Press release:

Big four networks outclassed as giffgaff is crowned mobile Network of the Year at the uSwitch Mobile Awards

  • giffgaff takes home five awards including two top prizes for mobile Network of the Year and Best SIM-only Network
  • Rival virtual network Tesco Mobile, wins three gongs including Best Pay As You Go Network, and is runner up to giffgaff for Network Of The Year
  • Feel At Home secures Three a roaming trophy and it also scoops Best Pay Monthly Network
  • Vodafone goes home empty handed, the only one of the big four to leave without an award
  • Samsung pips Apple in the judges’ categories, honoured as Best Manufacturer and Phone of the Year for its Galaxy S6 Edge
  • Judges bestow an innovation award on Motorola’s shatterproof phone screen.

MVNOs outclassed the big four networks at last night’s uSwitch Mobile Awards, with giffgaff clinching a quarter of the prizes up for grabs and Tesco Mobile taking home three awards, although it was placed second in six more categories.

The annual awards ceremony, this year held at The Barbican, revealed the UK’s most popular mobile manufacturers, networks and retailers, as voted for by more than 5,000 consumers and a judging panel of journalists.

It saw giffgaff, which piggybacks off O2’s network, win the coveted Network of the Year award – with Tesco Mobile and Three in second and third places respectively – as well as Best SIM-only Network.

The consumer vote also awarded giffgaff a Best Data gong. It offers unlimited minutes, texts and ‘Always On’ data for £20 per month.

Another MVNO, Tesco Mobile, which also uses O2’s network, won three gongs including Best Pay As You Go Network and Best Value Pay Monthly provider. Meanwhile Virgin Media was awarded two trophies, including one for providing the best customer experience.

While the big four networks barely got a look in – there were no awards at all for Vodafone – Three’s unrivalled Feel At Home package did help it secure a Best for Roaming award, and EE secured the Fastest Mobile Network, powered by RootMetrics, for the third year running. O2 was voted Best for Network Coverage.

Samsung always misses out to Apple in the bestseller lists, but not so in this year’s judges’ categories. The underdog beat Apple to two awards, winning Manufacturer of the Year and Phone of the Year for its Galaxy S6 Edge. The full list of award winners is available here.

Consumer Award Winners & Runners Up

Category 1st 2nd 3rd
Network of the Year giffgaff Tesco Mobile Three
Best Pay Monthly Network Three Tesco Mobile O2
Best PAYG Network Tesco Mobile O2 Vodafone
Best SIM-only Network giffgaff Tesco Mobile Three
Best for Roaming Three O2 giffgaff
Best Customer Experience Virgin Media O2 Amazon
Best for Data giffgaff Three O2
Best Network Coverage O2 Three EE
Network Customer Service giffgaff O2 Three
Best Value Pay Monthly Tesco Mobile Three Virgin Media
Best Value SIM Only giffgaff Tesco Mobile Virgin Media
Fastest Mobile Network powered by RootMetrics EE Vodafone O2

Source: uSwitch.com.

Judges Award Winners & Runners Up

Category 1st 2nd 3rd
Manufacturer of the Year Samsung Apple Sony
Phone of the Year Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Apple iPhone 6s Samsung Galaxy S6
Best Technology Innovation Motorola (shatterproof screen) Apple (Apple Pay) Sony (Sony Xperia Z5 Premium 4K screen)

Source: uSwitch.com.

Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com, comments: “Britain loves an underdog, and this really was a year when David well and truly trounced Goliath.

“Between them, the MVNOs took home more than a third of the trophies up for grabs on the night, while Samsung – often in Apple’s shadow – outshone the iPhone 6s with its Galaxy S6 Edge in the eyes of our distinguished judging panel.

“It’s clear the big four should never underestimate the little guys, who are unafraid to sacrifice margin for market share, and offer some of the most exciting and flexible deals for customers right now. It wasn’t all bad news for the industry behemoths though. Three and EE won two trophies, while O2 took home one, but Vodafone only managed runner up in two categories.”

Find out how you could save over £1,000 a year with uSwitch.com here.

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Notes to editors

For the full list of winners please visit: http://www.uswitch.com/mobiles/awards/

Customer Satisfaction Research was carried out online by Censuswide amongst 5,009 mobile users in December 2015. The figures are nationally representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). For each individual category, each entrant received an average satisfaction score, with the highest average winning the category. The Best Network categories were calculated using the averages from all the other categories in the Customer Satisfaction Research.

The award for Fastest Mobile Network, powered by RootMetrics, was based on data provided by RootMetrics network speed tests. The tests were carried out in H2 2015 in the UK as a whole and do not take into consideration reliability factors.

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