Three Mobile Broadband Buyers Guide

Competitive mobile broadband offering low prices, higher usage allowances and excellent 4G coverage

  • Higher usage allowances than many providers, with affordable unlimited data
  • Pay as you go or pay monthly with contracts ranging from 1 month to 24
  • Choose between USB dongles, MiFi personal hotspots or HomeFi routers
  • All tariffs include 4G at no extra monthly cost
  • TechRadar Mobile Choice Consumer Awards 2018 winner for Best Network for Roaming and Data

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Three Mobile Personal WiFi
£9.00 per month
24 month contract

No upfront cost

  • 2GB usage allowance
  • Connect up to 10 devices
  • Free setup
  • 24 month contract

Buy now

Three Mobile 4G Home Router
£21.00 per month
24 month contract

No upfront cost

  • Unlimited monthly allowance
  • No activation fee
  • 24 month contract

Buy now

Reasons to choose Three

  • 99.8% coverage for 4G mobile broadband data
  • HomeFi routers allow home broadband over the 4G network
  • Highest maximum usage allowance
  • 1 month contracts and pay-as-you-go mobile broadband tariffs available

Possible downsides

  • No 2G data, only available in the 98.3% of areas with 3G coverage
  • 14 day returns policy requires the hardware to be as new and unused
  • Extremely expensive out of usage allowance data
  • Largest inclusive usage allowance only available on a 24 month contract

Features at a glance

  • Up to 20Mb download speeds on 4G

  • Contracts from pay as you go up to 24 months

  • Usage allowances from 1GB to unlimited data

  • 24 hour technical support by phone or online

  • Free or subsidised tablets with some deals

  • Use Skype on your computer anywhere, giving you free calls to Skype users anywhere in the world

  • Free mobile broadband dongles with some deals

  • You will be charged at 1p per MB you use over your monthly allowance

3.3 stars
  satisfaction rating based on 458 customer ratings since 2018-09-20. See more Three Mobile customer ratings and reviews.

Details last checked on 2019-09-02

SIM Only

From £7.50 for 1GB to £24 for 100GB, nano SIMs available

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Personal WiFi

MiFi deals from £9 a month

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Short Contract

1 month contracts available from £10 with 2GB usage

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4G

Take advantage of 4G from Three on many deals

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Pay As You Go

From £10 for 1GB for 30 days, cost includes 1GB free

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Tablet Bundles

From FREE on a 24 month contract to full price on cheaper tariffs

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4G Home Router

Unlimited data + no activation fee!

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Highest Usage

Unlimited data from £22 on a 24 month contract

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Check Coverage

4G coverage 99.8%, 3G coverage 98.3%

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Details last checked on 2019-09-02

Customer Reviews

Sometimes the best way to get a feel for a broadband provider is to read what those who are already customers think of the service they're receiving. Below are all the reviews we've received for Three Mobile.

Customer Ratings Summary

  • Satisfaction
    3.3 stars
  • Customer Service
    3.4 stars
  • Speed
    3.1 stars
  • Reliability
    3.1 stars

Based on 458 customer ratings since 2018-09-20

Show all time ratings

Add your own review of Three

Ratings are left by users of our speed test as well as by reviewers. Recent star ratings summarise the last 12 months of ratings or the last 100 placed, whichever is largest.

Reviewer Location Reviewing Date Ratings
The worst customer service ever!
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
London Three Mobile  
I had been with Three for some years and found it reliable and cost effective despite some signal drop out issues. I had a £10 per month unlimited texts and calls and 4GB data plan which suited me fine. That was until I got a letter from Three to say that, since my 12month contract had finished they were changing me to a monthly rolling contract for the same service but at £14 per month!!!

I went to my local Three store (Bloomfields Shopping Centre, Bangor, Northern Ireland) and spoke with the store manager, a most unhelpful individual. He told me, quite plainly, that my options were to take it or leave the network. I chose to leave the network but now wish I hadn't.

I found a deal with SMARTY, a wholly owned division of Three, giving me what I had at the price I had been paying and with a monthly contract. I initiated the changeover but quickly ran into issues, not least with their useless customer services agents. I instructed them to terminate the transfer process as they had frustrated me. They assured me it was terminated and I resolved to find another deal.

But they hadn't terminated, the transfer carried on and I was cut off from Three then cut off from SMARTY and left with no service! I had to go back to Three on a whole new deal and get a PAC code from SMARTY to get my old number back.

I gave the PAC code to Three, was told the usual 1 to two business days for transfer and waited. Nothing happened. I contacted Three customer services (SAVE ME from Indian call centres!!) to be told there had been "an issue" with the PAC code so they started again. Three days later, still no transfer so I called them again. Another "issue" with the PAC code so it was started again!

Now, after the third attempt, it's still not done!! And their customer services do nothing but ask the same questions again and again and make the same empty promises again and again. And so, 7 days later, I still have not had my original number transferred back. USELESS!
  • Satisfaction
    3 stars
  • Customer Service
    1 star
Northern Ireland Three Mobile  
I went into the Three store in Lewisham. Arrogant staff who were not very helpful and did not provide good information.

First day I have finally got the router and finally managed to get it activated useless instructions provided by the staff at three store and with in the product its self. I had to find a way to contact customer service and talk to a human and not get thrown around the houses to speak to the right person. Waste of time.

Router is now finally working, signal is rubbish even though it says my area should have a super strong signal.

I go on to the website to check coverage and I get this message: "We're really sorry. There's an issue with the network in your area at the moment.
We know that there's a problem with the service in your area and we're working on getting it fixed. Check back within 7 days for an update."

WHAT!? Not a good look, I've never been with Three before and was trying to look for an alternative to a crappy internet service currently provided by Sky over land line.

Thankfully I ordered online and have a 14 day returns period. Something to take note of if you order in store is that you don't get the 14 day return option so make sure you order online if you are going to try their home broadband so if it's rubbish like mine you can return. Will still trial it for the next 14 days and update if anything different from the above otherwise I will be returning everything.

Overall so far, waste of time and effort, not happy...
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
London, New Cross Gate Three Mobile  
Awful company. 2 years ago I went to the three store in Bedford to do an upgrade. Unbeknownst to me I was also given a whole new contract despite only wanting an upgrade. For over a year I was charged for 2 contracts. As soon as I realised I was being double charged I stopped paying the direct debit that had no correlation to my phone bill. I started receiving letters for a number I've never had asking for money. After receiving a letter stating that the number had now been disconnected and the remaining balance would soon be sent to a debt collector, I paid the balance and considered the matter resolved. I have now received requests for more money. On contacting Three I have been told that they have no record of the disconnection/cancellation letter despite having records of the other letters and I am therefore liable for the £70 they want from me.

Avoid them. Utter cowboys.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Bedford Three Mobile  
Avoid this company at all costs. I cancelled my account in 2016 and moved to EE. They said my account was cancelled. Two years down the line we noticed that three were still taking monthly ditect debits from our account. We didn’t use the phone in two years and was charged £800!! When we initiated a complaint with customer service we ended up speaking to a helpdesk abroad. They said because we didn’t use the PAC code to transfer to EE, they started taking payments from us again. Mobile phone companies have changed their policy as of yesterday and they now have to inform you if they keep your account open. However three should be ashamed of themselves. An absolute shambles of a company...
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Coatbridge Three Mobile  
Woefully inadequate customer service, clearly under trained, didn’t understand whether vat was included or not when asked, (three different members of staff), two months in succession spending an hour at a time to try to resolve, but “computer says no”. Six year customer now looking at other opinions
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Edinburgh Three Mobile  
Avoid them if you could. If you get any problem you will end up speaking to different people telling them same story , and no one there to help you. They cancelled my contract without my approval and still have been taking money from my account.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Watford Three Mobile  
I switched from Vodafone as I was lured in by the lower monthly cost and the roaming options. I now regret this hugely as I've had countless issues - data not working at all, extremely slow internet, texts not sending, unable to use virgin media wifi on the tube, phone number not properly transferred over etc. I then had to spend HOURS on live chats/ phone hepline ( the few times it worked) and received 0 help at all! Their customer service is a COMPLETE JOKE! No one calls back when they say they will and I was given the wrong advice MANY times which was a total waste of my time. Rather than help me, 3 customer service asked me the same questions OVER AND OVER again ( cause they clearly can't keep notes) and had to provide very sensitive information to prove my identity WAY TOO MANY TIMES! Customer Service at 3 refuses to be accountable for any faults 3 has and tries to claim there is no issue even when my data won't work at all in many areas. I had to have 8 lengthy, painful conversations to fix 1 problem because 3 refuses to listen. AVOID AT ALL COSTS!!!! WORST SERVICE PROVIDER!! I have been with Vodafone, O2, Virgin and GiffGaff and they are all far better than this awful network.Even when I tried to lodge a formal complaint, no one contacted me. Their customer service and technical teams are ABSOLUTELY USELESS and TOTAL TIMEWASTERS!
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
London Three Mobile  
Three the are worst in the internet Iam call them both tge are say to pay Iam not satisfied about internet the customers service they not help you nothing iam not recomend to anyone
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
London Three Mobile  
They cancelled my contract without my authorization, and now making excuses that it was cancelled mistakenly and cant be reinstated, while 3 is still taking payment from my account. I have this number since last 9 years and now struggling to get my number back from them. Terrible terrible, avoid them.
Had 2 contract with them, cancelled 1, and now will cancel 2nd as well when i will get my number back (if i could).
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
Luton Three Mobile  

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The reviews published on this page are those of the individual authors who have warrantied that they abide by our review guidelines. Reviews are not the opinion of Broadband.co.uk.

BT Student Broadband

Last minute student broadband offers and options

Posted on 2019-09-12 11:39 in Features Offers Hyperoptic Three Vodafone 4GEE BT NOW Broadband Plusnet Virgin Media

It's the time of year where students around the country are heading to university, either to start their studies or return for a new academic year.

Whether you're heading to uni for the first time, returning to your student accommodation or about to start out in a new student house share, now's the time to look for a good student broadband offer to keep you online over the next 9 months.

To prepare for student broadband season, we updated our longstanding Student Broadband Guide to reflect some of the student-specific offers available this year with student-exclusive 9 month contract offers from BT and student-exclusive cheaper 1 month rolling contract offers from Virgin Media.

Both of those option mean that you can avoid paying for broadband costs should you head home or go off on travels in the 3 months between academic years. But of course you don't need a special student exclusive offer to get short contract broadband from other suppliers, for example NOW Broadband, Plusnet and Hyperoptic also have competitive 1 month rolling contract offers that even undercut BT and Virgin's prices.

This year, we're also endorsing a mobile broadband option for the first time. Well, it's 4G or 5G mobile broadband technology sold as home broadband services. With 4G and 5G home broadband routers from Three, Vodafone and EE you may have to commit to a much longer contract, but you can then take your router with you wherever you travel during summer break. Vodafone even offer a 30 day rolling contract version, although you'll have to pay more than the cost of 3 months contract to get it.

Unlike most mobile broadband solutions, these have large enough usage allowances for many households. Three's home router even comes with unlimited usage!

Even if mobile data usually isn't strong inside your student accommodation, you may get a better connection from a router, or may even be able to get an external antenna installed to boost the signal.

We weigh up all these pros and cons and give you a table of all the relevant offers over on our Student Broadband guide.

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Virgin Media with £150 credit

Discounts, rewards, credit and tech in our broadband offers roundup!

Posted on 2019-07-08 15:16 in News Offers Three Plusnet BT John Lewis Virgin Media Shell Energy

There are so many strong broadband offers being presented this week that we felt it was time for another round up of the best broadband discounts and rewards around.

Onestream has one of the cheapest broadband deals we've ever seen. The Flow Unlimited package offers average speeds of 11Mb and is an impressively low £13.99 a month on a 12 month contract, with line rental included! Onesteam also have a range of competitively priced Fibre products, starting with their 17Mb average speed truly unlimited Jetstream Lite Fibre that comes in at just £17.99 a month on a 12 month contract with line rental included - that's cheaper than many provider's standard broadband deals!1 £9.99 setup cost applies on all offers.

Shell Energy aren't far behind Onestream for extremely cheap standard broaband, their Fast Broadband package with average speeds of 11Mb is only £15.99 a month all in.2

There are also a number of strong reward offers on this week. For example, if you want a Fibre package from BT, then not only will you get a BT Reward card, you'll also receive a Marks & Spencer voucher! Superfast Fibre is £31.99 a month and comes with an £80 M&S voucher and a £30 Reward Card, while Superfast Fibre 2 is £39.99 a month with an £80 M&S voucher and a £60 Reward Card.3

Plusnet have a mix of reward cards and cashback offers on their broadband and phone bundles this week. Unlimited Broadband is £18.99 a month in low cost areas and comes with £75 cashback, Unlimited Fibre is £24.50 a month and comes with £50 cashback, while the Unlimited Fibre Extra package is £27.50 a month and comes with a £60 reward card. You'll need to hurry, because the Fibre offers end tomorrow night!4

John Lewis are bundling in a Google Home Hub with all their broadband products. This is a hands-free Smart Speaker with a 7" screen worth £119! You can choose between Broadband Unlimited with average speeds of 10Mb for £20 a month, Fibre Broadband with average speeds of 36Mb for £28.50 a month or Fibre Extra with average speeds of 66Mb for £35 a month.5

Blink and you'll miss it, Virgin Media's flash sale on TV bundles starts today. You can get a fantastic £150 bill credit on select broadband and TV packages. Choose from the Bigger Bundle for £57 a month, Bigger Bundle + Movies for £62 a month or the Bigger Bundle + Sports for £72 a month - all of these packages have average speeds of 108Mb. If you to up your speeds to an average of 213Mb and get more TV options, you can get the Bigger Bundle + Sports & Movies for £79 a month. Or you could go all out and get Sky Cinema, Sky Sports, BT Sport, Kids Pick and whopping average speeds of 516Mb with the Ultimate Oomph Bundle for £99 a month. Hurry, this offer ends on the 12th July!6

Finally, Three's already excellent unlimited usage offer on the HomeFi 4G home broadband router has been further discounted! You can now get unlimited data for just £11.50 a month for the first 6 months of the 24 month contract. After that, it's only £23 a month! Find out all you need to know about 4G home broadband in our dedicated help page on the subject.7

Confused about all the different types of rewards and how to claim them? Our Broadband Rewards Explained help page has all you need to know!


All offers available to new customers only unless otherwise specified. Some offers only available in provider network areas. Use our Use our postcode checker or verify on the provider landing pages to find out what's available in your area. See respective landing pages for full terms and conditions and details of how to claim rewards.

1. 12 month minimum contract. Standard broadband price rises to £24.99 from month 13, Fibre Lite rises to £27.99 from month 13. £9.99 delivery fee for the router applies to all deals. Further terms and conditions may apply, see Onestream site for details. Offer is only available via the landing pages linked from this blog post and may end at any time.

2. All Shell Energy deals are on an 18 month contract. Prices will rise from month 19, see Shell Energy site for more details. Offers are only available via the landing page linked from this blog post and ends 11:59pm 8th August.

3. All BT products are on an 18 month contract. Connection fees may apply. Prices increase from month 19, see website for out of contract prices. BT reward is a prepaid Mastercard of the specified amount. BT have announced the intention to raise all prices by a small amount annually from March 2020 in line with the consumer price index, this figure is published each January. Offers end 11:59pm 11th July.

4. All Plusnet deals are on an 18 month contract. Connection fees may apply. Prices increase at the end of the offer period when your contract is up, see website for out of contract prices. Customers outside Plusnet Low Cost network areas pay an additional £7.50 per month on all broadband products. Plusnet reward is a prepaid Mastercard of the specified amount, cashback will be issued as a cheque when your broadband is active. Offers are only available via the link in this blog post. Fibre broadband offers end 11:59pm 9th July, standard broadband offer ends 11:59pm 16th July.

5. Virgin Media packages are on a 12 month contract, prices will rise from month 13. £35 upfront cost applies. Credit will be applied to your first bill. See Virgin Media website for full details about included channels and extras. Offer ends 11:59pm 10th July.

6. John Lewis Broadband products come on a 12 month contract, John Lewis will contact you before this is up to inform you of price rises from month 13. Offer ends 11:59pm 30th July.

7. 24 month minimum contract. Availability and speeds vary depending on the mobile coverage in your area and level of usage on the same cell tower. Traffic prioritisation will apply so some services may be slower during peak times. Offer ends 11:59pm 22nd August. Three have announced the intention to raise all prices by a small amount annually from March 2020 in line with the consumer price index, this figure is published each January. Check coverage for your area on the Three website.

Comments

Three Mobile Broadband Buyers Guide - Is Three right for you?

Can I get Three mobile broadband?

Unlike other mobile networks, Three doesn't have any 2G GPRS or EDGE data service, so you'll only be able to access Three mobile broadband in areas with 3G or better coverage.

If you're in rural or remote areas and using a mobile phone handset, you may find coverage to be spotty. However Three have one of the country's largest 3G networks with over 98.3% coverage, so it's rare for towns and cities, and many major transport links, to have no 3G coverage.

Three offer a coverage checker that allows you to test any UK postcode for coverage on Three's 3G and 4G networks, with colour coding showing which areas have strong coverage indoors, and which will only get good signal outside buildings.

4G at no extra cost

All of Three's plans plans include 4G speeds at no extra cost. This is in stark contrast to other mobile broadband providers who require you to pay extra for a 4G tariff.

However, you must own a 4G/LTE capable device in order to enjoy the 4G speeds your tariff will include. Depending what tariff and contract length you choose, 4G-ready devices can be more expensive than Three's standard dongles and MiFis, which only support 3G.

Large usage allowances

Three offer unlimited data on some deals making them a viable alternative to a fixed line home broadband package for moderate users.

If you're in a broadband not-spot and can't get fibre, then Three's HomeFi router means you could get respectable speeds over the mobile network. If you don't use your landline for calls and you get good quality 4G or 3G connection from Three, switching to Three mobile broadband could free you from the need to pay for a landline.

Things to watch out for

As Three have a requirement that their hardware be 'new and unused' in order to qualify for the 14 day returns period, it's more important than usual to be sure before committing to a long contract.

Be careful to check all the postcodes where you're likely to use your mobile broadband to ensure there's good coverage. Especially make sure that places where you'll be inside a building have strong indoor coverage. If you're planning to use Three as your main broadband connection for the home, make sure that you have strong indoor coverage - standard 3G speed can be surprisingly slow in built up areas at peak times as it depends on how many other people are using the service at the same time.

Be sure to check that your monthly usage is less than the amount you're planning to sign up for, consider signing up for one of Three's unlimited data plans. If you go over your monthly usage allowance, you'll be charged 1p per megabyte, which can very quickly add up - however Three should inform you before you exceed your allowance.

Broadband.co.uk