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Talk Home review: is the EE-based network any good?

Talk Home logo with a SIM cardVisit talkhome.co.uk

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

We look at the coverage, speeds and benefits you get when you join Talk Home Mobile, to see if the network's right for you. Last updated: 6th July 2023.

Overall rating

SIM Sherpa rates Talk Home as a good network
 (3/5, good)

Talk Home 5G network

We joined Talk Home for realOrder your SIM

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

"If you’ve been looking for a cheaper way to get on EE’s excellent 4G and 5G network without joining them directly, Talk Home deserve to be on your shortlist.

Talk Home aren’t as slick as joining EE directly. You don’t get WiFi calling or VoLTE and your SIM won’t connect to EE’s Band 20 4G transmitters, which will affect coverage in rural areas and capacity in urban areas.

But you do get uncapped access to the rest of the network, which delivers the UK’s fastest 4G on average and even newer 5G. And that’s with monthly plans costing a fraction of their hosts EE.

We found the joining experience easy, transferring our number to them worked fine and it was good to be able to call their customer service, even if their English could have been better.

Overall, we can see Talk Home being popular with people who don’t mind getting a little less to pay a lot less."

The 3 best bits

1) Uncapped 4G/5G through EE
2) EU roaming's still included
3) Customer service you can call

The 3 worst bits

1) No WiFi calling / VoLTE
2) Poor customer service English skills
3) SIM not moving to 3G with poor 4G signal

What network is Talk Home Mobile?

Talk Home use EE's 2G/3G/4G/5G network but there are some differences in 4G that we explain in our coverage review.

Who owns Talk Home Mobile?

In the UK, Talk Home Mobile are owned by a company called Nowtel Distribution LTD, who are part of a massive worldwide group specialising in international telecoms.

Is Talk Home Mobile owned by EE?

No they're wholly separate companies. Talk Home just use EE's network for coverage.

Is Talk Home related to TalkTalk or Talkmobile?

No. All three companies are entirely unrelated. They just have Talk in their names!

Does Talk Home Mobile have WiFi calling?

Yes, in theory. We've struggled to get the feature to work on our Android test phones but it has worked on iPhone. They need to increase the number of supported models quickly.

Does Talk Home allow tethering?

Yes. It works automatically and there are no fair usage limits other than your own data allowance.

How long does a Talk Home SIM take to arrive?

Though their website says next working day delivery if you order by 3pm, ours took two working days to arrive.

Do you get inclusive EU roaming on Talk Home?

Yes. Talk Home are one of the ever shrinking list of mobile networks that still includes it.

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

Rating Talk Home's mobile network

Talk Home Mobile have excellent coverage via EE’s network

Talk Home 5G network

Same 5G/4G/3G/2G coverage as EERead more

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

Talk Home Mobile are a smaller provider who use EE’s 5G/4G/3G/2G network for signal. On the whole, you get largely the same coverage though we found you can't connect to EE's Band 20 4G masts (used rurally and for extra capacity in cities).

That aside, using EE is especially good for 4G data coverage, because they've got the largest amount of the UK's geography covered for it. We noticeably stayed on good 4G more often than on other networks.

Call signal (3G/2G) is also quite widespread, but a bit behind providers that use Vodafone or O2. It's not a huge issue but you might run into issues indoors or in geographically odd places.

Coverage obviously changes where you are in the country but we were able to get out and compare how our Talk SIM compares with EE directly, and against predicted signal strength from their maps.

The first thing we noticed is that Talk Home don't seem to have 4G via EE's 800 MHz (band 20) frequency. We took our Talk Home SIM somewhere we knew this was the only 4G available and got this reading:

Screenshot of 4G reading

Where we got this in the same location on a BT SIM (on EE with full access to all bands):

Screenshot of 4G reading

We also found the SIM card very reluctant to switch down to 3G data signal if the 4G signal was weak, meaning you can get stuck on unusable 4G when there is passable 3G available. This is most likely a deliberate change ahead of the 3G phase out in coming years.

Other than those two issues, we're confident that UK signal is the same on Talk Home as EE when you're on all other services, including 5G.

Overall, Talk Home provide a good mix of coverage via EE’s network. They don’t have their own coverage checker, but you can use 1pMobile’s coverage map here as an approximation (though 1p do have the extra band-20 4G).

Useful link: Talk Home’s guide to their network

5G coverage and speeds are also excellent

A Talk Home banner that reads 'Enjoy Blistering-Fast 5G Connectivity'

Great coverage in 5G live locationsWhy join them?

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

On top of getting great coverage for calls and 4G, Talk Home Mobile also offer full access to EE’s rapidly growing 5G network on all plans at no extra cost. You’ll get it in the same areas as on EE.

You’ll currently get 5G in 317+ UK towns and cities. Since EE only claim a location as 5G-live once they covers 50% of its location, that means you can get 5G in potentially even more places but with worse coverage.

We took our Talk Home SIM out to a number of different locations to do some spot checks on the types of speeds you can expect over 4G and 5G.

5G speeds we found to be highly variable, even in built-up areas where you'd expect them to be highest. Often it was as underwhelming at 7 Mbps, at others we got over 200 Mbps at a train station:

Screenshot of Talk Home's 5G speeds

So we'd take that as verification of Talk Home's claims not to have any speed caps vs being on EE directly.

It’s worth checking coverage in your area even if your town or city isn’t on their list, as you might still get 5G where you live. In big towns and cities you’ll typically stay on 5G quite often.

Opensignal and Speedtest put typical 5G speeds between 122.32 Mbps - 130.5 Mbps on Talk Home’s hosts EE, with peak speeds up to 350.41 Mbps. Those are very healthy speeds and should be fast enough for most users.

Useful link: See all of Talk Home Mobile’s 5G-ready plans

Our coverage rating:
★★★★★ (excellent)


Similar to:
EE, 1pMobile

Better than:
O2, Vodafone and Three

4G data speeds are also very healthy

A man standing on a rocket-powered SIM card

They use the fastest 4G networkRead more

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

Being on EE’s network is a massive benefit when it comes to Talk Home’s 4G speeds. You can get some genuinely impressive speeds over 4G with them.

Opensignal’s latest report puts typical 4G speeds over Talk Home’s hosts at around 44.7 Mbps, which is more than twice as fast as some networks. Talk Home use by far the fastest UK network for 4G speeds.

In our real life tests of Talk Home’s hosts we got as high as 130+ Mbps over superfast 4G+ signal in the city centre. However, speeds can slow down to 12 Mbps in rural areas, which is still pretty healthy.

There’s no mention on Talk Home’s website of built-in speed caps or signal differences between them and their hosts, so we think you’ll get similar speeds. And considering they’re on EE, that’s a good thing.

Useful link: Why join Talk Home Mobile?

Our data speed rating:
★★★★★ (best choice)


Better than:
O2, Vodafone and Three
(and providers using these)

WiFi/4G calling are sorely missed features on Talk Home

1pMobile Wi-Fi Calling and VoLTE

Low cost rivals on EE, 1p, do have itRead our guide

at 1pmobile.com
(opens in new window)

The only big disadvantage of using EE’s network is that Talk Home aren’t able to get their call signal into buildings as efficiently as some other networks. This is usually where WiFi/4G calling normally come in handy.

These are features that let your phone connect to calls (and texts depending on the network) using WiFi or 4G signal instead of conventional call signal (2G/3G). But Talk Home don’t offer either feature.

This means if you struggle to get call signal in your home you’ll either have to go to the window or even outside to make a call (or use a VoIP app like Whatsapp), which can be a pain. Their low-cost rivals 1pMobile on EE do have both though.

We imagine they could introduce it in the near future as most UK networks now offer it, even the small ones. But as it stands, it’s a downside to joining them which might make you think twice before doing so.

Useful link: Our guide to the best WiFi calling networks

Our WiFi Calling rating:
☆☆☆☆☆ (poor)

Worse than:
All others

Better than:

They’re also light on extra network features

Screenshot of Talk Home FAQs

Tether your data signal without limitsRead more

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

Talk Home let you tether your data signal to other devices, such as laptops. You can use up to your entire allowance to do this, but they don’t say if you can do it abroad or not.

When we spoke to a chat agent they confirmed they support call forwarding too, even if they don’t say it on their website. This lets you divert incoming calls to another number so you’re never out of reach.

But they don’t offer any WiFi hotspots, which is something you get on Talk Home Mobile’s hosts EE. Free WiFi is easier to find these days anyway, but it’s still a nice benefit for saving data that they miss out on.

Visual voicemail is also not supported on Talk Home Mobile, which usually displays all your voicemails in the order you received them and lets you sort through them one by one.

Finally, you can’t get an eSIM on Talk Home Mobile either. This isn’t surprising as most small networks don’t offer these and we can’t imagine they’ll bring them out any time soon either.

Useful link: The best UK networks for free WiFi hotspots

Our free WiFi rating:
☆☆☆☆☆ (poor)

Not as good as:
All others

Better than:

Talk Home Mobile benefits reviewed

Some of the cheapest international calls of all networks

International calling rates

Calls to some countries just 1p per minSee their rates

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

Talk Home Mobile have historically focused themselves around providing cheap calls to other countries and that’s still the case now. They have some of the cheapest international rates of all networks.

Calls to East Europe, India, Bangladesh, Australia are charged at just 1p per minute, where calls to Pakistan are 4p per min. Calls to the USA and Canada are a bit higher at 5p per min, but still cheap.

They’re a bit more expensive than the best international calling networks for Western Europe, charging 5p per minute there. But that’s still a lot better than most networks.

While they don’t offer any inclusive international minutes, Talk Home are still a great network for making calls abroad. But there are better choices out there which you can see in our list here.

Useful link: Talk Home Mobile’s international rates

They’re also a great network for roaming in the EU

Roam like Home with Talk Home Mobile banner

Roam like home in 45 EU/EEA countriesSee all countries

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

Talk Home Mobile have kept their EU roaming scheme in place, even while their hosts have removed theirs. That means you can use your Talk Home SIM in these 45 EU destinations at no extra cost.

You can do this on all of their SIM only plans. And they have no fair usage policy, meaning you can use up to your entire allowance abroad if you wish. That even goes for their unlimited data plans.

For going beyond the EU you’ll have to pay at these rates for calls and texts. Talk Home offer some data bolt-ons that you can use beyond the EU, which are much better value than paying per MB.

It’s best to stick to the EU on Talk Home, as there are better options out there for worldwide roaming. But they’re not a bad choice for going beyond the EU. So overall, roaming is a strength on Talk Home Mobile.

Useful link: Talk Home Mobile’s guide to their roaming

Some super flexible 1-month plans on offer

Screenshot of a tariff on Talk Home Mobile

1-month plans with no contractSee all plans

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

Talk Home Mobile offer a range of SIM only plans on 1-month deals with no contracts. It works a bit like Pay As You Go, where you top up your SIM with an allowance of mins, texts and data each month.

The first advantage of this is that you can switch or leave your plan altogether whenever you like. You’ll just have to let your plan expire and make sure it doesn’t auto-renew, then you’re free to do whatever.

Another advantage is that since you’re not setting up a direct debit you won’t have to pass a credit check to join them. This is great if you’ve been rejected for a SIM only contract in the past.

And you don’t even need to give notice before leaving. Overall, the extra flexibility of Talk Home’s plans will make them an appealing choice for those who don’t want to commit to a long contract.

Useful link: Talk Home Mobile’s SIM only range

There are a few nice extra benefits on Talk Home Mobile

Table of international calls

Cheap if you run out of dataSee all bolt-ons

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

It’s worth knowing all the smaller benefits you get on a network before joining them. These can come in handy now and again for getting the best possible value out of your plan.

If you run out of data for one month you can take a data boost rather than waiting for your next month to roll around. These are good value, starting at 1GB for £3 and giving better value per GB on bigger add-ons.

You also can’t accidentally overspend on extras as you can only use what you’ve paid for each month. If you want to use extras you have to top up with credit, so there’ll be no nasty surprises on your monthly bill.

Parents will appreciate the fact that adult content is automatically blocked on Talk Home Mobile, so you can be sure your kids are safe online. You will have to set separate controls for your home WiFi, however.

Overall, while there aren’t a lot of huge benefits on Talk Home Mobile there is enough to make your experience with them more convenient than joining on a larger network.

Useful link: Best networks for extra data add-ons

They’re missing a lot of larger benefits of other networks

VOXI unlimited video

Get free data streaming on VOXIRead more

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

Talk Home don’t offer any free data streaming benefits unlike low-cost rivals VOXI. They let you stream these apps on higher end plans and these social media apps on all plans without eating into your data.

They also don’t include data rollover. Usually, networks that offer this let you hold onto your unused data for a month, but Sky give you 3 years to get through it and let you trade it in for discounts on devices.

There are also no benefits for adding friends or family members to your account like on these networks. And Talk Home don’t give any extra rewards for their customers’ loyalty like these networks do.

In the end, Talk Home Mobile are a smaller network so it makes sense they miss out on a few benefits. If you don’t mind missing out on these then they’ll still be a good choice for you.

Useful link: The networks with the best rewards schemes

Talk Home's deals compared

SIM only plans from Talk Home Mobile

Compare SIM only deals using our price comparison tool below



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Added features

Special offers running on Talk Home

Here are the latest promotions on SIM only plans.

Super cheap Pay As You Go rates on Talk Home Mobile

Talk Home Mobile pay as you go rates

You pay each month for what you useJoin on PAYG

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

Talk Home Mobile also let you pay as you go in the traditional way, where you top up with credit and pay for your usage out of that. And they’re actually one of the best choices for this thanks to their super cheap rates:

However, you’ll have to make a chargeable action (like sending a text) and top up with some credit every 90 days to keep your SIM active. That can be frustrating if you don’t use your SIM much at all.

But at least their minimum top up requirement is only £2.50. Compare that to 1pMobile who make you top up with at least £10 credit every 120 days and Talk Home come out looking like the better option for infrequent users.

Overall, we rate them as one of the best choices for joining on Pay As You Go of all networks.

Useful link: Get a Pay As You Go plan on Talk Home Mobile

Talk Home customer service reviews

Lots of ways to get help on Talk Home Mobile

The Talk Home Mobile app

They have a handy appHow to contact them

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

For a smaller network, Talk Home Mobile offer a lot of ways to get in touch with them if you’ve run into an issue with your plan or SIM. They’re one of the few small networks you can call up to get help.

Or if you’d prefer, you can use their online chat. In our experience we found their chat agents got back to us fairly quickly. And they also have an app where you can chat with an agent and manage your plan easily.

We always give networks a ring when we first join them, to see how quickly and well they respond.

After navigating a simple audio menu to keep our number, we got through to an agent after literally a few seconds. Unfortunately, the agent's English wasn't of a great standard.

It took multiple attempts and confirmations to establish that we wanted to move our number over to Talk Home and after meticulously giving the agent all the details like the phone number to move, the PAC from our old, he put us on hold.

After a couple of minutes the agent came back and told us to go online and do it. The whole experience didn't leave us with much confidence the transfer would happen correctly, so we did go online.

Their app is alright. It'd be nice if you could use fingerprint to login rather than enter n email and password every time.

You can look at your usage and change plans in there but that's pretty much it. If you want to do anything beyond that, you need to go to their website or start ringing them.

But their customer service agents were not UK based and didn’t have a good enough level of English to properly deal with complicated issues. This made getting help harder than it needed to be.

It’s a bit of a disappointing blot on an otherwise smooth experience. What makes good customer service is reliability, and Talk Home don’t always provide that. It’s not terrible, but they’re not the best either.

Useful link: How to contact Talk Home Mobile

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