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UncategorizedWho are the mobile network operators in the UK?

Who are the mobile network operators in the UK?

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Living in the Era of Mobile Communication, almost every British has more than one mobile phone and it’s really important to keep in touch with your family, relatives or colleagues all day long.

Photo by Brett Jordan on UnsplashPhoto by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

In terms of mobile and Internet penetration, the UK is one of the leading countries in Europe and around the world. The United Kingdom has 92.0 million subscribers that use mobile services. The country’s telecom regulator is Ofcom.

In this article, you will get to know who are the national mobile network operators in the UK.

The Big Four

Using communication services in the UK is quite costly, so when choosing an operator and a specific tariff, you must take into account the level of your network communication and the need to connect additional services. In the UK, there are two options for connecting to the network:

  • Sim-only contract;
  • “pay as you go” Sim.

In the UK there are only four national mobile network operators:

  • EE;
  • O2;
  • Three;
  • Vodafone.

They have their own coverage, so their connection is more safe and, accordingly, tariffs that are higher than competitors. Also there is another group of operators, small firms that use the coverage of the national operators, that is why they can provide cheaper conditions for their subscribers.

EE:Everything Everywhere (EE brand) is a relatively young company. Although if you see its history, it is not. The new company and the EE brand itself appeared in 2010 in the unfolding financial crisis, when Deutsche Telekom and Orange S.A. decided to merge their British divisions T-Mobile UK and Orange UK into a single structure. This should have reduced the costs of the owners and increased revenues. The result is the UK’s largest cellular operator with a subscriber base of around 27.5 million subscribers. In addition to mobile business, EE provides fixed Internet services in the mass and corporate markets.

EE has the largest number of piggybackers. They are: ASDA Mobile, BT Mobile, Plusnet, Virgin Mobile, HMD Mobile, To The Moon Mobile.

To The Moon Mobile is the youngest mobile operator in the UK which uses EE’s network to offer the widest and fastest 4G Coverage. Go and check the official site: To The Moon Mobile and order a free sim card!

O2: The second largest mobile network operator in the UK is O2 with 27.2 million subscribers. The company is actively cooperating with mobile virtual operators, providing them with its own infrastructure. It is known as one of the most expensive, but its coverage is excellent and its pay as you go range is one of the best in the country.

O2’s piggybackers you may have heard about: Giffgaff, Tesco Mobile and Sky Mobile.

Vodafone:Vodafone is the third-largest mobile network operator in the United Kingdom, with 17.2 million subscribers and the world’s second-largest mobile phone company. Vodafone’s piggybackers you may have heard about are Talk Mobile and VOXI.

Vodafone has excellent coverage but it has had bad reports of customer service the past few years. However, the network provides fast 4G (and 5G) connectivity, and its SIM-only deals are well priced. Vodafone also proposes Global Roaming, which lets you use your normal data plan at no extra cost.

Three: Three is the fourth-largest mobile network operator in the United Kingdom, with 13.3 million subscribers. Three is Hutchison 3G brand. Three means the quality of mobile Internet. The operator is the best for 3G quality in the UK. Three network has three mobile virtual network operators: SMARTY, iD Mobile and FreedomPop. Three propose reasonably priced ‘all-you-can-eat’ data bundles, that means unlimited data. It means you can stream shows from Netflix, TVPlayer and History Channel; also you can stream songs from Apple Music and SoundCloud. Its “Go Roam Around the World” adds more than 20 worldwide countries to the usual European destinations that let you roam for free.


In the UK there are four main operators and a lot of MVNO’s that are using the network of the main one. It’s really important to get a good mobile network with safe signal, good speeds and quality service. The market is full of propositions, just check it and choose the best suitable for you.

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