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spusu review 2024: how we've found the EE-based network

spusu logo and SIM cardVisit spusu.co.uk

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We bought a SIM card on spusu to test their network coverage, speeds and other features. Here's whether we found them any good. Last updated: 22nd April 2024.

Overall rating

SIM Sherpa rates spusu as an average provider
 (2/5, average)

“Unfortunately, we've had lots of reports from our readers on spusu that they've not been receiving One Time Password messages. That's quite a concerning flaw that puts a downer on an otherwise excellent provider.

In our tests, we were generally massively impressed what we experienced from our spusu SIM card. The coverage is equal to being on EE directly. We’ve not detected a difference in data speeds either.

Even the added network features are good. Their VoLTE and WiFi calling worked for us out of the box though calls did drop moving between them. Call forwarding is very easy to set up. Joining on an eSIM was slick too.

We found their customer service excellent too. It might be because they’ve not got that many customers yet but we got straight through to a UK-based agent on the phone.

But like we say, that's all spoilt by this incoming text message issue. If you find yourself without access to your bank, because of your mobile network, that's never good.”

The 3 best bits

1) Identical coverage & speeds to EE
2) Inclusive EU roaming & international calls
3) Superb UK phone-based customer service

The 3 worst bits

1) Users reporting SMS not coming through
2) Others report flakey WiFi calling
3) Sometimes obvious an Austrian company

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

spusu's network

Coverage has been excellent and identical to EE direct

Screenshot of spusu's coverage checker

Identical coverage to their hosts EECheck signal here

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

spusu are a smaller provider that use EE’s network for calls/texts (2G) and data (4G/5G) signal. From our tests, we’re confident spusu provide identical coverage to their hosts (which isn’t the case for all providers on EE).

That means spusu access what we consider the best network for overall coverage of all UK providers. 4G data coverage (see 5G below) in rural and urban areas is second-to-none nationally (but do check locally here).

For historical reasons, some networks on EE don’t have access to all their masts. Band 20 is used in the countryside for long-distance 4G coverage and in cities to boost capacity. Some networks lack this.

We’ve tested this on spusu and they do have full access to all of EE’s masts, including Band 20 ones:

Screenshot of band 20 test on spusu

From general usage, we found data coverage to be impressive. Though we have noticed SIMs are reluctant to switch down to 3G when there’s poor 4G, resulting in a worse connection.

This is probably ahead of the phasing out of 3G in the coming years.

Call signal is also widespread, although EE's 3G phaseout does concern us. In towns and cities, it’s rarely something to worry about. Rurally, true blackspots are rare. Indoor call signal can be a weakness though but spusu do now have WiFi calling.

But we should point out that for texts, users have been complaining that One Time Passwords do not come through on spusu. It's not a coverage issue per se (it's how the network handles them in the background) but it's effectively not having coverage for some inbound texts.

Useful link: Check signal using spusu’s coverage map

Our coverage rating:
★★☆☆☆ (average, due to SMS issues)

(out of 4 network operators)

As good as:

Better than:

4G data speeds we've experienced are just as fast as EE

Screenshot of spusu's no speed caps promise

They promise not to cap data speedsRead more

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

spusu say that there are no speed limits on their network. From our own tests, we’re happy to vouch for that. Using the EE network makes data speeds a real strength for spusu.

We can’t take our spusu SIM around the whole country but we can do some speed checks in known areas to see how spusu performs against EE directly and in general.

There’s definitely no speed cap. We were able to get this reading over a 4G+ connection with our spusu SIM:

spusu max 4G speed

That’s basically the top theoretical speed even possible over 4G.

Independent network testers Opensignal put typical 4G data speeds on spusu’s hosts at 47.7 Mbps, the fastest in the country. Streaming 4K video at that speed would be no issue at all.

Our experience on spusu varied a lot. At the fastest, we got 100+ Mbps downloads. At our slowest it was more like 6 or 7 Mbps. Speeds often hold up nicely in the 30s in residential areas.

We can see how the speeds average out to what the network testers report. We always find EE-based networks noticeably faster. spusu get you excellent 4G speeds at fair prices.

Useful link: Read spusu’s FAQs page for more information

5G through EE has pros and cons for spusu

Next generation of mobile data technology wording

5G access on all plansCheck phone 5G support

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

Despite being lower cost than EE directly, spusu offer 5G data access on all plans at no extra cost. We rank their hosts EE in second place in our 5G network rankings, thanks to their large coverage of the new technology.

Our spot checks found 5G live on spusu in the exact same places as EE. We’re therefore confident spusu customers can enjoy 5G in 330+ UK towns and cities. And it’s not just small parts of those places covered.

5G speeds via EE are a bit of a letdown though. Opensignal and Speedtest by Ookla measured typical 5G speeds between 108.91 Mbps - 122.3 Mbps with peak speeds up to 272.77 Mbps, putting them in third place nationally.

Those results are impressive for a mobile connection. But we did find very often, there was no actual speed benefit to a 5G connection over 4G in the same area. That's the same on any EE-based network, it's not specific to spusu.

Useful link: Read spusu’s guide to their 5G here

Our joint 4G/5G speed rating:
★★★★★ (best choice)


As good as:
(and providers using them)

Better than:
All others

WiFi calling is new for spusu and doesn't seem fully finished

spusu branded WiFi calling banner

A limited list of phones it'll work withSee supported devices

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

For a short while, spusu only had VoLTE and no WiFi calling. So you might read elsewhere they don’t have WiFi calling. But thankfully, now they have turned it on (it automatically came on while we were testing).

So far, spusu have a fixed list of supported devices here. Our model was on there but we’ve not tested yet whether unlisted devices still work, or if they genuinely are not supported. Networks' lists are often defensive.

WiFi calling is there to let your phone make/take calls over WiFi when there’s poor regular mobile signal. spusu’s technology worked very well in our tests and kicks in even when you do have signal.

The main fault we had was that we couldn't switch from WiFi calling to 4G calling mid-call without it dropping. That could be annoying if you're only temporarily moving through a WiFi area on the phone.

Useful link: Our full guide to WiFi calling

Our WiFi calling/VoLTE rating:
★★★☆☆ (good)


Similar to:

Better than:
giffgaff, Lyca

eSIM is very slick on spusu and there are more features

spusu eSIM benefits banner

Join them on an eSIM right awayHere’s how

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

As well as ordering a physical SIM, we also joined spusu on an eSIM. It’s a very impressive experience. You get a QR code to scan at the end of the checkout and we were connected to spusu minutes later.

You can tether your data signal to other devices on any spusu plan. We asked their chat agent who confirmed there are no speed limits while tethering and you can use up to your entire allowance for it.

Call forwarding is also supported on all spusu plans. This lets you divert incoming calls to a different number if you're unavailable. We found it handy you can set this up in the app and it's effective immediately.

spusu don’t support visual voicemail that usually lets you sort through your voicemails one at a time. And you don’t get exclusive WiFi hotspots for joining spusu. But overall they offer some nice features.

Useful link: Read spusu’s FAQs page for more information

Our rating:
★★★☆☆ (good)


Not as good as:

Same as:

Benefits of joining spusu

Inclusive EU roaming is nice to have and limits are fair

Various people using phones all over Europe

Use your phone for no extra cost in the EUSee all roaming costs

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

We haven't managed to take our spusu SIM out of the country yet but it's nice to know you get inclusive EU roaming on all spusu plans. This lets you roam in these 38 EU/EEA destinations at no extra cost.

Many providers have removed EU roaming, so it's handy to go on a trip and not worry about wracking up bills for calls, texts and data. There is a fair usage policy on data though after which you will have to pay.

The limit changes by plan (click into each here to see it). The amounts are quite generous though compared to other networks. If it's a concern, there are upgrade Travel Plans that give you your full amount.

Finally, if you go beyond the EU then roaming will get expensive on spusu (see their rates). Really and truly, it's only premium networks that tend to offer any worldwide roaming, so that's not reduced spusu's rating here.

Useful link: See spusu’s guide to their roaming

Our roaming rating:
★★★★☆ (very good)


Not as good as:

There are plenty of nice smaller benefits to spusu too

Screenshot of managing spend caps on spusu

The most thorough spend caps we've seenRead all about them

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

If you're the type of person that likes to tightly manage budgets, we think you'll be pleased with spusu. They've got the most flexible overspending cap we've ever seen. It gives you an impressive amount of customisation.

You set a general cap between £0 - £100 in increments, which stops any services that would push you over that. But you can also set individual caps on particular activities like data, roaming, international mins.

spusu also have promised not to raise the cost of their plans before the end of 2024 and they won’t increase your plan’s cost while you’re on it. People will appreciate that security.

spusu don't do anything clever with free data for certain activities. VOXI's free unlimited data for social media, music and video is very popular for example.

They also don’t offer data rollover, which usually lets you hold onto your unused data for another month. Sky Mobile have the best of these schemes as they let you bank up your leftover data for up to 3 years!

While we like their inclusive EU calls, if you call beyond the EU or run out of inclusive international minutes then you’ll have to pay at these rates to call abroad, which can get expensive quickly.

It'd also be good if spusu could offer something for families and groups like these networks - a discount for having multiple SIMs on one account would be fantastic.

All spusu plans also include 500 minutes to EU numbers. Plenty of people will likely never use that but you neveer know. We can see small business owners getting use out of it.

And spusu have hinted they will introduce new benefits in the future, so it’s worth coming back to this page now and again to check. But for now, we think it's a tidy little package you get from spusu.

Useful link: spusu’s guide to their spending caps

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Added features

Their plans are nice and flexible

All of spusu’s plans are on flexible 1-month deals with no contracts involved. That’s great if you want to be able to switch your plan up or down each month to suit your budget or leave spusu altogether at any point.

This means that you can save money by taking a plan that suits you. You shouldn’t be paying for a plan that gives you way more data than you need or having to pay for extra data because your plan is too small.

The other benefit of this is that you don’t need to pass a credit check to join them. This is because you’re not joining on a contract and paying for your allowance up front, so they don’t need to be cautious when accepting you.

In all, spusu are a great choice if you’ve been rejected by EE for a contract or if you’ve been burned due to being stuck on a long contract on a plan that didn’t suit your budget.

Useful link: See their full range of SIM only plans

spusu customer service

We were very impressed with spusu's customer service

Screenshot of spusu's app

Their app is very comprehensiveSee all its features

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

Most of spusu's similar competitors have stripped back customer service to online-only. But you can call spusu and we did. Unconventionally, it's an 07 number you ring (see info here). We had a very pleasant experience.

Firstly, our call was answered directly after a few rings. No annoying menus and holding. The agent was clearly a UK native, so not based a long way away like other providers. We set him a tricky SIM swap task.

The agent dealt with the query well and even followed up with an email afterwards to clarify something else. We would say this is easy when networks are first set up. Once they have more customers, things can change.

We also found their app really good. It's incredibly thorough and lets you tweak a lot of settings that you'd normally have to go on a website for. Also good is that you don't have to log in every single time you use it.

Overall, spusu have got things right in this department. It's a very slick experience.

Useful link: More ways to get help on spusu

Our customer service rating:
★★★★★ (best choice)

As good as:
Tesco Mobile

Better than:
All others

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