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Plusnet Mobile review 2022: anything more than cheap prices?

Plusnet Mobile SIM only reviewVisit plus.net

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

We review what you get when you join Plusnet Mobile on a SIM only plan, including their 4G coverage, speeds and extra benefits. Last updated: 6th July 2022.

Overall rating

SIM Sherpa rates Plusnet Mobile as a good low-cost option ★★★☆☆ (3/5, good)

"Let’s not pretend the main appeal of Plusnet Mobile isn’t the low cost prices of their plans. If you have their broadband, it’s bananas value. They’re also the only mainstream provider on EE to offer 1-month contracts.

That said, their fundamental network is pretty good. A good reach for calls, excellent 4G coverage and some really impressive data speeds. But the finishing touches like WiFi calling and hotspots aren’t there.

There’s also basically no extra perks and benefits on Plusnet Mobile, which is kind of the point. But some of their low-cost competitors at least still manage to squeeze in handy stuff like data rollover or social media.

We do like their app and Plusnet have a reputation for decent customer service. So if cheap and cheerful with no frills is your thing, we think you’re likely to be happy joining Plusnet Mobile."

The 3 best bits

1) Cheapest 1-month deals on EE's network
2) Excellent coverage and speeds
3) Mates Rates for broadband customers

The 3 worst bits

1) No WiFi calling / 4G calling
2) No data rollover scheme
3) Short on other extra benefits

What mobile provider does Plusnet Mobile use?

Plusnet Mobile runs on the EE network. You’ll get 2G, 3G and 4G from EE. You do not get their 5G data service.

Does Plusnet get the same coverage as EE?

Broadly speaking yes. Technically speaking no. There are some frequency bands Plusnet do not use on 4G, meaning if that’s the only band available where you are, you will get bumped down to 3G on Plusnet where you wouldn’t on EE.

Is Plusnet 5G?

No. You currently only get 4G and 3G data on Plusnet Mobile.

Who owns Plusnet Mobile?

It’s owned by the BT Group, who also own the EE and BT brands. But Plusnet is run at an arm’s length, with its own office and management.

How do I leave Plusnet Mobile?

If you’re on a 30-day contract, you can leave by asking for your PAC code, by texting PAC to 65075 on your Plusnet SIM. Give the code to your new provider and they’ll cancel your Plusnet Mobile contract.

Can you get WiFi calling on Plusnet?

No you cannot. Despite their host EE having the technology, Plusnet Mobile do not support WiFi calling or 4G calling (VoLTE).

Is Plusnet Mobile's network any good?

Coverage: Plusnet Mobile benefit from EE’s brilliant 4G network

Plusnet Mobile 4G and 3G signal strength

Check signal in your areaCheck local signal

via Plusnet's website
(opens in new window)

Plusnet Mobile are a provider that piggyback off EE’s network, meaning you get largely the same 4G/3G/2G coverage with them as you would with their hosts. It’s a big advantage they hold over other low-cost networks.

That’s definitely a good thing for them, as EE are able to cover 99% of the UK’s population for 4G signal and around 85% of the UK’s physical landmass. That’s more than any other network.

Not exactly. While 2G and 3G signal is exactly the same on Plusnet as it is on EE. While 4G is mostly the same on 4G, there is a technical difference:

Plusnet use only three out of the four 4G frequencies that EE operate on. The three they use are the main ones that operate in towns, cities and villages. So, what’s the difference?

It basically means you get slightly worse 4G out in the countryside, because the one frequency they don’t use is the one that pushes 4G signal for long distances. It’s also used for boosting capacity in built-up areas.

So Plusnet customers will not always get 4G in the same places that EE customers will. You might have to rely on a slower 4G connection, or use slower 3G signal for data. But 2G and 3G should be the same.

You should use Plusnet’s coverage checker here in any case to see what sort of signal you should get

But what does that mean in real life? Well, it means you’ll find fewer blackspots out in the countryside and more areas where you’ll get 4G signal. This is especially helpful on car rides and train journeys.

Their cheap prices already make them worth looking at, but add in access to the UK’s best 4G network and you begin to see why Plusnet are such a great value network. Still, you should check coverage in your area before you buy.

Useful link: Check Plusnet Mobile signal here

Our rating:
★★★★★ (excellent)

Rank:
Joint 1st

Similar to:
EE, BT Mobile

Better than:
Vodafone, O2, Three & all others

Speeds: Plusnet Mobile have the joint-fastest 4G speeds

Plusnet Mobile 4G speeds

We mentioned above that Plusnet Mobile access to the EE network, and that includes the same blistering fast 4G speeds that you’d get on their hosts. There are no built-in speed caps on Plusnet vs being on EE.

The results from independent network testers Opensignal show expected typical speeds on Plusnet to be around 44 Mbps. That about what you’d get from mid-range home fibre broadband and over 50% faster than the second fastest network.

EE are our number one pick for the best 5G network, so can we expect Plusnet Mobile customers to get access to this brilliant 5G anytime soon?

We’ve seen other mobile networks that use EE slowly upgrading to offering 5G and WiFi calling and we expect Plusnet to be next. But it’s unclear if this will be in 2022 or 2023.

It’s not absolutely impossible, as over the past year more low-cost providers have introduced 5G (SMARTY being a key example) but only time will tell.

While there’s no explicit speed cap being on Plusnet vs being on EE, you won’t get access to EE’s speed-boosting 4G+ technology. We have personally received speeds over 100 Mbps on Plusnet though.

But the coverage differences we mention above can cause speed differences between the two, because having more bands of 4G signal to use means networks can combine them in certain locations to deliver extra speed.

Useful link: Read what customers are saying about Plusnet's 4G speeds

Our speeds rating:
★★★★☆ (excellent)

Rank:
3rd

Not as good as:
EE, BT, Virgin

Equal to or better than:
Three, Vodafone, O2
(and the providers that use them)

Call technology: Plusnet don’t have WiFi or 4G calling

iD Mobile WiFi calling banner

Their rivals SMARTY offer itSee supported phones

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

So if Plusnet gives you a similar network experience to EE and 4G speeds for a cheaper price, then what are Plusnet missing? Well, they have neither WiFi calling nor 4G calling.

WiFi calling is essential for improving indoor signal and staying connected to calls where call signal (3G/2G) is poor. On the other hand, 4G calling proves coverage by letting you call via 4G signal and improves call quality.

This is quite a big loss, as Plusnet’s hosts EE don’t have the best 3G/2G coverage and their call signals aren’t great at getting into buildings, meaning if you’re in a blackspot at home you’ll have to step outside to take calls or send texts.

Plusnet are largely a low frills provider, so we wouldn’t expect them to bring in WiFi or 4G calling anytime soon, but their low-cost rivals SMARTY have both. It’s a big disadvantage to joining Plusnet and one you should consider before you buy.

Useful link: What Plusnet Mobile customers are saying about call quality

Our call technology rating:
★☆☆☆☆ (poor)

Rank:
Joint last

Not as good as:
Three, BT, EE, Vodafone, iD, Sky

Same as:
All others

Free WiFi hotspots: none on Plusnet Mobile

Other WiFi hotspot providers

No way to save data on the go on PlusnetSee extra costs

on plus.net
(opens in new window)

You can’t get unlimited data plans on Plusnet, so we think it’d be nice to get free WiFi hotspots with them to help users save a bit of data on the go.

BT Mobile and Virgin Mobile offer by far the best WiFi hotspot schemes of all networks, as both offer millions of hotspots that are free for customers to log in to and will connect users automatically as soon as they’re in range.

But this isn’t a massive downside of joining Plusnet, because free WiFi is available in more and more places these days already. And both O2 WiFi and Sky WiFi give non-customers free access to their WiFi hotspots.

It’s just a bit of a shame that they don’t offer it, and it drags down our opinion of them a little further. You’ll just have to keep an eye on your data usage when you’re out and about and make use of free WiFi when you find it.

Useful link: Costs for going over data limits on Plusnet Mobile

Tethering: Plusnet Mobile let you do it on all plans

Tethering allowed on Plusnet Mobile

Tether up to your entire allowanceRead full terms

on Plusnet's official website
(opens in new window)

Tethering is where you create a personal WiFi hotspot using your phone’s data signal to connect non-data devices such as laptops and tablets. It’s not something you’ll use daily, but it can be useful.

It would make sense if Plusnet did put restrictions on tethering, as it can hog a lot of data bandwidth and slow other users down if a lot of people use it and in general it uses a lot more data.

But, Plusnet let you tether as much as you want on all of their plans. That puts them on equal footing with all other networks as every network now allows it.

Bear in mind, you’ll use up your data a lot faster while tethering. You’re much more likely to go over your data allowance this way and you could end up paying for more data (here’s the costs for added data on Plusnet Mobile).

Useful link: Full tethering terms and conditions

Our rating:
★★★★★ (Joint best choice)

Rank:
Joint 1st

As good as:
All others

Better than:
N/A

Plusnet Mobile perks and extras reviewed

Inclusive roaming: Plusnet still offer decent EU roaming

Plusnet Mobile free EU roaming

Roam like home in 40 EU/EEA destinationsHow it works

from Plusnet's roaming guide
(opens in new window)

More and more networks are scrapping their free EU roaming policies these days and replacing them with daily fees to access your UK allowance. Plusnet have moved up in our rankings for the best EU roaming networks by not changing theirs.

They do set a limit on how much data you can use abroad. You’ll currently be limited to 15GB while you’re away. That’s still a pretty decent chunk of data, and most Plusnet plans are less than that anyway.

Their list of Roam like at Home destinations includes most of the places you’d expect. But Plusnet have no inclusive roaming outside of the EU. Instead you’ll have to pay as you go at some pretty steep rates.

Plusnet’s roaming is on par with their cheap rivals SMARTY and iD Mobile, but it doesn’t go beyond. Their low plan costs and 4G data abroad sort of makes up for their lack of worldwide roaming.

Useful links: Plusnet's guide to roaming on their network

Our rating:
★★★☆☆ (good)

Equal to or better than:
All others

Spending caps: Plusnet offer a good deal of flexibility

Plusnet Mobile Smart Caps

Avoid accidental overspending on extrasHow they work

from plus.net
(opens in new window)

Every mobile network now has to let you set a cap on your extra spending outside of your monthly bill. This gives you more control over your spending, making sure you won’t accidentally rack up a massive bill.

Plusnet's Smart Cap system lets you cap your overspending at £1 increments between £0 and £30. And they’re one of the networks that have always offered this.

When you hit your cap, Plusnet will stop you from doing anything that would incur continued extra spending, but everything else will keep working. Extras include calls to premium numbers, international calling and worldwide roaming (see rates here).

It’s great if you often go over your monthly allowance or if you take a deal for someone else and you don’t want them racking up a huge bill. It’s not unique to Plusnet, but they do offer more flexibility than some, which we appreciate.

Useful link: How you manage your Smart Cap

Our rating:
★★★★☆ (recommended)

Rank:
TBC

Not as good as:
TBC

Better than:
TBC

Plusnet broadband customers get an extra 2GB

Mates Rates deals for broadband customers

Plusnet reward their customers’ loyaltySee your deals

at plus.net
(opens in new window)

If you’re an existing Plusnet broadband customer and are thinking of joining Plusnet Mobile, you’ll be rewarded for your loyalty. You get an extra 2GB on top of any SIM only plan (see exclusive offers here).

Only Plusnet broadband customers get access to these deals:

You’ll have to be at an address with Plusnet broadband in order to get the discount. You’ll provide your address at the checkout when taking an exclusive deal so Plusnet can check that you qualify (they will check).

The benefit applies to up to 5 people in a household (see their FAQs on how the scheme works here). We also like that you can sign up for the benefit without being the bill payer, you just have to share an address with them.

The benefit helps in two ways. You can take a smaller deal than you usually would, saving you money. And you’re less likely to incur extra data charges. A straight discount would be great, but it’s a nice benefit in any case.

Useful link: See the latest exclusive Mates Rates deals

Our rating:
★★★★☆ (excellent)

Rank:
TBC

Not as good as:
TBC

Better than:
TBC

Data rollover: your unused data is lost forever on Plusnet

Data rollover icon

Some networks let you hold on to unused dataHow it works

at simsherpa.com
(opens in new window)

Quite a few of the low cost networks out there offer what’s called “data rollover” which lets you keep the data you don’t use, usually for another month. It helps you get the best possible value for money.

Unfortunately, Plusnet don’t offer it. It’s a shame because you’ll end up losing some of the data you’ve paid for (unless you use up your allowance every month), so you’re not getting as much value for money as you could be.

Their low-cost rivals iD Mobile have a fairly standard data rollover scheme where you can keep your unused data for your next month.

But by far the best data rollover scheme is Sky Mobile’s, where the data you don’t use goes into a “piggybank” that you can withdraw from at any time. Your data stays there for up to 3 years! And you can trade it in for discounts on devices.

Useful link: Read our full guide to Data Rollover plans

Our rating:
★☆☆☆☆ (poor)

Equal to:
All others

Free data: Plusnet have no data saving benefits

VOXI endless video

VOXI get you unlimited data streamingHow it works

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

Here we’ll look at some of the ways other networks help you save your data and keep on top of your usage. There are some brilliant schemes here that are worth knowing about:

VOXI have our favourite unlimited data streaming scheme by far. On all plans you can browse these social media apps without using data, and some plans let you stream Youtube and other apps without eating into your allowance.

Sky Mobile offer something similar by letting you stream their TV apps without using data. And Virgin Mobile allow you to use certain social media apps without eating up your data.

Plusnet offer nothing like this, and it’s another reason they go down in our eyes.

Useful links: Read how Sky Mobile Watch works

Our rating:
★☆☆☆☆ (poor)

Rank:
Joint last

Equal to:
Everyone else

Multi-buy discounts: no savings for buying multiple plans

BT Mobile Family SIM alternative

BT have our favourite Family SIM schemeSee the discounts

We really like it when a network gives you a discount for adding additional plans onto your account, as it’s a great way to save money if you’re a parent getting a plan for your child or a group of friends looking to save money overall.

Plusnet don’t offer any sort of family discount. In all fairness they’re already very cheap and we couldn’t see them going any lower. But we can only give them a poor rating here for lacking family discounts.

If you’re looking for a good family discount scheme and want to stay on the EE network then BT’s Family SIMs are worth looking at. They offer greater discounts for every plan added to your account.

The scheme works like this. You get 30-day contracts on additional SIM only deals that you can add at any time. Each SIM you add gets a discount vs the full price 12-month version of it. It’s our joint second favourite multi-buy scheme at the moment.

Useful link: Learn about BT Mobile Family SIMs

Entertainment subscriptions: Plusnet offer nothing

Cheap deals with no free subscriptions

Plusnet have to keep prices lowCompare plans

Many of the expensive main networks offer subscriptions to entertainment services as a way of sweetening the deal and making their pricier plans seem more worth it.

With one of Vodafone’s pricier Entertainment plans, you can get a subscription to Amazon Prime, Youtube Premium or Spotify Premium. EE on the other hand offer free trials to Apple Music, Apple TV+ and Apple News+.

It’s not at all surprising that Plusnet don’t offer any free entertainment subscriptions or trials, as they are a low-frills network. In fairness, you only get these “free” subscriptions on pricier networks, so it’s more of a trade-off.

So, while we give them a low score for not offering any free trials, it’s really up to you whether or not you’re missing out on this.

Useful link: Compare Plusnet Mobile SIM only prices

Our rating:
★☆☆☆☆ (poor)

Rank:
Joint last

Not as good as:
EE, BT Mobile, Vodafone

Equal to:
All others

Reviewing Plusnet Mobile's deals

Plusnet Mobile’s SIM only plans – key facts

Find a SIM only plan

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Plusnet Mobile’s current offers

Here are the latest promotions on Plusnet Mobile

Plusnet's current SIM only offers

Here's a look at the best offers currently available on Plusnet Mobile:

You might also like:

Phone contracts: none on Plusnet Mobile!

iD Mobile alternative for phone contracts

Compare phone prices with our toolUse comparison tool

here at simsherpa.com
(opens in new window)

Plusnet only currently offer SIM only plans, meaning there’s no way to get a phone contract with them (former LIFE Mobile customers might still have a phone contract).

Another way of getting cheap EE phone contracts is going via a reseller like buymobiles.net. A lot of resellers don’t offer EE contracts anymore, but the ones that do can usually get you a better deal as they buy a lot of phones.

If you instead want to look at different networks’ phone contracts, then use our phone price comparison tool here to find whatever deal suits you best.

Our rating:
N/A

Rank:
N/A

Not as cheap as:
N/A

Cheaper than:
N/A

 

Pay As You Go: Not available on Plusnet Mobile

1pMobile logo1pMobile payg rates banner

Cheapest PAYG rates in the UKSee 1pMobile's deal

at 1pmobile.com
(opens in new window)

Plusnet only offer pay monthly SIM only plans on 1-month and 12-month contracts, but there’s no way to pay as you go. That’s not usually an issue, as their pay monthly contracts are as cheap as £6 a month.

But if pay as you go is essential for you, then you should take a look at 1pMobile. They offer the cheapest pay as you go rates in the UK of 1p per minute, text and MB of data. Like Plusnet, they also use the EE network:

If you want a very cheap pay as you go rate from a major network, you won’t find one. Three and O2 used to offer some pretty decent rates, but not anymore. Your next best choice are ASDA Mobile who use Vodafone’s network.

We don’t think there’s really any chance of Plusnet introducing a pay as you go scheme at this point. But we’ll keep an eye open and update this page here if they do.

Useful link: Read our 1pMobile review

Our rating:
N/A

Rank:
N/A

As cheap as:
N/A

Cheaper than:
N/A

Plusnet Mobile customer service

Customer service: a low-cost network with UK call centres

UK customer service

A low-cost network with UK based call centresLearn more about it

at plus.net
(opens in new window)

We usually look at complaint levels from the government ombudsman Ofcom to see which networks they receive the highest number of complaints about. The higher the level, the worse the customer service.

Plusnet Mobile are still too small of a network to show up in Ofcom’s results. So, we still can’t use this as evidence one way or the other.

But they do operate call centres based in the UK, which is great for a low-cost network. It means you can call up and get your issue sorted straight away. We haven’t tested it, so we can’t say if it’s good or not.

There is also a Plusnet app where you can manage some of your account settings. And while there is no online chat agent, there is a large community of Plusnet users who answer questions that other users have. In all, their customer service is decent.

Useful link: How to get help on Plusnet Mobile

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