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1p Mobile: everything you need to know

Is 1p Mobile pennywise or pound-stupid? We do the sums to find out.
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A network aimed at cost-conscious smartphone users, 1p Mobile claims to have the “UK’s cheapest and most flexible PAYG tariff”.

Here we take a good, long look at 1p Mobile’s offer to see how that bold claim stacks up. Along the way, we’ll look at tariffs, network coverage, speeds and much else besides.

What’s the big selling point?

1p Mobile is a pay-as-you-go network, and in many ways is much like any other. So as you’d expect, you pay for credit with top-ups and you’re only charged for what you use.

But as we mentioned above, 1p’s key selling point is its eye-catching price points.

You pay 1p per minute to make calls to UK landlines and mobiles, 1p per text and 1p for 1MB of data.

Retrieving your voicemail? That’s 1p too.

Sounds good. Anything else that stands out?

Another interesting point of difference from some networks is that the pay-as-you-go credit you add doesn’t expire.

Once you’ve joined for £10, as long as you top up every 120 days you’ll retain all your credit and keep your account active. There’s no minimum top-up.

1p Mobile also offers 30-day data boosts. Choose from:

  • 500MB for £4

  • 1GB for £6

  • 2GB for £10

  • 4GB for £15

You can either add these on a one-off basis. Or you can sign to a rolling-contract arrangement whereby the data will be added to your account every 30 days automatically.

It’s also worth noting that there are no restrictions on tethering, so you can use your phone as a mobile hotspot.

Surely, there’s a catch?

Hmm, not a catch per se. But there are some things to be mindful of.

Principally you need to be aware that 1p Mobile’s deals seem designed for light users. Or perhaps older phone users who don’t make much use of data and mostly just text and make calls.

If you’re even a moderate data user, we think you’re probably better off with a cheap SIM only deal. There are plenty about, after all.

By way of example, with data priced 1p per MB a single gigabtye of data will cost you £10. That’s on top of any calls and texts you use.

At the time of writing, iD Mobile is offering a rolling-contract SIM only deal priced £5 per month. That buys you 1.5GB of data per month, plus 5,000 texts and 250 minutes per month.

Find iD Mobile’s deal here.

What about roaming charges?

At the time of writing, using your phone in European locations when you’re on 1p Mobile will set you back:

  • 4p per minute for calls

  • 1p per text message

  • 4p per MB

You can get a proper look at 1p Mobile’s roaming charges here.

What’s coverage like?

1p Mobile is what's called a Mobile Virtual Network Operator and uses EE’s network and promises coverage for 99% of the population.

If you’re interested in joining 1p Mobile, it’s worth using the website’s coverage checker to make sure you’ll be able to get a signal where you live.

What kind of speeds can I expect?

Although 1p Mobile uses EE’s network, don’t expect EE’s super-fast service. These are typically reserved for EE customers only.

It should still be pretty good though, certainly on a par with other networks that piggyback off EE, such as Plusnet and Virgin Mobile.

What SIM cards does 1P use?

1p Mobile’s triple SIM card will fit into a standard, micro or nano slot. So it can be used in any unlocked 2G, 3G or 4G phone.