What You Need to Know
As one of the newest networks in the UK, Three has built up a base of more than 10 million customers since 2003. Their network offers 97% population coverage in the UK with 63% 4G coverage as of November, 2016.
Three offers both pay monthly and pay-as-you-go (PAYG) service. Pay monthly tariffs range between £11 and £35 depending on the phone and features you need. PAYG plans range between £10 and £20 for bundles.
If you have your own mobile, their SIM-only plans make it easy to use your existing device. With both 3G and 4G networks, they support a wide range of the most popular mobiles. Should you need your own phone, you can bundle a phone with your SIM at affordable rates.
- Truly unlimited data
- Good phone selection
- No-contract tariffs available
- 4G access
- Great roaming prices
- Low PAYG rates
- Large personal hotspot data allowances
- Ranked last for 4G Availability in OpenSignal's "State of Mobile Networks: UK (April 2017)" report
- Lower 4G speeds than some networks
- Feel at Home: Free roaming using your tariff’s allotments in 43 countries around the globe
- Basic 321: 3p per minute voice calls, 2p texts and 1p per MB data for PAYG use
- All-You-Can-Eat Data: While many networks claim to offer unlimited data service, you’ll find speeds throttled after a certain amount. With Three, your data is truly unlimited. You’ll even enjoy a healthy allotment for tethering if needed.
Awards and Recognitions
- #2 in 4G Download Speeds in OpenSignal's State of Mobile Networks: UK (April 2017) report
- #1 in 3G Download Speeds in OpenSignal's State of Mobile Networks: UK (April 2017) report
- #2 in Ookla’s 2016 Speedtest Market Report UK for both upload and download speeds
- #2 in overall download speeds in OpenSignal’s 2016 UK State of the Mobile Network report
- #1 in 3G download speeds in OpenSignal’s 2016 UK State of the Mobile Network report
- #2 for 4G download and upload speeds in Ofcom’s 2016 Smartphone Cities report
- #1 in 3G download speeds in Ofcom’s 2016 Smartphone Cities report
How's the Network Coverage and Speed?
According to the Three site, their 3G network now covers 97% of the UK population. Their 4G network lags behind slightly at 63%. However, at the time of writing, they’re working to expand both 4G coverage and support for HD Voice capabilities.
You can check coverage and network types in your area at their support page.
In the 2016 “Speedtest Market Report UK”, Three ranked second for both upload and download speeds. Uploads averaged 10 Mbits per second while downloads averaged 22 Mbits per second.
OpenSignal's "State of Mobile Networks: UK (April 2017)" found average 4G download speeds of 23Mbits per second and 3G downloads speeds of 7Mbits per second.
This is similar to their data from last year. OpenSignal’s 2016 “State of the Mobile Network UK” report shows average 4G download speeds of 24 Mbits per second and 3G download speeds of 6 Mbits per second.
Finally, Ofcom’s 2016 “Smartphone Cities” report shows overall download speeds across 8 of the UK’s major cities averaging 15 Mbits per second.
Do They Charge Roaming Fees?
Three’s pay monthly and PAYG tariffs include the Feel at Home in Europe feature. With this feature enabled, you can roam at no additional charge in 43 European countries using your monthly allotment.
You can find a list of supported destinations here.
Higher tier plans include the Feel at Home around the World feature as well. This expands coverage to include other global destinations, including the U.S., Australia, Brazil and Singapore.
For more information on their Feel at Home options, consult their Go Roam page.
If you’re visiting a country not included in the feature, you’ll pay based on your destination. You can find a full list of rates by country on Three’s International Roaming Destinations page.
What About Long Distance Fees?
All Three plans include calling to mobiles and landlines in the UK with your monthly minute balance.
For calls outside the UK, costs will depend on whether you are pay monthly or pay as you go.
For pay monthly tariffs, adding the International Saver Add-on adds 3000 minutes to popular destinations around the world for £15.32 per month. You can find a full list of supported countries and usage instructions on Three’s International Saver Add-on page.
For PAYG tariffs, you can unlock lower rates using special dialing codes. You can find a full list of supported countries and usage instructions on Three’s Save on PAYG International Calls page.
Calls made outside of these two methods are subject to per-minute rates. You can find the cost to call any destination using the search box on Three’s Calling Abroad page.
Does Three Offer Wi-Fi Calling?
Yes. Three supports both native Wi-Fi Calling features on many phones. If your phone doesn't support native Wi-Fi Calling, their Three inTouch app works as well.
Neither option requires additional charges.
For phone compatiblity and usage instructions, consult their Three inTouch Wi-Fi Calling page.
How About Voice over LTE (VoLTE)?
Yes. Three refers to their VoLTE service as 4G Super-Voice. When using 4G Super-Voice service and a compatible phone, you can switch seamlessly between voice and Wi-Fi calls as well as use 4G data while on calls.
Not sure if your phone is compatible? Their 4G Super-Voice page includes a current list of compatible options.
For 4G coverage in your area, check their coverage map.
Can I Tether My Mobile?
Yes! Most Three pay monthly plans allow tethering at no additional charge. For All-You-Can-Eat Data plans, you’ll find a separate data allowance for your tethering. Allotments up to 30GB offer plenty of data for most users.
PAYG plans do not support tethering at the time of writing.
For full details on activating tethering on your phone, consult their Personal Hotspot page.
NOTE: Tethering with a laptop or gaming console will often result in more data use than using your phone. If you have a tariff with a small data bucket, monitor your tethering usage to avoid unwanted surprises.
Can I Rollover Unused Data?
At the time of writing, Three does not include data rollover with any of their tariffs.
What Add-ons or Bundles are Available?
Three offers a range of both pay monthly and PAYG bundles to help you tailor your tariff to fit your needs.
Pay monthly add-ons include:
- Data Top-Offs: Add 250MB to 18GB of data to your tariff for £2.50 to £5 per month.
- Personal Hotspot: Expand your personal hotspot data allowance by 1 to 6GB for £5 to £8 per month.
PAYG add-ons include:
- All-in-One 10: 1GB of data, 100 voice minutes and 3000 texts for £10 per month.
- All-in-One 20: 12GB of data, 300 voice minutes and 3000 texts for £20 per month.
- All-in-One 25: All-You-Can-Eat Data in the UK, 12GB of Feel at Home Data, 500 voice minutes and 3000 texts for £25 per month.
- Text 3000: 3000 text messages for £5 per month.
- Three-to-Three Minutes: 3000 minutes to other Three mobile numbers for £5 per month.
- 500MB Mobile Internet Pass: £5 for 500MB of mobile data per month
- Internet Daily Pass: £0.50 for 120MB of mobile data daily
For a full list of add-on options, consult their Price Guide.
Can I Bring My Own Mobile?
Sure! With support for 3G and 4G there’s a good chance you can bring your unlocked phone to EE.
You’ll find a full list of pay monthly, PAYG and mobile data plans on their SIM Only Deals Made Simple page.
Do They Require a Credit Check?
All UK pay monthly plans require a credit check. PAYG bundles do not require a credit check if you already have a phone or pay for a new phone in full.
- You must be at least 18 years of age
- You must have a UK credit or financial history
If you’re on the electoral roll at your address and have good credit, this can help to both speed up the credit check process and reduce the chance of needing to pay a large deposit.
To perform the check, Three will likely ask for:
- Your name, date of birth and marital status
- Your current address and other addresses in the past 3 years
- A credit/debit card or bank account registered to your current address
Three checks Experian.
NOTE: Credit checks from networks that pull your credit bureau report may impact your credit score. If you're not sure the best options for your credit profile, we suggest contacting the network before attempting to obtain service.
Do They Charge an Early Termination Fee?
If you are on a pay monthly tariff and want to cancel your service before the end of your term, you will be incur an early termination fee equal to 80% of your remaining monthly payments.
In Three’s Pay Monthly Price Guide, they state that the discount is subject to change.
Can I Port My Number To or From Three?
All mobile networks in the UK must provide a PAC Code upon request. Giving this code to a new network will allow you to transfer your number.
To port your number to or from Three, contact customer support and request your PAC code. They must deliver your PAC code within 2 hours of your request.
To receive your PAC code:
- The account you are trying to transfer from must remain open.
- You must be able to verify your identity through either personal documents or payment history
Once you receive your code, contact Three or your new network and give them the code. In most cases, your number will transfer within 1 to 2 business days. Be sure to complete this process quickly, as PAC codes expire 30 days from the date they are issued.
Will They Unlock My Mobile?
Any Three device sold after 1 January 2014 is already unlocked.
For other questions about pricing, features and coverage, be sure to check our Three Q&A Forum. It’s filled with questions and answers from people like you looking to get the most out of their mobile service!
If you spot any errors or missing information, please let us know! It's appreciated and will help make this page better for everyone.
Voice network: UMTS 2100 MHz, LTE 800 MHz
Data network: HSDPA, HSPA+, LTE
Star House 20 Grenfell Road Maidenhead SL6 1EH
0333 338 1001 (or *333 from your cell)
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