the BT Sport App but unfortunately this isn’t something Three currently offer. Sky Mobile offers customers access to unlimited free streaming of multiple Sky TV channels right from their device, to learn more check out our Sky Mobile Review.

See all Three Mobile Perks

Sim Deals & Phone Contracts

Three currently has 12 different SIM only deals available. These are all Advanced Plans which means you will get the perks of unlimited streaming with ‘Go Binge’ and access to ‘Go Roam’ with 71 destinations worldwide roaming within your plan.

These plans are available in 1 month, 12 month or 24 month deals, with better rates available for customers who are happy to lock in for a longer period. 

These plans start from as low as £10 and increase to £26 for a 1M unlimited data deal.

In terms of phone contracts Three offers contracts on low end handsets all the way to your flagship iPhones. 

Three is competitive and is generally cheaper than the other large operators EE, 02 and Vodafone.

Click below to follow through to Three’s SIM only and Phone Contracts.

Half Cooked Overall Breakdown

Half Cooked’s overall rating for Three:

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Three Review

  • Network Coverage and Speeds 4 out of 5 stars – With 99.8% 4G coverage and data speeds, Three gets the basics right.
  • Voice Call Quality 3 out of 5 stars – P3 Comms rated voice call quality as ‘Good’ with the main issue being longer call set up times than other networks.
  • Tethering 4 out of 5 stars – Tethering available on all new plans.
  • International Roaming 4 out of 5 stars – Best proposition in the market, use your phone at no extra cost in up to 23 non-EU destinations including USA & Australia.
  • Wi-Fi Calling & Wi-Fi Hotspots 4 out of 5 stars– Simple set up for Wi-Fi calling unlike some of the other networks but lack of Wi-Fi Hotspots let them down.
  • Data Rollover 1 out of 5 stars – You won’t be able to hold onto any unused data with Three as they currently have no rollover scheme.
  • Multi Buy Discounts/ Family Plans 4 out of 5 stars– For existing customers Three offer some serious savings incl £5 a month on Samsung handset contracts
  • Customer Rewards 1 out of 5 stars – No reward app available to Three customers.
  • Other Perks 4 out of 5 stars – Go Binge is a unique offer to the market, stream unlimited Netflix & Apple Music as well as other apps, but there is no free subscriptions like some of its competitors offer.