Our cookies

We use cookies, which are small text files, to improve your experience on our website and to show you personalised content. You can allow all or manage them individually.

⚙ Manage cookies individually

You can view our cookie policy and update your preferences any time here.

Choose which cookies to allow:

Mobile networks on EE: best piggybacking providers in 2024

EE logo with a mobile mast

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

We rank the smaller mobile providers that use EE's network as MVNOs to find which offer the closest coverage/speeds to EE directly. Last updated: 18th January 2024.

Alternatives to EE on their network

Get the benefits of EE's network without the high prices

A network mast, EE logo and SIM card

Use EE’s network with a different providerSkip to the networks

All-in-all, we'd still say that EE is the leading network when it comes to having a great mix of coverage for 5G/4G data and calls/texts (here's our full review of joining them directly).

But if you're on this page, you've probably been put off by EE's high prices, no more EU roaming, or even the fact they've just introduced annoying speed caps across their range of SIM only plans.

In this guide, we talk you through the best alternatives to EE, with providers that use their network but have cheaper deals and all or most of the same connectivity.

They're not all the same, so you'll need to decide what's important to you. Get started below.

Skip to: Networks on EE | Compare SIM only plans

Who uses EE?

spusu: the joint-closest coverage and speeds experience

Screenshot of coverage checker

Same 5G/4G/3G/2G signal as EESee for yourself

at spusu.com
(opens in new window)

What we like:
Green plus signIdentical 5G/4G/3G/2G signal to EE
Green plus signWiFi calling and VoLTE as standard
Green plus signImpressive eSIM experience
Green plus signInclusive international minutes

What we don't like:
Red minus signNo smaller cheap data plans
Red minus signNo pay as you go

Our joint-best choice is the relatively new network spusu. They’re an Austrian company who have set up in the UK, offering well priced 1-month plans that use the EE network.

We’ve joined spusu ourselves and we’re happy to report that we’ve found their coverage to be identical to being on EE directly (check for yourself here). That includes band 20 4G, which some providers lack.

Speed-wise, our own tests found no reason not to believe spusu’s claim to have no speed caps (we got 120 Mbps over decent 4G). We’ve also tested spusu’s new WiFi calling feature and it works well.

We joined almost instantly on their eSIM too, which was impressive. spusu’s plans steer clear of small-data, cheap and cheerful deals. But there’s usually a medium-large plan on offer (see dropdown above).

And we like spusu's benefits too. Every plan comes with EU roaming. You even get some calls from the UK to EU countries. Spending caps are very thorough. And we got through to their UK phone customer service in seconds.

Useful link: See spusu’s full range of SIM only plans

1pMobile: a great alternative with the ‘full EE experience’

Screenshot of 1pMobile's coverage map

Identical coverage to being on EESee for yourself

at 1pmobile.com
(opens in a new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign5G/4G/3G/2G signal is identical to EE
Green plus signBoth WiFi calling and 4G calling
Green plus signExcellent value 1-month deals
Green plus signLowest Pay As You Go rates

What we don't like:
Red minus signSome lower quality providers offer better prices
Red minus signRequired minimum top up on PAYG

There’s little to split 1pMobile from spusu. 1pMobile also offer an identical coverage experience to EE. They have access to all 2G/3G/4G/5G bands and frequencies, including band 20. Check their map yourself here.

For our full network review of 1pMobile, we tested their speeds and could find no differences vs EE in the same areas. You also get additional features like WiFi calling and VoLTE on 1p. They don’t offer eSIM though.

If you’re looking for a smallish data plan under 10GB or even cheap basic pay as you go, 1pMobile tend to be better priced than spusu (although Lyca Mobile beat both, if you’re willing to give up network features).

1p’s branding is all a bit rough and ready but we’ve tested their phone customer service and basically got straight through. We also like that you get EU roaming with each plan too. All in all, a great option on EE.

Useful link: Our full network review of 1pMobile

Lyca Mobile: an excellent budget alternative to EE

Coverage map

Almost full access to EE’s 5G/4GCheck near you

at lycamobile.co.uk
(opens in new window)

What we like:
Green plus signVery low cost plans
Green plus signNo data speed limits
Green plus signEasy to get an eSIM

What we don't like:
Red minus sign4G data coverage isn’t identical to EE
Red minus signNeither WiFi calling or 4G calling included

Lyca Mobile are a good choice if you want a very cheap deal and you don’t live somewhere where their network differences with EE are a problem (check your predicted coverage here)

There are no speed limits on Lyca, giving you access to the fastest possible 5G/4G/3G/2G speeds. And we really like the fact that they have a handy and simple eSIM scheme. But 4G data signal isn’t identical to EE’s:

Lyca don’t have access to the band 20 frequencies of EE’s network that provide 4G in rural areas and boost urban capacity. So 4G is worse in some areas than on EE, which is worrying as 3G is being switched off.

You also don’t get extra features like WiFi calling or 4G calling on Lyca. So the overall experience is worse than joining 1pMobile or EE directly. But their great value deals might just convince you to join them.

Useful link: Read our full Lyca Mobile review

Talk Home Mobile: another good low budget choice with 5G

Blistering fast speed banner

Access EE’s network at lower pricesWhy choose Talk Home?

at talkhome.co.uk
(opens in a new window)

What we like:
Green plus signLow cost SIM only deals
Green plus signNo data speed caps
Green plus signCalls abroad are very cheap
Green plus signEU roaming included on all plans

What we don't like:
Red minus signWiFi calling and 4G calling not supported
Red minus signNot a lot of added benefits
Red minus signNo phone deals offered

Another option as an alternative to EE is Talk Home, who we joined and reviewed here. They get access to EE's 5G/4G/3G/2G with no speed caps but as with Lyca above, there are some 4G data coverage differences.

But again, for most people, this won't be an issue and you can enjoy some seriously cheap, 1-month deals with EU roaming and cheap international calls on Talk Home:

Talk Home are also a good choice if you want to join on Pay As You Go, as they offer very cheap rates of 1p per min, text and data. And for a budget network they offer an excellent customer service experience.

The only thing we really don’t like is that they don’t have WiFi/4G calling, making indoor blackspots more of an issue. Still, Talk Home are a brilliant choice if you’re looking for a low-cost, low-frills network.

Useful link: Why should you join Talk Home Mobile?

IQ Mobile: signal is the same as EE but thin on benefits

IQ Mobile website screenshot

Coverage is the same as EE directlyRead about IQ

at helloiq.co.uk
(opens in a new window)

What we like:
Green plus signCoverage is the same as being on EE
Green plus signWiFi calling and VoLTE now active

What we don't like:
Red minus signBare bones customer experience
Red minus sign3-month minimum commitment

In some ways, IQ Mobile are actually better than Lyca and Talk Home. They're not missing the band 20 4G transmitters, coverage is identical to being on EE.

When we took out an IQ Mobile SIM card and popped it into our phone it even said we were connected to ‘EE’. They even now have WiFi calling and VoLTE. (We've not tested it yet though).

Our main issue is that IQ's plan pricing and flexibility can't compete with any of the providers above. They're more expensive, make you commit to 3 months up front and pay for delivery of your SIM card:

You'll pay for 3 months up front, which will work out to the monthly amounts you see here:

We also found the customer experience poor on IQ. Once you buy your SIM, there's basically no My Account section to log in to, no app, no help section. It feels like you're on your own.

Overall, we can't see what you get on IQ Mobile that you can't get elsewhere on better terms.

Useful link: See IQ Mobile plans

Co-op Mobile: higher in price with no outstanding benefits

Lady on a phone

EU roaming included on all plansSee their SIMs

at broadband.yourcoop.com
(opens in a new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign5G access on every plan
Green plus signNow has WiFi calling
Green plus signInclusive EU roaming

What we don't like:
Red minus signTheir plans can't compete on price
Red minus signNothing you can't get on networks above

Co-op Mobile are another provider on EE, where we can't really see the benefit of joining them. You now get 5G data with them, and network extras like WiFi calling.

There's nothing bad per se but you can get a like-for-like or better experience to Co-Op Mobile with some of the providers above for a lower cost. Other than their climate credentials, it's hard to see Co-Op's appeal.

That all said, all their plans are on flexible 1-month deals, Co-Op members get a 10% discount and there's inclusive EU roaming too. Many will still decide it's worth investing in an ethical mobile brand.

Useful link: See Co-op Mobile's website

To The Moon Mobile: quite a strange proposition

Screenshot of TTM mobile coverage checker

5G access comes on all plansCheck local signal

at tothemoonmobile.com
(opens in a new window)

What we like:
Green plus signDecent value plans
Green plus signNo need to pass a credit check

What we don't like:
Red minus signAnnoying bad website and joining experience
Red minus signThey’re beatable on price

To The Moon Mobile are a provider you’ve most likely never heard of, and their proposition is a bit strange. At least they offer full access to EE’s 5G/4G/3G/2G network on all their plans.

The network seems mainly aimed at getting you to join their financial products, which are things like pre-paid debit cards and less about getting an actual mobile plan.

But they do have a range of pre-paid deals. In fact, they have a massive range (something like 80 different plans) for every 1GB increment of data you could imagine.

They’re not a terrible provider to join if there’s a plan that appeals to you. But usually you can find a better value on other providers that offer more features.

Useful link: See To The Moon's website

These networks either no longer use EE or have shut down

BT Mobile logoVirgin Mobile logoASDA Mobile logoPlusnet Mobile logoTPO Mobile logo

No access to EE on these networks

You might know that both BT Mobile and Plusnet Mobile used to use the EE network. Out of them, BT Mobile was essentially identical to being on EE direct. But both companies have now closed to new customers.

A few providers have previously used EE’s network but have now moved to another one. ASDA Mobile moved to Vodafone’s network a while ago. While Virgin moved to Vodafone, then O2, and have now closed to new customers.

This isn't a reflection of EE being a poor network to use signal for but more to do with the commercial relationships between companies (Virgin Media and O2 merged for example).

Finally, some providers used to use EE but have now gone out of business. For example, The People’s Operator were an ethical network in the 2010s but have long since folded.

SIM only plans on EE-based networks

SIM only plans

Compare SIMs from providers that piggyback on EE

SIM card and magnifying glass



1p Mobile logo
Three logo
ASDA logo
Boshhh Mobile logo
Coop Mobile logo
EE logo
Genius logo
giffgaff logo
Honest logo
ID logo
IQ logo
Lebara logo
Lycamobile logo
O2 logo
Sky logo
spusu logo
Talkhome logo
Talkmobile logo
Tesco logo
Vodafone logo
VOXI logo


Data: (0MB+)

Minutes: (0+)


Maximum length: (Any)

Added features

Other EE guides