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ASDA Mobile review 2023: our expert verdict on their network

ASDA Mobile reviewVisit

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We join ASDA Mobile on a SIM only bundle to test their 4G/5G coverage, speeds, customer service and benefits for real. Here's what we found. Last updated: 20th February 2023.

Our verdict on ASDA Mobile

SIM Sherpa rates ASDA Mobile as a good provider
 (3/5, good)

"ASDA Mobile have really got their mobile network in order now, offering 5G data and WiFi calling on top of solid coverage for calls and data - although there's still no advanced network features like call forwarding.

In terms of extra perks or unique benefits, ASDA don't really have much going for them. It's a very straight-up trade of reasonable prices for a generous amount of data with your basic minutes and texts.

As a customer, ASDA Mobile are one of the few low-cost operators you can speak to on the phone, which will be popular. And their online account system is decent for changing basic settings and billing.

If you're someone, who's not interested in flashy novelty benefits and mostly just uses their phone for a bit of internet, social media and making calls, we can see you being happy on ASDA Mobile."

The 3 best bits

1) Excellent mix of calls and data coverage
2) Telephone customer service
3) No credit check to pass

The 3 worst bits

1) No real added benefits
2) Speed caps on unlimited plans
3) Internet slow outside big cities

Is ASDA Mobile closing?

No. They recently moved networks, which meant a lot of people who hadn’t swapped SIMs got their service shut off. But new customers are unaffected and ASDA are not closing their mobile network.

Is ASDA Mobile changing network?

ASDA recently moved their customers over to Vodafone, having previously used the EE network. All new customers will now join on Vodafone. If you see complaints about disruption on the internet, it’s existing customers who had to swap SIM cards to keep using ASDA Mobile.

What network does ASDA Mobile use?

They use the Vodafone network. If you see information that they use EE, this is now out of date. They previously used EE.

How do I leave ASDA Mobile?

Very easily. Just stop your bundle renewing and you can leave immediately. If you want to keep your number when you move, text the word PAC to 65075 from your ASDA SIM and they’ll give you a code to give to your new provider.

Information symbol We're a professional reviews website but we bought our ASDA Mobile SIM card as a regular consumer, to test what it's actually like for real life paying customers. The contents of this review are a combination of our expert industry knowledge and what we experienced during our test.

How good is ASDA’s mobile network?

ASDA provide identical coverage to hosts Vodafone

ASDA’s coverage map

Same signal as their hosts VodafoneUse coverage checker

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When joining on ASDA you’ll be getting access to the Vodafone network. In real life testing we got the same signal strength in the same areas on our ASDA SIM and our Vodafone SIM using the same phone.

We tested our ASDA SIM against our Vodafone SIM in the exact same phone. Our tests showed no built-in coverage differences between the two (unless you’re on an ASDA plan without 5G). So what does that mean?

We wanted to see if being on ASDA was any different to being on Vodafone directly. So we put an ASDA SIM and a Vodafone SIM in a dual-SIM phone and tested them in the same areas.

No matter where we were we got the same number of signal bars on ASDA as on Vodafone. There was no evidence of any built-in handicaps on ASDA (which you sometimes get on smaller networks):

Screenshot of signal strength on both networks

Being on Vodafone’s network means you can get 4G in some very rural areas with your ASDA SIM. But the signal quality and data speeds will suffer in these areas.

ASDA’s indoor signal is usually good as well and in our tests we got signal throughout the house. But signal might suffer indoors if your nearest mast is obstructed, so use their coverage checkers before joining.

If call signal coverage is a concern for you, ASDA are a great choice. They have the joint-largest percentage of the UK’s physical landmass covered for call signal and cover most of the places where people live.

They’re only behind EE (and the providers that use them) for 4G data signal (see 5G below). You’ll get 4G almost anywhere in urban areas and their rural 4G coverage is strong. But still, it’s worth checking coverage in your area.

Useful link: Check your ASDA Mobile coverage now

Our coverage rating:
★★★★☆ (excellent)

Joint 2nd

Not as good as:

Better than:

Data speeds: 4G in urban areas is superfast

Table of speed caps

Speed caps on unlimited data plansRead more

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You might expect there to be built-in differences in speed being on ASDA against being on Vodafone due to ASDA’s lower prices. But we found no evidence of a speed difference between the networks.

According to independent network tests Opensignal you’ll get typical speeds of around 21.2 Mbps. They measure this using millions of volunteer phones up and down the country.

Those are the kinds of speeds you’d get over mid-range home fibre broadband, letting you watch HD videos without buffering. But you can get much faster or much slower speeds depending on your location.

We wanted to see if Opensignal’s report reflected the sorts of speeds you’d get in real life and to see if ASDA were any faster or slower than Vodafone. We tested speeds in different rural and urban locations.

Over 5G, were actually able to go past the speed cap, but the average seemed toalways level out to 150 Mbps:

Screenshot of ASDA speed tests

This speed cap was the only difference being on ASDA against being on Vodafone. We got faster 5G on a consistent basis with Vodafone:

Vodafone 5G speeds

With 4G we were getting the same speeds in the same locations with both networks. You can also sometimes get 4G+ on ASDA with speeds over 100 Mbps:

ASDA Mobile 4G+

However, in more rural areas, we found speeds over 4G went as low as 5 Mbps, which is slower than rural speeds on most other networks. There’s an extreme difference between speeds in urban and rural areas on ASDA.

But overall we can see how the speed results average out to get Opensignal’s results. If you’re rural based then you might find ASDA a bit sluggish, but it’s still faster than being bumped down to 3G speeds.

While they are the third slowest for typical 4G speeds, they actually have the second fastest 4G speeds in urban areas (behind only EE). The speeds you get on ASDA depend highly on where you’re using your phone.

Useful link: ASDA’s guide to their speed caps

Our data speeds rating:
★★★★☆ (excellent)

Joint 2nd

Not as good as:

Better than:
Three (just) and O2

5G: only available on ASDA’s premium plans

Table of speed caps

Get 5G on £10+ bundlesRead 5G benefits

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ASDA Mobile get you access to Vodafone’s expanding 5G network, but only on certain plans. Their cheapest plans are 4G-only, while plans that are £10 or over generally get you access to 5G.

If you’re on one of those plans you’ll enjoy typical speeds 105.2 Mbps and 133.54 Mbps over 5G (according to Opensignal and Speedtest). But it is worth bearing in mind their unlimited data plans are speed capped.

You can only get full speed 5G on these SIM only deals on ASDA Mobile:

ASDA had 5G live in 141+ UK towns and cities last time we checked. Coverage within these locations is usually decent, but you’ll still be on 4G most of the time in most places.

It is worth noting that ASDA provide 5G abroad, which is something very few networks do. This can be handy if you can get it, but it doesn’t make up for the fact that most plans don’t get you the full 5G experience.

Useful link: Best networks for 5G coverage and speeds

Our data speeds rating:
★★★★☆ (excellent)

Joint 2nd

Not as good as:

Better than:
Three (just) and O2

ASDA include WiFi calling and 4G calling as standard

ASDA Mobile WiFi calling

WiFi/4G calling on every plan Read their guide

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While ASDA benefit greatly from Vodafone’s brilliant indoor coverage, if you’re far from a mast or in a thick-walled building you might still get indoor blackspots. This is where WiFi calling comes in handy.

This lets you make/receive calls and send/receive SMS messages over WiFi or 4G signal if you can’t get conventional call signal. And they include it on every plan at no extra cost.

Combined with their excellent call coverage, this makes it very unlikely to find yourself in a total blackspot unless you’re on the Underground. We’re still in the process of testing how well it works in real life.

They share the same list of supported devices as Vodafone, meaning you might struggle to get it to work on older models, especially Android models. But if it does work then it’s a great feature.

Useful link: Guide to the best networks with WiFi calling

Our extra features rating:
★★★☆☆ (TBC)


Extra network features: a few missing on ASDA

Screenshot of ASDA's FAQ page

Plenty of useful info Read FAQs

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Before joining a network it’s good to know what other features they include, as many of these can come in handy now and again. But, with ASDA being a low-frills network you miss out on a lot of these.

ASDA do let you tether on every plan, letting you connect non-data devices to your data signal. You can use up to your entire allowance for this and there are no limits for it on their unlimited data plans.

You don’t get any free WiFi hotspots on ASDA Mobile. These usually come in handy for saving you data on the go and staying connected in places you wouldn’t normally get signal, but ASDA offer none.

Call forwarding is also not offered on ASDA. This would let you forward incoming calls to a different number, but you can’t do this on your ASDA SIM.

ASDA also don’t offer visual voicemail, which is a feature that lets you sort through your voicemails one by one. Not many networks actually offer this, so it’s no surprise that ASDA don’t either.

You also can’t get an eSIM on ASDA either. But again this is something only the biggest networks offer, so we wouldn’t expect ASDA to offer them anyway.

Useful link: Our guide to the best networks for WiFi hotspots

Our extra features rating:
★★★☆☆ (TBC)


ASDA Mobile benefits reviewed

No credit checks to pass to join ASDA

SIM card with crossed-out contract icon

Pay up front with a debit/credit cardSee accepted cards

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ASDA are a low-frills, low-cost provider. This means going with them is a trade off of fewer benefits for lower prices. You don’t get extras like data rollover, unlimited streaming data or free extras.

But one advantage ASDA have over some networks is that you won’t need to pass a credit check to join on their SIM only deals. This is because you pay for your mins, texts and data up front.

You can only rack up extra charges by topping up with credit and paying with that. In all, you can only use what you pay for, meaning ASDA don’t have to make you pass a credit check.

All you need is enough money for the bundle you want on your UK debit/credit card. And because you’re not joining on a contract, you can change plans month to month or leave altogether whenever you like.

Useful link: How to top up on ASDA Mobile

ASDA still include EU roaming on all plans

Table of speed caps

They’ve changed their fair usage policyCheck all countries

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While more and more UK networks have removed inclusive EU roaming from their plans, ASDA Mobile still let you use your regular allowance in the EU at no extra cost.

Unfortunately you’ll now be limited to just 5GB of your monthly allowance while abroad (down from 25GB). This can feel quite restrictive and if you go over that you’ll have to pay their EU roaming rates.

If you take your ASDA SIM beyond the EU you’ll have to pay at these very steep rates. That will add up very quickly, so you’ll have to keep an eye on your usage while abroad.

ASDA Mobile are a great network for short trips to the EU, but for going beyond the EU you might want to look at Vodafone, who offer inclusive roaming in 83 EU and worldwide destinations on premium plans.

Useful link: Our top-rated networks for roaming

Our roaming rating:
★★★☆☆ (good)


Not as good as:
Three, Vodafone, EE, O2

Similar to:
Everyone else

What you don’t get on ASDA Mobile

VOXI unlimited video benefit

VOXI offer unlimited data for streamingHow it works

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The trade off for ASDA’s great flexibility and value is that you miss out on a lot of extra benefits you get for joining other networks.

Firstly you don’t get any free streaming data benefits. This is something low-cost rivals VOXI (also on Vodafone) offer. They get you unlimited data for social media on all plans and for video streaming on some.

You also miss out on data rollover. iD Mobile offer this on all plans, letting you keep leftover data for a month. But Sky Mobile have our favourite scheme that lets you hold onto rolled over data for 3 years!

ASDA Mobile’s international calling rates are quite steep, while fellow Vodafone-users Lebara have the cheapest international rates of all networks with calls to lots of countries at only 1p per minute.

Extra data can also get expensive on ASDA Mobile. You either have to PAYG at these rates or take one of their data add-ons, neither of which are great value. It’s best to keep an eye on your usage with ASDA.

Finally there’s no way to add extra SIMs to your account. There are a few networks that not only let you manage all your SIMs under one account but give you extra discounts or benefits for doing so.

Overall, ASDA provide a low-frills experience. But if you don’t mind missing out on these then this shouldn’t be a deal breaker for you.

Useful link: The best networks for extra data charges

ASDA Mobile deals and special offers

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ASDA Mobile SIM only plans: quick facts

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SIM only deals on ASDA Mobile

Here’s how ASDA compare for SIM only bundles



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Pay As You Go rates on ASDA are UK’s second cheapest

ASDA pay as you go SIM banner

Worse value than their pay monthly SIMsOrder a free SIM

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ASDA might have recently increased their Pay As You Go rates but they still have the second-cheapest rates of all networks, and are the cheapest .

You’ll find no cheaper pay as you go rates on the Vodafone network. The only network offering cheaper rates are 1pMobile’s 1p per minute, text or MB data tariff. Here are ASDA’s rates:

Paying at these rates adds up quickly, especially for data. Considering you can pay up front and don’t need to pass a credit check for their pay monthly deals we can’t see who would use PAYG except infrequent users.

One good thing is that credit won’t expire if you do something to keep your SIM active every 180 days. But overall it’s worse value than their monthly bundles and we’d only recommend it if you barely use your phone.

Useful link: ASDA’s full guide to their pay as you go SIM

Phone contracts: ASDA don’t offer any on pay monthly

A phone contract may better match your needs

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ASDA don’t offer phone contractsCompare phone contracts

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ASDA Mobile are primarily focused on selling SIM only plans and don’t offer any phone contracts at all. You can buy a phone from their website directly, but you have to pay the whole cost up front.

Talkmobile are another provider on Vodafone’s network. You can take a Talkmobile phone contract via third party resellers Fonehouse on lots of mid-range devices and are typically competitive on price.

VOXI also offer a some good value contracts on a range of 5G-ready high-end models. They also give you the flexibility to change your usage (mins, texts, data) plan month to month.

And then obviously, you’ve got Vodafone themselves. They’re a more expensive choice than the other two but if you join via third party retailers you can get some fair deals.

Useful link: Compare phone contracts with us

ASDA Mobile customer service

Customer service: we found it quick and easy

Screenshot of customer service methods

You can call them to get helpHow to get in touch

(opens in new window)

Some low-cost networks are able to keep their costs low by not having call centres, but ASDA are one of the few that let you call them. This is the quickest way to get help, when we tried it for ourselves.

We had to get through their menu options but were connected to an agent quickly. While their agent wasn’t UK-based, there was no issue in talking with them and they helped us move our number to ASDA smoothly.

Now not everyone will have the same experience, and it will depend on your issue whether or not you’ll get it resolved. But we appreciate good customer service, and ASDA definitely provide that.

Since ASDA are technically a Pay As You Go network and don’t have a lot of customers they don’t appear in Ofcom’s complaints report. We have no data to prove it overall, but in our experience their customer service is good.

Useful link: Ways to contact ASDA Mobile

More guides about ASDA Mobile

Other mobile network reviews

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