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iD Mobile review 2024: our expert opinion on the network

iD Mobile logo with a phone and a SIM cardVisit idmobile.co.uk

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We've joined iD Mobile ourselves to review their 4G network coverage, data speeds and benefits as a real user. Here's what we found. Last updated: 14th November 2023.

Overall rating

SIM Sherpa rates iD Mobile as a very good provider
 (3.5 / 5, very good)

"There’s no doubting iD’s main pull is their low prices on phone contracts and SIM only deals. But they do have things like 5G and WiFi calling going for them, though coverage through Three can be a liability.

It’s disappointing to see iD stripping away telephone-based customer service. It was one of the things they had over other low-cost rivals like SMARTY. And it’s knocked their record with Ofcom.

There are some nice little added benefits with iD too, like data rollover, their flexible spending caps and we’ve long been a fan of their app, which lets you manage your account better than other providers.

So join iD if you know their coverage is alright where you mostly use your phone and if you want to bank a low-cost deal."

The 3 best bits

1) Data rollover scheme
2) 5G, 4G calling and WiFi calling
3) Brilliant app to manage account

The 3 worst bits

1) Scrapped telephone customer service
2) Less 4G away from big towns/cities
3) Limited extra perks

Is iD Mobile legit?

Yes! They might be cheap but they’re a real, reliable company, owned by Carphone Warehouse. They’re actually one of the slickest virtual operators in the country.

Can I move my number to iD Mobile?

Yes you can. Just text the word PAC your old provider using their SIM card in your phone to the number 65075 and give the code they provide to iD Mobile in your online account. They’ll arrange the number to be moved across.

Is iD Mobile going bust?

Not in the UK. The Irish provider with the same brand did go bust. But there’s nothing to suggest the British company is in any financial trouble.

What network does iD Mobile use?

iD Mobile use Three’s 3G/4G/5G networks in the UK.

Does iD have 5G?

Yes. They have 5G in all the same places as Three, although iD Mobile are being cagey about which phones the faster data feature will work on.

Is iD Mobile part of Carphone Warehouse?

Yes. They’re owned by Carphone Warehouse. They were set up as a way to sell onto the Three network with their own distinct brand. You can join via Currys, Mobiles.co.uk, Carphone Warehouse or idmobile.co.uk.

Does iD Mobile have 4G calling?

Yes. They were one of the first virtual operators in the UK to offer the feature otherwise known as VoLTE. It works well and most phones are now supported.

Can you call iD Mobile?

Yes you can. They’re one of the few low-cost virtual operators to provide phone-based customer service.

Does iD Mobile support eSIM?

No they currently only support traditional paper SIM cards.

Information symbol We're a professional reviews website but we bought our iD 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.

iD Mobile's network

Their recent coverage expansion has genuinely impressed us

iD Mobile's official coverage checker

4G is expanding rapidly to rural areasCheck iD signal

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

iD Mobile use Three’s network for call (3G) and data (3G/4G/5G) signal, which has its upsides and downsides. It’s best to use their coverage map here to check signal in your area before you join them.

Their hosts have made huge investments into expanding 4G into rural areas and it really shows. They’re beginning to catch up to networks on Vodafone and EE when it comes to rural 4G coverage (see 5G below).

iD are still behind other networks for call signal (3G). That means you are more likely to find total signal blackspots both outdoors and also indoors, as their call signal isn’t as good at getting into buildings.

We used our iD SIM in different urban, suburban and rural areas to see what their signal is like in real life.

Where their signal map said we would get 4G or 3G signal we got it. Where it said we wouldn’t get it, we didn’t. That was the case both indoors and outdoors.

We were kicked down to 3G much less in rural areas than in our previous tests. And it was hard to find ourselves entirely without signal. Rural coverage has got much better but there’s still room for improvement.

In the areas where people live, we got 4G basically all of the time. It’s not a massively different experience from being on the other networks when you’re in the city or suburbs.

We tested our iD SIM directly against our Three SIM using the same phone and found no signal differences between them, for 5G, 4G or 3G. So we can say for sure that iD share identical coverage to Three.

They’re still behind other networks for rural mobile signal, even with their 4G signal expansion. But for the most part, iD offer a good overall signal mix in the areas where people live.

Useful link: Check iD Mobile's coverage

Our rating:
★★★☆☆ (good)

Joint 4th
(out of 4 places)

Not as good as:
EE, O2 and Vodafone
(and all providers that use them)

Same as:

4G data speeds are one of iD’s strengths

iD Mobile 4G speeds

Same 4G data speeds as being on ThreeFind out more

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

In our real life testing we found no speed differences being on iD Mobile vs being on Three. So we’re pretty sure you can apply Opensignal’s speed results for Three to iD Mobile as well.

The investments iD’s hosts have made in improving their 4G are definitely reflected in their speed score, with typical 4G speeds now sitting around 35.4 Mbps. That puts them comfortably in second place nationally.

Our tests showed a wide range of speeds from very high to very low depending on what sort of location we were in.

We got speeds as high as 70 Mbps, which strangely enough we got in a rural location. In the suburbs we went down to 7 Mbps even though we had 5 bars. Still, that let us watch HD videos without buffering.

Over 3G we managed to get speeds as high as 20 Mbps (not far off the theoretical upper limit of 3G speeds). But more often we sat around 6 Mbps over 3G.

If you think that going with a smaller network like iD Mobile will get you an inferior experience, these tests should put your mind at ease.

Speeds on iD can vary from around twice the typical speeds to way below them. That happens across all networks and is worth keeping in mind just in case the speeds you get aren’t what you were expecting.

iD definitely benefit from being on Three’s network when it comes to data speeds (see 5G below). Even the lowest speeds we got were good enough for internet browsing and streaming standard definition video.

Useful link: What iD say about their 4G

Our data speed rating:
★★★☆☆ (good)

Joint 2nd

Not as good as:
(and most providers that use them)

Better than:
Vodafone, O2
(and other providers that use them)

The 5G experience on iD is beyond other networks

iD mobile 5G

By far the fastest 5G speedsSee more info

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

iD Mobile benefit greatly from being on Three’s rapidly expanding 5G network. With them you’ll get 5G in the same 484+ UK towns and cities and the fastest speeds of any network according to Opensignal and Speedtest.

Typical 5G speeds sit between 237.7 Mbps - 286.27 Mbps on iD’s hosts, with peak speeds up to a previously unthinkable 696.73 Mbps. Those kinds of speeds are perfect for gaming and let you download HD movies in seconds.

You get 5G on any iD plan so long as you’re using a 5G-ready device on their list of supported phones for no extra cost. While their coverage checker shows fewer locations than Three’s, we’re certain it’s the same.

No network can totally cover their 5G-live locations, but iD tend to offer fairly strong coverage in the places they say it’s live. But 5G will be strongest in populated areas like transport hubs (check signal here).

Useful link: See all the information about iD’s 5G here

Our rating:
★★★★☆ (very good)


Not as good as:
(and most providers that use them)

Better than:
EE, O2, Vodafone

WiFi calling and 4G calling are outstanding features

An iD Mobile banner for WiFi calling

Check if they support your deviceSee list of phones

from iD Mobile's help guide
(opens in new window)

Indoor call signal could typically be a weakness on iD as their signal is broadcast on frequencies that aren’t good at getting through building materials. Thankfully, iD have features in place to help with this.

iD Mobile include WiFi calling and 4G calling (VoLTE) on every SIM only and phone contract at no extra cost. In terms of functionality we found these features work just like Three’s, so there’s a lot to like here.

Both WiFi calling and 4G calling worked right out of the box with our test iPhone and Android devices. Some networks require you to set up WiFi calling in your settings, but not iD.

We found no delay when making or taking calls over WiFi signal compared to calling over 3G signal. And when we sent SMS texts over WiFi they were delivered with no extra delay.

Audio quality suffered quite a bit when signal got weaker and we struggled to hear the voice on the other end. Even when signal was strong we noticed call quality was a bit worse than on some networks.

We found iD’s WiFi calling worked well without having to fiddle around in our account settings. All in all a great feature.

4G calling now seems to kick in more easily than it did before. This is probably a change to network settings ahead of Three’s 3G phase-out in the coming years.

Not every network that offers WiFi calling also lets you send and receive texts over WiFi, so it’s good that iD do. It can come in handy for receiving confirmation texts, such as from the bank or delivery services.

iD also support a long list of phone models for WiFi calling. It even worked on some older Android models that iD didn’t claim to support. It’s likely easier to get WiFi calling to work on iD than on some networks.

Useful link: Read what difference 4G calling makes

Our WiFi calling rating:
★★★★☆ (good)

Joint 1st

Similar to:
Three, EE

Better than:
All others

Extra network features are a bit of a weakness

iD Mobile's FAQs section

Answers to lots of issues in their FAQsSee iD's FAQs section

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

iD Mobile let you use your phone as a personal WiFi hotspot, allowing you to connect non-data devices to your data signal. You can use your entire allowance for this if you want, as long as you’re in the UK.

You also get call forwarding included on every iD plan. This lets you divert incoming calls to another number if you want to keep one line free from calls.

iD Mobile don’t offer any free WiFi hotspots, so you’ll have to find free WiFi elsewhere if you want to save data on the go. This is something low-cost rivals SMARTY and these other networks offer.

They don’t support visual voicemail either, which usually lets you sort through your voicemails individually. And you can’t join iD on an eSIM, but it’s still mostly only the big networks that offer these for now.

Useful link: See costs for going over your data limit on iD

iD Mobile benefits

Data rollover is probably iD’s best benefit

iD Mobile data rollover banner

Hold onto your unused data for a monthRead iD's full guide

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

Data rollover is a feature that lets you hold on to the data you didn’t get through for one month to use next month. Not a lot of mobile networks offer it these days, so it’s good that iD offer it on all plans.

It’s a simple scheme, and you don’t have to do anything to get it working. You can manage it with their brilliant app which basically handles everything for you automatically, giving you a “hands-free” experience.

We had some data leftover on the iD Mobile SIM we took out for testing at the end of the month. This unused data got rolled-over to our next month:

Screenshot of data rollover being applied

It’s nice to get another chance to use the data you already paid for, especially if you’re on a smaller data plan where you want to make the most of every MB.

You can see how much data you’ve used up and see your regular and rolled-over data allowances separately in their useful app:

Screenshot of data rollover breakdown

But bear in mind if you change your plan then you will lose all your rolled over data from your last month. If you want to make the most of it, make sure you use all your rolled over data before switching.

You’ll rarely use the same amount of data each month, so this scheme gives you a bit of a cushion if you need to use more data for one month rather than paying iD’s expensive extra data charges.

It’d be better if they let you hold onto your rolled over data for longer or if you could trade in unused data for discounts (Sky Mobile let you keep your data for up to 3 years and you can use it to get discounts).

Useful link: Get the full story on iD's Data Rollover

Our data rollover rating:
★★★★☆ (good)

Not as good as:
Sky Mobile

Better than:
All others

Inclusive EU roaming is good but with some restrictions

iD Mobile fair usage policy

A different usage limit on each planRead policy details

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

While many other networks have removed inclusive EU roaming, we like that iD Mobile have kept theirs in place. You can use your iD plan in these EU/EEA destinations and some non-EU Eastern European countries too.

We ran into no issues connecting to mobile signal when we took our iD SIM with us to the EU. However, there is no guarantee that you’ll get 4G while abroad, so you might be kicked down to slower 3G signal.

We went to the EU with our iD SIM to test their roaming. We were connected right away to the local network and got the “Welcome to” text when we switched off flight mode. It worked straight out of the box.

iD Mobile roaming message screenshot

While roaming, iD’s 4G can be limited. You can set your phone to not look for 4G, as your phone might look for a 4G signal even when it’s weaker than the 3G signal. If you run into issues with 4G it’s worth a try.

The kinds of speeds and signal strength you’ll get while roaming varies per location. But for things like checking Google maps or Tripadvisor, even iD’s 3G speeds will be good enough.

The big downside is their fair usage policy. This limits how much data you can use while roaming. Each plan has its own limit, so use their calculator to check what your data limit is before you go away.

iD don’t offer any worldwide roaming destinations, unlike these networks. If you travel beyond the EU you’ll have to pay at these expensive rates, so it’s likely best to turn off data roaming while there.

Useful link: All costs for roaming on iD Mobile

Our EU roaming rating:
★★★☆☆ (good)

Joint 6th
(out of 14 providers)

You might also like their smaller benefits

iD Mobile Capping bannerCapping amount

Limit overspending in £1 incrementsHow to set a cap

from iD's help section
(opens in new window)

iD Mobile have some of the most flexible overspending caps of all networks. While you can’t set it higher than £25, but you can set it in super flexible £1 increments between £0 - £25 and change it when you need.

And iD offer lots of 1-month plans that let you switch up or down each month. They’re more flexible than their longer contracts, but are a bit higher in cost. Check their prices here to find the best deal for you.

And if you join on a SIM only contract then your bill won’t increase on iD Mobile. So you can enjoy your low bill without having to worry about a sudden price increase (this isn’t the case for their phone deals).

Overall we rate iD Mobile highly for the flexibility they offer their users, even if you’re on a longer contract.

Useful link: How to change your plan mid-contract with iD

Our spend cap rating:
★★★★☆ (excellent)


Same as:
All others

Better than:

But you might also like what other networks offer

VOXI endless video

Unlimited streaming data on VOXIRead full details

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

iD don’t offer unlimited data for social media or video streaming like VOXI do. You can use social media apps without eating into your data on every VOXI plan and stream video without using data on some plans.

You also don’t get access to a rewards app like Three+ that gives all Three customers special offers and discounts on high-street food and entertainment. And iD don’t offer any free trials to streaming services.

While international calling rates to some countries are good value, for the most part making calls to other countries can get expensive on iD. Read our guide here for specific rates for each country.

And if you use up all your data you’ll have to take one of their expensive data add-ons (£5 for 1GB) or pay at these rates. Both of these will cost you a lot, and the add-on renews itself if you don’t cancel it.

Useful link: Our Three vs iD Mobile guide

iD Mobile deals and plans

What type of deal are you interested in?

Choose an option to skip to the right section:

Special offers running on iD Mobile

Here are the latest promotions on SIM only or phone contracts.

iD's affordable SIM only deals

iD Mobile 1GB £5 SIM banner

See all deals

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

iD Mobile are always among the cheapest mobile networks for the lower data plans. This month they've got a couple of reasonably competitive deals:

Useful link: All iD Mobile's special offers

SIM only plans from iD Mobile

Use our price comparison tool further below to find the right deal

Key facts about iD Mobile's SIM only plans

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iD Mobile’s phone contracts

We cover the sorts of deals iD offer on different phone models:

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iD offer some of the best value phone deals out there

Screenshot of our phone comparison tool

Compare phone contracts

at simsherpa.com
(opens in new window)

iD offer their phone deals on traditional 24-month contracts. They don’t offer contracts based around finance like giffgaff, Sky, O2 and Tesco offer, but you can get a finance based iD contract via Curry’s.

Instead of them loaning you your device, you pay one monthly bill for your phone and your usage plan. We think it should be easier to pass a credit check for these, but we don’t know iD’s exact policy on this.

iD provide good value deals on lots of low-cost phones and mid-range Apple and Samsung devices. They don’t usually offer the latest models, but they’re a good option if you only need an older phone.

You’ll get all the same benefits on their phone contracts as on their pay monthly SIM only contracts, including data rollover, inclusive EU roaming and flexible spending limits.

Useful link: Browse iD Mobile's phone range

Traditional Pay As You Go isn’t an option on iD


PAYG monthly bundles are offeredSee PAYG bundles

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

iD don’t let you pay as you go in the traditional way. Instead they offer a range of PAYG monthly bundles, which you can join without having to pass a credit check.

You’re essentially paying up front for a monthly bundle of mins, texts and data. But these are worse value than their pay monthly SIM only deals and there’s no way to get a free SIM and PAYG with credit.

These also don’t include iD’s fantastic data rollover benefit. The only real benefit of taking one of these bundles over their monthly SIM only contracts is that you don’t need to pass a credit check to get one.

It is possible to take a monthly bundle and let it expire to then top up with credit and pay at these rates. But their SIMs aren’t meant to work this way and you can get better value for your money with 1pMobile:

Useful link: iD Mobile’s pay as you go bundles

iD Mobile customer service

Their complaints record is a bit worrying

Screenshot of complaint statistics

More complaints than the averageRead Ofcom's report

at ofcom.org.uk
(opens in new window)

It’s inevitable that you’ll run into problems with your plan at some point. So before you buy, it’s good to know which networks are better for resolving their customers’ issues.

The first way to see how good a network are at helping their customers is by looking at how many complaints Ofcom receive about them. In their latest report, Ofcom received 4 complaints per 100,000 customers on iD.

That’s a bit higher than the industry average of 3 complaints per 100,000 customers. It’s frustrating as their record has got worse with time and we think it’s due to them automating their over-the-phone services.

If you’re someone that wants to get help over the phone, iD won’t be the best choice for you. But they do have a forum page with lots of questions answered and their app is very useful for managing your account.

Useful link: How to get help on iD Mobile

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