Press release:

Three’s crowned: mobile network scoops six gongs as it cleans up at the uSwitch Awards

  • Mobile network Three cleans up with an unrivalled six awards, while Plusnet takes home three, including Broadband Provider of the Year
  • Mobile Network of the Year goes to industry disruptor Giffgaff, and the Quadplay award is bestowed on Virgin Media
  • Tesco Mobile, Giffgaff and Plusnet all pick up Best Value trophies while Customer Service awards go to Giffgaff, Plusnet and Virgin Media
  • Sky is popular among the judging panel of consumer and tech reporters, who vote Sky Q as Best Smart TV Box and hand it the Telecoms Innovation Award
  • Judges award Apple mobile maker of the year, but phone of the year goes to the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.

Six was the magic number for mobile network Three at the uSwitch.com Awards, which recognises excellence in Mobile, Broadband and TV. It picked up six trophies including Best Network for Roaming and Best SIM Only Network.

The annual awards ceremony, held at Quaglino’s in London, also saw broadband provider Plusnet take home three awards, including Broadband Provider of the Year, while MVNO Giffgaff clinched Mobile Network of the Year. Virgin Media took home the trophy for Quadplay Provider of the Year and another for its triple play offering of Best Broadband, TV and Home Phone.

For Best Value and Customer Service, Giffgaff and Plusnet proudly walked away with gongs in both categories. Tesco Mobile was also singled out for its Best Value Pay Monthly deals.

uSwitch.com’s esteemed judging panel, made up of journalists from the national consumer, personal finance and technology press, were impressed by Sky Q, which took home Best Smart TV Box and the Telecoms Innovation Award. Sky also won a prize for Best TV Content.

As for Mobile, the judges voted Apple their mobile manufacturer of choice but handed the trophy for Mobile Phone of the Year to the innovative Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.

2017 Award Winners & Runners Up

Broadband & TV Categories 1st 2nd 3rd
Best Broadband, TV & Home Phone Virgin Media Sky TalkTalk
Best Provider Customer Service Plusnet Virgin Media Sky
Best Smart TV Box (judges’ award) Sky Q Virgin V6 BT YouView+ Ultra HD

Now TV Smart Box (tied)

Best TV Content (judges’ award) Sky Now TV BT/

Virgin (tied)

Best TV Streaming Service Netflix Amazon Prime NOW TV
Best Value Broadband Provider Plusnet EE TalkTalk
Broadband Provider of the Year Plusnet EE Virgin Media
Fastest Broadband Provider Virgin Media SSE BT
TV Provider of the Year TalkTalk Virgin Media BT
Most Popular Broadband Provider BT Sky Virgin Media
Mobile Categories 1st 2nd 3rd
Best Network Coverage EE O2 Vodafone
Best Network Customer Service Giffgaff Three Virgin Media
Best Network for Data Three Giffgaff BT
Best Network for Roaming Three O2 Giffgaff
Best Pay Monthly Network Three Tesco Mobile O2
Best PAYG Network O2 Three Tesco Mobile
Best Retailer Customer Service Virgin Media The Smartphone Company Three
Best SIM Only Network Three Giffgaff BT
Best Value Pay Monthly Tesco Mobile Virgin Media Three
Best Value SIM Only Giffgaff Tesco Mobile Virgin Media
High Street Retailer of the Year Tesco Mobile Carphone Warehouse O2
Mobile Manufacturer of the Year (judges’ award) Apple OnePlus Google
Mobile Phone of the Year (judges’ award) Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Apple iPhone 7 Plus Google Pixel XL
Mobile Reseller of the Year Mobiles.co.uk The Smartphone Company Mobile Phones Direct
Network of the Year Giffgaff Three Tesco Mobile
Online Retailer of the Year Three Tesco Mobile Virgin Media
Pay Monthly Retailer of the Year Three Tesco Mobile Virgin Media
Mobiles, Broadband & TV Categories 1st 2nd 3rd
Telecoms Innovation Award (judges’ award) Sky Q Sky Mobile ‘Roll’ LG G5 modular phone
Quadplay Provider of the Year Virgin Media BT TalkTalk


Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at
uSwitch.com, comments: “Six is the magic number for Three, a deserved multi-award winner for delivering incredible value and huge value-adds such as free roaming in 42 countries. The hunger for more data only continues to grow, and Three is ahead of the curve on data-driven perks, offering unlimited packages, and healthy tethering allowances.

“Giffgaff’s unbeatable combination of all you can eat data and flexible, no-contract tariffs have re-shaped the mobile landscape and appeal to millennials who either can’t get a pay monthly deal or don’t want the risk of being tied in. Unusually, it has put the power in the people’s hands to manage their spending and alter tariffs which has proved a huge hit with its happy online community, as has its wealth of flexible, value goodybags and now refurbished handsets.

“Another award-winning MVNO has realised that value doesn’t just mean cheap. Tesco Mobile has delivered a selection of great deals and discounts for the cost-conscious mobile owner and transformed its in-store handset, and grocery, buying experience with the launch of its PayQwiq app.

“With its award-winning S7 Edge, Samsung has overshadowed the blot on its jotter that was the Note 7 with an incredible handset that delivers on looks, features and value for money. But Apple stealing the manufacturer prize suggests it has cemented its place in the public consciousness as a purveyor of near-perfect hardware, despite the iPhone 7 being neither evolution nor revolution, but rather one of exquisite refinement.

“In the broadband realm, Plusnet has come out tops for both best broadband and best value – proving that cheap certainly is cheerful. It also deserves credit for its second-to-none customer service and this is the third year in a row Plusnet, quite rightly, has been recognised for it.

“On the telly front, TalkTalk is perhaps the Cinderella story of the awards. The TV provider offers a cheap and easy way to get YouView and this has really resonated with consumers, but Sky leads in the content stakes. Home to Game of Thrones, 126 Premier League games, and more than 350 box sets, you can see why it has taken the top prize. Recognition by the judging panel for its set top box Sky Q is also deserved. However, Netflix is the righteous queen of streaming, having hit viewers with series after series of big-budget content, from The Crown to A Series of Unfortunate Events, and all for just £6 a month.”

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

— ends —

Notes to editors

Unless specified below, the uSwitch Awards were decided by a UK consumer panel of 5,620 adults, aged 18+. Responses were collected between 15 – 22 December 2016.

Categories not decided by the consumer panel were decided by a panel of judges from the national and technology press.

(Full list of nominees and the uSwitch judging panel for mobile: https://www.uswitch.com/mobiles/awards/ and broadband https://www.uswitch.com/broadband/awards/).

Awards decided by judges are highlighted in the table above. The Most Popular Broadband Provider award was calculated using the consumer panel and uSwitch sales. Fastest Broadband Provider of the Year was based on data collected via uSwitch’s consumer speed testing tool between 1st January 2016 and 31st December 2016. 1.4m speed tests were run during this period.

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