Three bagged four gongs at last night’s uSwitch Mobile Awards to become the night’s biggest winner.
The numerical network did the double and scooped awards for best value for money SIM only and pay monthly carrier. Three will also be making room in its cabinet for trophies for best customer support and best network for roaming.
Tesco Mobile also put in a strong showing, with prizes for best value for money pay as you go provider and best coverage.
However, the prestigious award of best network overall went to O2, whose Priority Moments and Tickets scheme also helped it win best perks and freebies.
Breaking the big carriers’ hegemony was giffgaff, which piggybacks on O2’s network and picked up best pay as you go network.
Manufacturers picking up awards on the night included Apple with most easy to use phone, best handset design and best operating system.
But the Cupertino giant was pipped in the best manufacturer category by beleaguered phone-maker HTC, whose collection of garlands for its recent HTC One flagship phone don’t appear to be translating into sales or any sort of reversal in its parlous financial situation.
Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com, said: “2013 has been another tough year for consumer finances, but our awards show that mobile providers are battling it out to give people more bang for their buck - from great value for money to perks and freebies.
“Three triumphed this year thanks in part to its continued innovation and low prices. Its new roaming offering could end post-holiday bill shock and, at home, customers can enjoy unlimited data without the hefty price tag.”
He added: “As for handsets, while Samsung’s popularity kept it at the top of our mobile chart for much of the year and the iPhone continues to garner both acclaim and sales, it was HTC that proved the number one choice for our critics - perhaps offering a ray of light to the manufacturer.”
Other winners were Carphone Warehouse and Mobiles.co.uk in the best high street and online retailer categories respectively.