Three Mobile Broadband Buyers Guide

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

  • Unlimited 4G and 5G usage on many plans
  • Pay as you go or pay monthly with contracts ranging from 1 month to 24
  • Special plans designed as an alternative to home fibre broadband
  • Use 5G on 4G plans at no extra 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
£22.00 per month
24 month contract

No upfront cost

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

Buy now

Reasons to choose Three

  • 4G coverage across virtually the whole UK population
  • 5G network available in 66 cities, and growing
  • Dedicated home broadband services offer truly unlimited use
  • Pricing is very competitive
  • One month and pay as you go options available on some plans
  • Free roaming in parts of Europe on select plans

Possible downsides

  • 4G not the fastest among all networks
  • 5G Home Broadband only available in London at first
  • 24 month contracts needed to get the best deals
  • Three rank fourth out of five for customer satisfaction for mobile networks

Features at a glance

  • 4G speeds average around 24Mb; 5G speeds around 100Mb

  • Contracts from pay as you go up to 24 months

  • Unlimited usage on home broadband plans

  • 24 hour technical support by phone or online

  • Free mobile router or even smart speaker on some deals

  • Subsidised tablets with some deals

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

3 stars
  satisfaction rating based on 761 customer ratings since 2019-06-06. See more Three Mobile customer ratings and reviews.

Details last checked on 2020-05-21

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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5G Home Router

Unlimited data + no activation fee! Only in the London area.

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Check Coverage

4G coverage 99.8%, 3G coverage 98.3%

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Details last checked on 2020-05-21

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 stars
  • Customer Service
    3 stars
  • Speed
    2.7 stars
  • Reliability
    2.7 stars

Based on 761 customer ratings since 2019-06-06

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
I have been a happy three customer for 15 years until now. I took a broadband Internet for home. I ordered a Huawei AI Cube for £25 a month on 21st October 2019. It was unlimited and speeds were averaging download 30mbps and uploads 60mbps. I had no issues. But since Febuaray 2020, download speeds were averaging 7mbps and upload 25mbps. It still was slow but not a big issue using 8 devices which was lagging. But when ever my children were trying to connect their PlayStation, Three was slowing down the bandwidth by throttling it. After doing speed tests it went down to 600kbps which isn't even 1mb download Speed. It wasn't. Effecting Ytube or Netflix. I rang Three (date can't remember) on Feb 2020, they said their doing an update in my area and should go back to normal in couple days. But speeds were already normal when connecting other devices. Now Coronavirus started can't get through phone but I had an online chat with a technical team and they said on 23rd May which was after 4 weeks things should go normal. But the issue is when I connect PlayStation, Three throttles the bandwidth to lose connection. I told three the speeds only went down when ever I connect the PS4. They couldn't help. I have screenshot the chat for my reference. I rang again today but couldn't get through. Chat was referring us to technical who don't want to talk about bandwidth throttling as they ignore this issue. I have no issues using other devices. Three slows down to under 1mbps when trying to play online. PlayStation only needs minimum 12mbps. Todays 28 May 2020 and still the same. We use no other devices when connecting PlayStation. I already raised a complain to Ombudsmen which I have no idea if they will take action or claim back my wasted £25pm 24month contract. What can I do?
Halifax Three Mobile  
I’ve had a mobile with three for many years now and have found their cover both here U.K. and abroad great. What a lot of people who go for home broadband don’t realise is that it’s base reception with be as good or bad as their mobile signal. However, and this is the most important thing with a home broadband Wi-Fi one may need a on outside arial connected to the receiver to boost the signal. I have the Huawei B535 that I use in my motorhome with a roof mounted arial. One the arial is fitted it’s essential to tell the Rueter to use the outside aerial and there’s a video on YouTube that will tell you how to do it,
  • Satisfaction
    5 stars
East Sussex Three Mobile  
I have used three mobile broadband for more than 5 years. The broadband has been fine. My issue is not with that. When trying to cancel my contract, I have had to jump through hoops which are just not acceptable. I have spent hours on the app, live chat, email, phone numbers and 'contact us' forms. All getting me nowhere. It's a roundabout of excuses and 'try other' methods...This is massively unfair and looks setup to try and stop anybody from cancelling which is very unethical. I finally got through to somebody who 'understood' my frustrations yet could still not cancel my contract even though that was the department they worked in?! I had to cancel my direct debit as had no other option, now I receive a unpaid bill and the threat of my information passed onto a debt collection agency! After yet more phone calls, just three this time, I spoke to another lady who has said I will have to be charged double the amount that the letter I have just received says??!! This is a joke and feels like a huge scam and disservice to a loyal customer of years. It's even more unreasonable when I have barely even used the service for the last 3 months. Lastly, I have managed to speak to someone who says they will be able to cancel the service but she has to contact another department and will phone me back within 3 working days...So my case is still not resolved. I have even said I am happy to pay the amount for the one month cancellation but think it massively unfair to have to pay an extra month on top of that (is that even legal?). I will certainly not be using three ever again and will be moving my pay as you go service to a rival company asap.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    2 stars
  • Reliability
    2 stars
Eastbourne Three Mobile  
I have recently started a 24 month mobile contract at £18 per month to use with a Huawei E5573Bs-322 device. I now know what the "Bs" in "E5573Bs" stands for :(
The issues I have found already in the first month include:

1) When loading webpages it will more often than not, freeze half way through loading and require me to refresh the page.This seems to be especially bad when the webpage requires a secure connection using TLS. I also have three mobile internet on my iphone, strangely this has no issue loading such pages. even when the huawei device and my iphone are next to each other, my iphone performs fine but my laptop using the huawei device struggles. In addition, if I get my iphone to use the wifi from the huawei device I observer the same freezing issue with websites. This leads me to believe the device (Huawei) itself is the route cause of the the websites freezing, not necessarily the poor internet speed.

2) My internet speed routinely drops below 1 mbps. Now as I alluded to above I have an iphone that uses a Three mobile SIM aswell, now I can line up my Huawei device , my laptop which uses wifi and my iphone using its own SIM , next to each other on the table and my iphone can register 20gbps download speed and my laptop will register below 1 mbps. Again this points to the Huawei device being the problem.

3) at times my internet connection on both my iphone and Huawei device (which both use separate Three mobile SIM's) will just drop out for an extended period of time. This points to the coverage being crap.

All in all very disappointed with the quality of service here. really unreliable.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Leeds Three Mobile  
Shockingly bad. Its now basically unusable and I have to use my 02 phone to tether to my computer. So annoyed. It cuts off all the time and everytime I try to upload a file it basically renders the whole broadband useless. Customer service (in India) just tell me to move my router - after 45min chat... How many more times can I move my router??? I wish I could give less than 1 start but I can't
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
London Three Mobile  
This 'three 4G Huawei broadband' is the worst broadband I have ever used. It's completely unreliable and useless. There is always this hesitation by the network to open any page on my computer that I end up canceling and clicking it until it goes. This happens to be my worst broadband contract ever. And to imagine that I will be stuck with this rubbish for two years is completely sickening.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Carmarthen Three Mobile  
Absolutely useless, constantly shows as 4g but no connection whatsoever. And attempts to contact anyone is another pointless exercise. Their website cites no problems and brilliant service where I live. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Another company that lies to its customers, takes their money, but really cannot be bothered to actually provide the service they are paid to provide.
I am so tempted to cancel my payment as I should imagine they would definitely contact me then.
Frustrating, unreliable, dishonest in their service claims, avoid at all cost
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Suffolk Three Mobile  
8-10mb for the price of 5G. Last time I take contract with Three.
  • Satisfaction
    3 stars
  • Customer Service
    4 stars
  • Speed
    2 stars
  • Reliability
    4 stars
London Three Mobile  
Network has been playing up in my area for a month now, complained via live chat 10 days ago and I was promised it would be sorted and I would receive a call with next steps. Call never came so I called to cancel my contract. Rather than the usual 30 days the rep disconnected it on the spot. Now I don’t have internet for working or staying connected with anyone. They’ve turned it off in an instant but told me it takes 3 days to turn it back on. They’ve told me to call a number to speak to someone that they know isn’t being manned, and at the same time told me that they won’t get anyone to call me. I know times are difficult at the minute but you really need to get a handle on your ability to provide your service and the way you allow your staff to represent you. I’m now seeking an alternative supplier while I wait for a call that I doubt will ever come.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Hull Three Mobile  
In a "good service" area, yet getting top speeds of 5 Mbps and average daytime speeds of 1-2 Mbps. I suggest getting a fibre connection instead, this is simply far too slow
  • Satisfaction
    2 stars
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    3 stars
North London 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?

Three's 4G network is available to virtually the whole of the UK, while their 5G coverage is expanding rapidly.

4G coverage extends to some 99.8% of the population, although in some areas you might find that the signal is far better outdoors than indoors. This is always an important consideration when choosing a mobile broadband service, so make sure you check the coverage in your area before you sign up.

Our Speed Test survey shows that Three achieve an average speed of around 24Mb. This is broadly in line with most of their rivals, as well as entry level fibre broadband services. 4G+ is available in some regions, which can deliver significantly faster speeds.

The 5G network has launched in 66 towns and cities with more to come over the next few years. Three claim they'll have the fastest network, as they've bought more 5G spectrum than the other providers. All their SIMs are 5G-ready, so you can access the faster network on a 4G plan for no extra cost, as long as you've got hardware that supports it.

Can I get 5G on Three?

Three's 5G network is available in 66 cities and large towns, with more expected to be added throughout 2020.

The 66 locations where you can get 5G from Three are Aberdeen, Abingdon-on-Thames, Aldershot, Aldridge, Balloch, Barrow-in-Furness, Basildon, Bath, Bedford, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Blackpool, Borehamwood, Bradford, Brighton, Brookmans Park, Cannock, Cardiff / Caerdydd, Chatham, Clayton-le-Woods, Coventry, Crawley, Cullingworth, Derby, Doncaster, Dundee, Glasgow, Gorebridge, Grays, Grimsby, Guildford, Heanor, Hedge End, Hemel Hempstead, Huddersfield, Inchinnan, Ipswich, Leeds, Leicester, Leyland, Liverpool, London, Lower Stondon, Luton, Maidstone, Manchester, Mansfield, Motherwell, Neston, Newquay, Nottingham, Nuneaton, Peterborough, Plymouth, Preston, Reading, Redcar, Royston, Sheffield, Slough, St Albans, Stevenage, Swadlincote, Swindon, Telford, Westhoughton, Wickford and Wigan.

The network is expected to reach more places in 2020. These are not yet confirmed, but may include Bolton, Derby, Edinburgh, Hull, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Rotherham and Wolverhampton.

What 5G mobile broadband deals are available?

Three offer one 5G broadband plan, designed specifically for home use as an alternative to a fibre deal. It's only available in London to begin with, and will roll out to other 5G areas in due course.

The Three 5G Home Unlimited plan comes with the Three 5G Hub. This Huawei-built device supports the latest Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, and allows you to connect up to 64 devices wirelessly at any one time. It also has a couple of Ethernet ports if you need a wired connection. The advertised download speed is an average of 100Mb, although your experience here will vary depending on how good the coverage is where you are - it may actually turn out to be faster!

There are two Three 5G Home Unlimited plans:

  • 24 months for £29 a month with no upfront fee
  • 12 months for £34 a month with no upfront fee

In both cases you get unlimited data. This compares well to other providers like EE and Vodafone, which put usage limits on most of their plans.

What other Three mobile broadband deals can I get?

If you aren't in the 5G area, Three have a range of other 4G home and mobile broadband plans to choose from.

For home broadband, you get the choice of two devices.

The first is the Huawei HomeFI Plus. This is a compact home Wi-Fi hub that lets you connect up to 64 devices at one time, as well as four more via a wired connection. It's available on three plans, all with unlimited data:

  • 24 months for £22 a month with no upfront fee
  • 12 months for £27 a month and £29 up front
  • 1 month rolling contract for £30 a month and £29 up front

The second is the Huawei AI Cube. This AC-rated wireless hub handles up to 64 connected devices, and also doubles up as a smart speaker. It's got built-in Alexa support from Amazon, and you can use it to voice-control any smart devices you've got in your home. It comes on two plans, both with unlimited data:

  • 24 months for £25 a month with no upfront cost
  • 12 months for £32 a month and £49 paid up front

In addition to that, Three have a mobile broadband router that you can choose if you need to use it when you're on the road. This device is the not so catchily named Huawei E5573bs-322 4G Mobile Wi-Fi, which is the size of a credit card and delivers four hours of battery life. You can get this on over 20 plans, ranging from unlimited data on a 24-month deal to up to 24GB on pay as you go. It isn't a home broadband replacement.

And then there are some SIM-only plans that you can use with your own hardware, with usage allowances of up to 100GB a month. There's tablet plans, too, which is a great way to save on a new iPad - or at least spread the cost over a longer period of time. The data options here give you up to 40GB on a 24 month contract, or 24GB on pay as you go, with upfront costs.

Should I choose 5G or 4G mobile broadband from Three?

Three are already a popular choice for home broadband services. Because they don't come with any data caps they are a true alternative to a fibre plan.

5G Home Unlimited is an excellent option. It's fast, it's affordable and it's unlimited. But it comes with one pretty big caveat - it's available hardly anywhere. Despite Three having launched 5G in 66 places, you can only get Home Unlimited in London. And even then the availability is not city wide. If you are in range, with good coverage, then it's worth considering.

If you're in an area with a weak signal you'll still get a service, but it will drop down to 4G speeds. You could take a punt on the service being upgraded during your contract period, or you could just save a little money by choosing a 4G option instead.

The 4G plans are also pretty attractive. They aren't that much more pricey than an equivalent fibre deal, but you do have to be willing to choose a very long contract (two years) to get the best value.

Broadband.co.uk