- 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
|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|
Judges Award Winners & Runners Up
|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)|
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.”
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