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ASDA Mobile review 2021: our expert verdict on their network

ASDA Mobile reviewVisit mobile.asda.com

The retailers featured on this page may compensate us when our readers follow links to their websites and make a purchase. More

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. SIM Sherpa is your trusty guide. Last updated: 9th November 2021.

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

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?

Coverage: basically as good as being on Vodafone directly

ASDA’s coverage map

Signal in all the places Vodafone have itUse coverage checker

at mobile.asda.com
(opens in new window)

ASDA switched from using EE’s network to using Vodafone’s network a while ago. If you’ve joined recently or are thinking of joining then you’ll be on the Vodafone network.

Our user testing compared an ASDA SIM with a Vodafone SIM in the same phone and revealed no evidence of in-built differences (except ASDA lacking 5G if you’re on a plan without it). So what can you expect?

We tested our ASDA SIM against our Vodafone SIM directly using a dual SIM phone in multiple areas to check coverage and make sure signal isn’t any different from what you get on Vodafone.

Wherever we went, we got the same amount of signal bars on our ASDA SIM as on the Vodafone one. We found no evidence of ASDA being handicapped for signal in any way (as is sometimes the case with cheaper providers on large networks):

Screenshot of signal strength on both networks

You can get 4G data in some very surprising rural locations on Vodafone’s network. Of course the quality and speed of connection is much weaker in more remote areas.

Indoor signal is a particular strength for ASDA. When testing we were able to get signal throughout the house without having to go to the window. Bear in mind this may not be the same for you depending on where you live, so check predicted indoor coverage before you buy.

ASDA are a very good choice if calls and texts are your main concern, especially with their good indoor signal. You’ll be accessing a network with the joint-largest amount of the UK’s landmass covered by call signal.

We’d also say they’re the second best for 4G coverage (EE-based providers are first). You’ll get 4G practically everywhere in large towns and cities and their rural 4G is pretty consistent.

But it’s always worth it to check your area’s coverage.

We took a 5G unlimited data bundle, so we could test ASDA’s 5G coverage too. We checked one area that Vodafone claimed 5G was available and we were able to get a connection there.

Useful link: Check your ASDA Mobile coverage now

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

Rank:
Joint 2nd

Not as good as:
EE

Better than:
Three

Data speeds: impressive 4G/5G speeds on ASDA mobile

Table of speed caps

Only unlimited data 5G plans are speed cappedRead their guide

at mobile.asda.com
(opens in new window)

With lower-cost networks, people often expect there will be in-built differences in data speed compared with their network provider. But comparing ASDA with Vodafone we found no undeclared differences.

Our expectations are that average 4G download speeds on ASDA will be the same as Vodafone’s results with Opensignal and Speedtest by Ookla (21.15 - 25.1 Mbps).

That’s the sort of speed you can expect from mid-range home fibre connection and will let you stream HD video quite comfortably. Depending on location you can get up to 4x that speed or much lower.

We went around a variety of locations, from a major city to smaller towns to right out in the sticks, with our ASDA SIM. We wanted to test if the independent testers were right and if speeds were any different compared to Vodafone.

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 cap was the only disadvantage to being on ASDA. Our Vodafone got consistently faster speeds over 5G:

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+

On ASDA your 5G may be capped to 150 Mbps depending on your plan, where with Vodafone we could reach speeds of over 200 Mbps. But that difference isn’t realistically a big everyday problem.

You’d have to be doing something incredibly heavy duty to need more than 150 Mbps. That’s a much higher speed than most people get on their home broadband.

Useful link: ASDA’s guide to their speed caps

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

Rank:
Joint 2nd

Not as good as:
EE

Better than:
Three (just) and O2

WiFi calling and hotspots: a new addition to ASDA

ASDA Mobile WiFi calling

WiFi calling now available Read their guide

at mobile.asda.com
(opens in new window)

While Vodafone is the joint-best network to use for indoor coverage, indoor blackspots will be unavoidable for some. In these cases having WiFi calling available is always helpful.

ASDA mobile have filled the last gap in their network features by offering WiFi calling on all deals. You can now make/take calls and send/receive SMS texts over WiFi, if you’re unable to get conventional phone signal.

This means that those who struggled to get indoor signal despite Vodafone’s great coverage should now find it hard to find somewhere without at least a decent signal. But, we have yet to test how well it actually works.

Unfortunately there are still no WiFi hotspots on ASDA. This is a shame as a good hotspot scheme can save a lot of data and stop users incurring extra charges for going over limits.

Useful link: Guide to the best networks with WiFi calling

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

Rank:
Joint last

Not as good as:
TBC

Same as:
TBC

ASDA Mobile benefits reviewed

No contracts or credit checks on ASDA Mobile

SIM card with crossed-out contract icon

Pay by credit/debit cardSee accepted cards

at mobile.asda.com
(opens in new window)

ASDA, being a low cost provider, are unable to give out some of the extras offered by bigger networks, like data rollover, free extras or streaming data.

But, one major upside to ASDA for some will be the fact that they don’t require customers to pass a credit check for their SIM only plans. You’ll never have to pass a credit check with ASDA.

Everything you need, you’ll pay for up front. And to wrack up extra charges you’ll need to top up with credit beforehand. There’s no risk of customers being unable to pay their bills - so ASDA don’t need to impose credit checks.

All you’ll need is a UK credit/debit card and enough money to pay for a monthly bundle. You’re also free from contracts meaning that you can leave without notice and change plans once the month is up.

Useful link: How to top up on ASDA Mobile

Roaming is included in EU destinations on ASDA

Table of speed caps

Travel to Europe without paying extraCheck all countries

at mobile.asda.com
(opens in new window)

With many networks pulling support for inclusive EU roaming, it’s nice to see you can use your ASDA Mobile SIM card within the EU for the same cost as at home. You’ll pay nothing extra to use your usual allowance.

While abroad you’ll be limited to 25GB when roaming no matter your data deal. Going over this will incur extra charges, and you’ll pay their standard rate per MB of data used while in the EU.

You can also use an ASDA Mobile SIM card outside of the European Union too. But you’ll pay for your usage on a pay as you go basis, with the rates getting pretty expensive, pretty quickly (see here).

Overall, it’s nice to have inclusive EU roaming these days. ASDA’s scheme is fine and convenient to use for short journeys on the continent, but further afield, networks like O2 might be a better choice.

Useful link: Our top-rated networks for roaming

Our roaming rating:
★★★☆☆ (good)

Rank:
Mid-range

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

Similar to:
Everyone else

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

Networks

Providers:

Three logo
ASDA logo
BT Mobile logo
EE logo
giffgaff logo
Honest logo
ID logo
IQ logo
Lebara logo
O2 logo
Plusnet logo
Sky logo
SMARTY logo
Talkmobile logo
Tesco logo
Virgin Mobile logo
Vodafone logo
VOXI logo

Plan

Data: (0MB+)

Minutes: (0+)

Contract

Maximum length: (Any)

Added features

Pay As You Go rates are fairly cheap on ASDA Mobile

ASDA pay as you go SIM banner

Best for infrequent usersOrder a free SIM

at mobile.asda.com
(opens in new window)

ASDA Mobile are also one network still offering basic pay as you go. With them you can top up your SIM with credit and then pay for your minutes, texts and data usage out of that.

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:

You’ll get good value if you only occasionally use your phone. Your credit never expires either, as long as you use your SIM at least every 180 days. Overall, a fairly good option.

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

Phone contracts: not offered on ASDA Mobile

Screenshot of our phone comparison tool

There are no phone contracts on ASDA MobileCompare phone contracts

at simsherpa.com
(opens in new window)

ASDA’s focus is squarely on SIM only deals. We can’t really see that changing. If you want a low-cost phone contract on the Vodafone network there are a few options:

Talkmobile use Vodafone’s 2G, 3G and 4G networks and offer their phone contracts via the online retailer Fonehouse. They’re pretty well priced and have a fair range of basic and mid-range models.

You can also choose VOXI. They’re owned directly by Vodafone and also sell 5G-ready plans and have a larger range of models, including more recent, higher-end iPhone and Samsung models.

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 ASDA pretty good

Screenshot of customer service methods

A low-cost network you can ring up!How to get in touch

at mobile.asda.com
(opens in new window)

One thing that separates ASDA from many other low cost networks is that they actually offer customer service over the phone, which can help you sort out any issues a lot faster than question and answer services on the website. So, we tried it.

We had to get through a couple menu options, but we got through to someone quite quickly. The agent wasn't UK-based but we had no trouble in understanding and talking with them. They helped us move our number across to ASDA Mobile.

We can’t simulate every problem that people might want resolved, but we can say our experience of their customer service was a positive one.

There’s no objective data from Ofcom to support this as ASDA are technically pay as you go and probably don’t have enough customers to get a large amount of complaints. All we can say is it’s pretty good.

Useful link: Ways to contact ASDA Mobile

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