2020 Three vs iD Mobile Review: Unlimited Data Plans or £3.99 a Month Contract Deals?

Three and iD Mobile operate on the same network. In this article we will see how they compare across a number of different areas. Read on below for the full review.

Latest Offer: 6 Months Half Price – Unlimited for £11 a month!

Three Mobile OfferThree is currently offering customers unlimited data with unlimited minutes and texts for only £11 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.

 

Three overview

Three mobile logoLaunched in 2003, Three has grown rapidly to be one of UK’s 4 major mobile networks with over 10 million customers. Three’s SIM only and phone contract offers are some of the most competitive on the market, consistently delivering on what the customer is after with examples including 71 inclusive roaming destinations with ‘Go Roam’ & their unlimited Netflix streaming with ‘Go Binge’.

 
 

Pro’s

  • All you can eat data and 5G at no extra cost
  • Free roaming in 71 destinations
  • Unlimited streaming for Netflix & other popular apps

Con’s

  • No data rollover is available
  • Limited Wi-Fi hotspots
 
 

iD Mobile overview

ID Mobile logoUsing the Three network, iD Mobile offers some of the cheapest 4G price plans in the UK. iD Mobile is owned by Carphone Warehouse and was launched in 2015 to target customers looking to get low cost plans – however since then they have expanded their range of plans and handsets to also target high end customers with the latest iPhone flagships & coupled with Wi-Fi calling & data rollover offer a solid all around product to customers.

Pro’s

  • Data Rollover
  • Wi-Fi Calling & 4G Calling
  • International roaming in 50 countries

Con’s

  • Expensive PAYG plans
  • No unlimited data plans
 
 
 
 

Table of Contents

Network Coverage & Speeds

three vs id mobile network coverage

The Three network offers wide coverage with 99.8% population coverage for 4G & 98.3% 3G-coverage.

Three highlighted the quality of its network by winning the best network for data at the Mobile Choice Consumer Awards 2019. However, in terms of network speeds it’s still lacking behind EE and Vodafone with 4G download speeds of 21.6 MB/s versus EE who leads the way with 33.7 MB/s. Despite lacking behind EE & Vodafone, we didn’t notice any issues in streaming HD content and surfing the web using the Three network.

On top of this Three say’s they’re building the fastest 5G network in the UK which comes at no extra cost, it’s already available in certain areas on home broadband and soon to be available to customers with 5G devices.

You can expect the same level of coverage and 4G speeds on iD Mobile’s network as you get on Three’s. There is no speed limiting on either network which you can expect on some of the other mobile networks in the UK.

We compare two of the largest networks in our EE vs O2 review, check out the article to learn more.

Voice Call Quality

three vs id mobile voice call qualityWith Three & iD Mobile you can expect solid voice call quality with 4G Super Voice (VoLTE), although this was initially launched by Three, iD Mobile now also have access to VoLTE. With 99.8% 4G coverage, you can be confident in good call quality.

Despite that based on the most recent testing by P3 communications Three achieved a score of satisfactory vs very good for EE. 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.

Regardless of whether you are with Three or iD Mobile, you won’t have any issues making or receiving calls.

Tethering

three vs id mobile tetheringTethering is a service offered by networks that allows your mobile phone to be used as a Wi-Fi hotspot. The data from your device can be used by other Wi-Fi enabled devices such as tablets, other mobiles or PC’s to get connected to the internet. Tethering let’s you use your data as you want and is offered by most mobile networks.

Three customers can tether their mobile data as much as they like with tethering permitted on all Three plans with no limit on the amount of data within each plan that can be tethered. However, when abroad, tethering is supported on all ‘Go Roam’ Europe destinations but is limited to 19GB on all contract plans & 15GB on all PAYG plans. However, tethering isn’t supported in World Go Roam destinations but pay monthly customers can purchase a Data Passport add-on which offers unlimited data and tethering for £5 a day.

iD Mobile also offer tethering but only in the UK, but unlike Three this isn’t offered abroad. If tethering is an important feature to you, you might want to look atVNOs like giffgaff and SMARTY are better alternatives if you want SIM only deals that offer tethering. You can check out Half Cooked’s SMARTY vs giffgaff review to see how the compare across different categories.

Three’s flexibility in offering tethering abroad means they come out on top.

International Roaming

three vs id mobile international roamingWith Three’s ‘Go Roam’ scheme in 47 EU destinations and 23 non-EU destinations, you can roam in 71 countries worldwide on the Three network. International roaming comes at no cost for Three’s Pay Monthly or SIM Only customers on Advanced plans. In the EU, customers are allowed a monthly data roaming of 19 GB and 15 GB on Pay Monthly and Pay As You Go plans respectively. If you go further afield, your data allowance is limited to 12 GB. But this comes at no extra cost. And you can make calls and send texts within your plan.

iD Mobiles inclusive international roaming is limited to EU destinations, however this is standard for the smaller virtual operators and gives iD the ability to offer such low cost contract deals to its customers.

Wi-Fi Calling & Wi-Fi Hotspots

three vs id mobile wi-fi calling & wi-fi hotspotsThree has a very flexible Wi-Fi calling scheme as you can use it on all pay monthly or PAYG plans. This is also compatible with most devices, including older Android & Apple devices. Half Cooked rates Three’s Wi-Fi calling scheme InTouch as one of the best in the UK.

In terms of Wi-Fi hotspots, Three offers hotspot access at over 250 London Underground stations, and with most other public locations such as restaurants, bars & shopping centers with Wi-Fi hotspots, you can pretty much stay connected wherever you are when out and about.

iD Mobile sets itself apart from other lower-cost MVNOs with its Wi-Fi calling perk. This one of the pros of the network as such schemes are usually made available by UK’s larger operators. However, you will not find any hotspots to connect to as an iD Mobile customer.

Data Rollover

three vs id mobile data rolloverData rollover allows customers to save their unused data at the end of the month and roll this over to the next period and use this before eating into their newly refreshed data.

This is a fairly common perk available in the market but currently unavailable to any Three customers. However, Three has generally cheaper plans than some of the other larger operators and this offsets any rollover benefit.

iD Mobile does offer data rollover to its customers. Any unused data is rolled over to the next period, however if it isn’t used by the end of the following month it is lost. We recommend checking out SMARTY, who give customers money back on any unused data. We have a Three vs SMARTY article that’s worth checking out.

Multi Buy Discounts/ Family Plans

three vs id mobile multi buy discounts/ family plansThree offer customers discounts on any new phone contracts or SIM only deals which it calls ‘Existing Customer Offers’. On handset deals, you can save up to £3 a month on iPhone deals and up to £5 on Samsung and Huawei deals. SIM only savings are a little lower at £1-£2, however over the life of a contract these quickly add up!

iD Mobile don’t offer any multi buy or family plan discounts but iD Mobile contracts start from £3.99 a month and are amongst the most competitively priced in the market and you will probably find they come in cheaper than discounts with other providers.

Customer Rewards & Other Perks

three vs id mobile customer rewards & other perksWith 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 offer customers ‘Go Binge’ which is one of the best free streaming schemes in the UK. Go Binge offers unlimited streaming on Netflix, Apple Music, SoundCloud & Snapchat amongst other. A lot of these are very data hungry apps and can lead to significant data savings with HD streaming.

iD Mobile doesn’t offer any customer perks or rewards to customers. If you’re looking for cheap, no frill SIM deals then iD Mobile is for you.

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