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Three UK Remove Essential Mobile Plans and Cut 100GB SIM Price

Friday, September 7th, 2018 (12:01 am) - Score 17,971

Mobile operator Three UK has informed us that their cheapest ‘Essential’ plans will today be withdrawn from sale in order to “simplify” their tariffs by focusing on ‘Advanced’ plans. On the upside the provider plans to cut the price of their 4G data based 30GB and 100GB plans.

At present the key difference between Three UK’s Essential and Advanced plans is their flexibility and add-ons. The Advanced plans all offer mobile roaming in 71 destinations at no extra cost, Tethering, as well as “Go Binge” that allows you to stream Netflix, Apple music, Deezer, Soundcloud and more “without using your data.”

By comparison the Essential plans forgo all those extras and only focus on the basics of smaller data allowances and reduced calling minutes (plus unlimited texts). Not everybody sees a need for the extras touted on their Advanced plans and so the decision to remove them from sale to new subscribers (doesn’t affect existing customers) will come as quite a surprise.

Typically the Advanced SIM Only plans start at about £16 per month, while the Essential plans with smaller allowances start at just £9 per month. At the time of writing (their website hasn’t been updated yet) it’s unclear whether Three UK will now adjust their Advanced plans to cater for budget users who just want a fairly normal mobile plan at a low cost, although we’d be very surprised if they left that segment neglected.

Thankfully there is also some better news today, which is that the operator has cut the price of their 12-month SIM Only Advanced plans with 30GB (currently £18) or 100GB (currently £31) of mobile broadband data to just £17 and £20 per month respectively. The special discount doesn’t have an end date but the operator has suggested that it will be available to order for at least the next 4 weeks.

UPDATE 10:07am

Three has now updated their website and by the looks of it the cheaper plans are still present, although they’ve re-labelled them all as ‘Advanced’ plans and added Tethering + global roaming support. But other features like “Go Binge” only appear on the bigger plans from 12GB of data upwards.

Leave a Comment
39 Responses
  1. Mike says:

    As long as they don’t touch AYCE they can do what they want.

    1. SuperFast Dream says:

      Here, here 😉

    2. Bob says:

      AYCE and feel at home are the main reasons I use them. I’d like to see a few extra services on go binge, and a bump in tethering allowance, and especially SIM twinning.

    3. Peter says:

      There is no longer a limit on tethering I was told of this change in the 3 store effective from 4th october 2018 no need for having a home broadband providing your in a good reception area I only use my phone as my broadband so this was great news for me

  2. Craig Richmond says:

    Great I’m locked in a contract with them paying £20 for 30GB, not a lot I can do if my contact doesn’t run out until next June.

    1. Tim Wellis says:

      Craig get yourself into three chat *Bills and Contracts*
      Ask for a price plan change saying your happy with the service but looking for more data.
      Happy to trade my minutes for more data they should give you 100gb or AYCE for the same price without extending your contract.

    2. Mike says:

      This trick sometimes works with EE as well, in my case it was 300GB for the price of 200GB and no extension of contract 🙂

  3. Antoine says:

    Good you can quote these offers to EE to get 100GB for £20 now, to get a decent network for a decent price.

    1. Martin says:

      EE a decent network? Yeah OK pal, it’s got a 1 star on trustpilot and voted the second worst network in Britain.

    2. Mike says:

      Problem with reviews is that they tend to get worse as a company gets bigger as they appeal to the mainstream (aka. the average moron).

    3. Bob says:

      I have a dual SIM phone, my own three SIM and a business ee SIM. I rarely see the ee SIM have better connectivity than the three one, both in the UK and abroad.

  4. Tim says:

    Have they done anything to improve their coverage or is it still as patchy as a Dalmatian?

    1. dave says:

      That depends on what phone you have. If you have a phone that supports 4G calling and wifi calling like iphone 6 and newer then it will use the 800mhz network, the signal for that travels much further than their 3G signals.

    2. Mike says:

      Since 800Mhz became available I rarely see 3G.

  5. Neil David says:

    Any idea when this is likely to update? 100gb for £20 is a brilliant deal.

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      Seems to have just gone live now Neil.

  6. Alan Edwards says:

    The key different ????
    The author needs to learn his/her grammar.
    Don’t you mean “the key difference” ????
    God help us.

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      Yes, it’s called a typo Alan and alas we humans do make them. I shall now spend the rest of the day self-flogging myself for the lack of robotic perfection. Thanks for pointing out the error of my ways with such polite finesse. You sir are a credit to society. The best of all men, infallible, no doubt.

    2. wireless pacman says:

      I see a lot less typos on this site than on the Beeb website.

    3. un4h731x0rp3r0m says:

      Oh joy a Grammar Nazi that uses redundant “his/her” in their sentencing structure.

      Not to forget 8 superfluous question marks. Four of which, relating to an exclamation of a persons writing, rather than a question.

      English Class Dismissed.

      God better help someone!
      (Singular Exclamation Point used for grammatical correctness and dramatic end to a post).

  7. Walkerx says:

    I can’t understand if three can offer these deals why can’t other networks, left EE for three as they were too expensive and wouldn’t match 3 sim only deals

  8. Oliver says:

    Three’s Network has improved considerably and works well as long as you can connect to Band 20 even though the speeds are rubbish.

    While EE’s speeds are amazing, there are still loads of places where there is almost zero signal and you get a signal on Three at the same locations.

    1. Former 3 customer says:

      Signing contract with Three is like voluntary HIV injection. This is screenshot from my partner’s mobile taken in Stansted airport on 31st of August: http://i68.tinypic.com/24z97ow.jpg . I have faced the same issue when I was on Three two years ago and at that time Three representative tried to tell me it is because of security reasons. When I told him that the only affected mobile network is Three then he refunded me £10 without any questions.

    2. Mike says:

      This affects quite a few networks and seems to be device related.

      List of potential fixes here:


    3. Former 3 customer says:

      @Mike, I have never seen that on Vodafone in the same places. In past there was no message on the display it just didn’t work. I have had also the same issues in crowded places like fun fair.

  9. dave says:

    If you want to use this as a broadband connection you will be limited to 30GB unless you buy a vpn to disguise your traffic then you will get the full 100gb.

    1. andyroochoo says:

      im afraid this is wrong.

    2. Tim Wellis says:

      You can binge 24/7 netflix all day without using any data allowances for me is a bargain all we do is netflix and applemusic on the go.

      saving us installing a virgin media fibre connection or bt landline

  10. Michael V says:

    I’m guessing this change comes after Ofcom butted in on certain things. They had a bash at how Three build their tariffs. I’ve been with Three for years. No their speeds are not as fast as ee, but we don’t really need more than 20mbps on a phone. Their 4G data network is fast & VoLTE/Supervoice speeds are similar to 3G-HSPA+. Between Three’s three different network types [HSPA, LTE, VoLTE] They have great coverage around South Wales. There’s more important than speed.

  11. Ian hunt says:

    I wonder how long this will last people will start using tethering nonstop with unlimited binge data.
    Once again three will be back to network capacity problems

    1. Chris Denmead says:

      But tethering is capped at 30GB, regardless of AYCE data.

    2. Ian hunt says:

      Chris, watching Netflix via tethering doesn’t come out of your allowances I watch over 300gb this month via tethering still have 23gb remaining allowances.

    3. Ian hunt says:

      So a customer can take out a 30gb Existing customer sim for £16 or £18 100gb and quidco cashback use a old android phone hotspot the thing on Netflix 24/7 eg students.
      When travelling stream apple music nonstop.
      They will soon have to remove binge when 5g launches

    4. Mike says:

      5G should actually make the situation more tolerable.

  12. Tim Wellis says:

    wow guessing people not know with three uk binge you can tether or hotspot your netflix onto your smart tv,Laptop or computer iPad without using up any your data allowances.

    Last month at student apartment we watched over 230gb netflix on smart tv and still had 80gb allowances on our 100gb sim only plan.
    We only pay £20 a month on the go we use Apple music no allowances get used up.

    Bargain to be honest isn’t long till everyone does this forcing three to remove the binge addon again due to network.

    1. Mike says:

      I suspect Go Binge is a local cache setup and so isn’t as much of a problem.

  13. Simon says:

    mmmmmm 100GB @ 3mbps – no ta!

    Maybe EE will respond to this? – their 100GB is the dogs.. at over 250mbps all the time. You get what you pay for and they are £68 a month.

  14. ray says:

    I am on the 100Gb data plan and have found that that I would be charged for feathering devices abroad. I found this out as I am in Sardinia on holiday.

    So I contacted Three and my question was made as a complaint. A senior advisor offered me two days of free teathering. Normally you are now charged £5 A day to teather abroad.

    Does anyone know when this non teathering came into effect?

  15. andyroochoo says:

    the dates you are looking for are found here:


    you are welcome

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