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iD Mobile UK Start Making Ultrafast 5G Available at No Extra Cost

Thursday, April 22nd, 2021 (8:24 am) - Score 4,752

Mobile operator iD Mobile (Dixons Carphone), which recently extended their existing Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) agreement with Three UK (here), has now begun to make ultrafast 5G based mobile broadband connectivity available to their SIM Only customers at no extra cost. But initially only a very few Smartphones are supported.

According to an updated announcement on the operator’s website: “The wait is over! 5G is finally here and is being rolled out across the iD Mobile network. All iD customers will be able to access the 5G network as long as they have a 5G compatible device, and the device has been tested and approved by us for use on our network.”

At launch this means that not a single one of Apple’s iPhones are being supported by the operator, which is quite surprising, but we expect that to change very soon. Meanwhile, the only approved Android based phones (for now) include the Google Pixel 5 5G, Samsung’s S21 / S21 Plus / S21 Ultra and the Huawei P40 / P40 Pro. More will soon follow.

Customers on iD Mobile who take out a 12-month term typically pay from around £6 per month (3GB of data and unlimited calls/texts) and that goes up to £18 for their unlimited data plan. Monthly terms are also available, but you get slightly less data or pay slightly more per month. Customers can also roll any unused data over to the next month.

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28 Responses
  1. Avatar Carl says:

    I made the mistake of moving to O2 for the O2 priority and Disney+ 6m free.

    Chester is ridiculously congested, especially from 8am to 10pm around 2-3mbps.

    I wish they would be proactive on where their 5g rollout is coming next, and make more use of band 3/8/40 in more cities.

    I’m hoping when the Virgin merger completes they get much better backhaul too.

    1. Avatar Zakir Hussain says:

      The planed Virigin/02 merger will happen but virgin can’t use 02 until 2024 when there current contract finishes with Vodafone so you might be able to get backhaul only if 02 make improvements.

      Virgin will bring big investments to 02 network to rival other networks we will only see this after 2024 sadly until then we will have to wait and see what happens.

    2. Avatar Ben says:

      Just because the Virgin Mobile MVNO can’t use O2’s radio network (until the Vodafone contract expires in 2024), doesn’t mean that O2’s radio network will wait until that date to use Virgin’s fibre network for backhaul?

    3. Avatar Carl says:

      Virgin Mobile is a separate entity and entered with vodafone for 5 years for their mobile service.

      Virgin Media provide backgaul to many masts and I’m hoping O2 get some form of deal to provide much better services and make more use of the bands they have available in spectrum to boost performance.

    4. Avatar James says:

      Try EE in Chester, uSwitch have a £10 for 10GB or £15 for 25GB deal on EE right now and I get around 80 – 90 down in Chester city centre.

    5. Avatar Carl says:

      I think EE is great for signal and speed, but also expensive when you want to upgrade or have a handset.

      They also don’t offer anything as an incentive.

      O2 comes with many, 6m free Disney, O2 priority, potential converged services in due course following the Virgin Media merger.

      EE was also in talks with selling O2 some Band 7 spectrum which would be an excellent addition to the O2 network.

      EE uses band 7 near me and hits 150+ speeds and 5g has also gone live here according to their website, though not had chance to check it out.

    6. Avatar Mike says:

      I hope EE maintain their pricing scheme to keep the penny pinchers from ruining the speeds.

    7. Avatar Carl says:

      EE also only seem to offer 24 month sim only plans and I prefer flexibility.

    8. Avatar Pezza says:

      @Mike, that’s a funny comment and opinion to have, considering the endless ‘penny pinching’ MVNO’s who use EE’s signal. Don’t think your logic works there.

    9. Avatar Mike says:


      EE reserves higher speeds for Smart plan users and also Band 20, might also explain why VM is moving to Vodafone to improve their signal quality.

  2. Avatar Buggerlugz says:

    Which means its available to very few people nationwide considering how bad Three’s 5G coverage is in reality.

    1. Avatar Carl says:

      If you live in a field on Three you’ll get great 5g.

    2. Avatar Arbortheus says:

      Opensignal have rated Three as having the best 5G coverage of all network providers: https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2021/04/opensignal-name-best-4g-and-5g-uk-mobile-networks-for-q1-2021.html

    3. Avatar Lexx says:


      Yes they have best 5g coverage in the extremely limited locations its available with spotty 4g data speeds in 500m zones you travel in (signal it self is fine usually)

      because of not deploying 4g+ everywhere so you can be in an area with 4g+ and usually works as good as ee then you can move 50meters over and drop to 4g and have inconsistent data speeds or just doesn’t work (you shouldn’t use three if data reliability is required for on demand courier delivery’s)

    4. Avatar Buggerlugz says:

      Arbortheus that’s because Three only install 5g masts in area’s where only Badgers and foxes can connect to it.

      No one connecting to it, so well well what do you know! Three’s the fastest 5G! That in a nutshell is why.

    5. Avatar Buggerlugz says:

      Lex, you’re spot on. Also you can be in an area with a mast offering 4G+ (bands 1 and 3) and get 200Mbps between 2am-4am, 70Mbps from 6am-11am then 10-20Mbps from 12pm onwards dropping to 2Mbps from 6pm nightly on three, like me!

    6. Avatar JP says:

      Buggerlugz – Much more than just Badgers and Foxes roaaming around Birmingham, where Three hs been ‘very active’ in putting up new Phase 8 poles in lots or urban areas, their would be many many more if the council didn’t refuse so many applications to build.

  3. Avatar André says:

    How can iPhones not be “supported”? Surely it’s just a marketing decision on their part?

    1. Avatar Jay says:

      While iPhone supports sub 6ghz 5G, only the US model currently supports mmWave which is what iD are now offering over the Three network. When iPhone 12 launched very few countries had mmWave, but as the frequencies get released/deployed worldwide, the expectation is that iPhone 13 will be offered this summer with this capability on a more global scale. This also requires the networks to build out a lot of micro cells as mmWave has a very short range, so likely only viable in cities.

    2. Avatar Lexx says:

      Think in UK they be more as smarter with mico 5g deployment, it be limited to dense areas (sports areas, large events public transport hubs)

      Having a 5g mico site every lamp pole 100m apart would be expensive

    3. Avatar Roger says:

      Jay, no provider in the UK has mmWave (>6GHz) support deployed. the frequencies have yet to be released.

    4. Avatar JP says:

      Yeah Jays got some very bad information right there… I imagine iOS isn’t supported yet due to configuration of some sort needing to be developed between ID and Apple.

  4. Avatar Ig Og says:

    Hope SMARTY follows suit.

    1. Avatar Carl says:

      Smarty does work with 5g coverage.

      It just isn’t advertised on their site yet but previous sims old and new have worked fine.

    2. Avatar JP says:

      It does work, sometimes but not with all 5G sites that Three PAYG does…

      It would seem that sometimes the network mistakes the Smarty user as a Three user during mast handovers whilst on the move, this might also relate to different backhual provider or core network connections verying by mast.

      So its not safe to assume that Smarty is a 5G provider ‘just yet’ but can’t immaine it will be long as the competition amongst Virtual Porivders (MVNO’s) heats up.

    3. Avatar Pezza says:

      Yeah I’m waiting for the official announcement and pricing information to be seen. Should be good though.

  5. Avatar Mark says:

    iD runs on the Three network… Think I’ll take my chances with two tin cans and a piece of string

  6. Avatar Paul Barrett says:

    Just get a 3 AYCE SIM

    £16 for unlimited everything
    Obtain via TCB or Quidco

    Works out at £11.66pcm
    Job done

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