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ASDA Mobile review 2022: 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. Last updated: 7th March 2022.

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 If you see information that they use EE, this is now out of date.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?

Coverage: ASDA’s is the same 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)

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.

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 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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Finally we checked their 5G against Vodafone’s too, and we got 5G in the same areas with the same signal strength. But it’s always worth it to check your area’s coverage for 5G/4G/3G signal.

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: urban 4G/5G is super fast 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)

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.

Independent network testers Opensignal measure average 4G speeds on ASDA’s host network Vodafone at around 21.6 Mbps, using millions of measurements on volunteers’ smartphones.

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.

In order to test if Opensignal’s results were what you’d expect in real life and if there were differences being on ASDA vs being on Vodafone, we did some speed tests in the city centre, in a smaller town and in the countryside.

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+

If you’re on their most expensive unlimited plan you’ll be limited to 150 Mbps over 5G, while you can get speeds on Vodafone of over 200 Mbps. That shouldn’t make that much of a difference for most people though.

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 and 4G calling available Read their guide

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

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.

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.

Combined with their excellent call signal 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.

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

You won’t have to pass a credit check on ASDA

SIM card with crossed-out contract icon

Pay by credit/debit cardSee accepted cards

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

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 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.

You’re paying for your monthly allowance of minutes, texts and data up front. The only way to rack up extra charges is to top up with credit and pay out of that. This way, ASDA don’t have to subject their customers to 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

EU Roaming is included in ASDA Mobile

Table of speed caps

Roam in the EU 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.

If your deal is over 25GB you’ll be limited to this amount while abroad. If it’s below that you can use your whole allowance. Going over your data allowance means you’ll have to pay as you go at their standard EU rates.

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).

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)

Rank:
Mid-range

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

Similar to:
Everyone else

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Networks

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BT Mobile logo
EE logo
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Honest logo
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Vodafone logo
VOXI logo

Plan

Data: (0MB+)

Minutes: (0+)

Contract

Maximum length: (Any)

Added features

Pay As You Go rates are well priced 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 offer the second-cheapest pay as you go rates of all UK networks. You can top up your SIM with credit and pay as you go 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:

It’s a good choice if you don’t use your phone very often. And your credit won’t expire if you do something to keep your SIM active every 180 days. It’s worse value than their monthly bundles, but it’s not a bad 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 Mobile have put all their focus on selling SIM only deals, and don’t offer phone contracts that come with plans. You can buy phones directly from them, but you’ll be paying up front for them.

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.

VOXI are also a great option. They’re owned by Vodafone and sell a large range of high-end 5G-ready phones at some pretty competitive prices, as well as giving you the flexibility to change your SIM plan when you like.

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: a low-cost network you can call

Screenshot of customer service methods

There’s a lot of ways to get helpHow to get in touch

at mobile.asda.com
(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 offer customer service over the phone. This is the quickest way to get help, so we tried it for ourselves.

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.

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.

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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