Coverage – Using EE’s Network
BT Mobile is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), one of a host of smaller firms that piggyback off one of the four main mobile networks in Britain. In BT Mobile’s case, it’s EE (in fact, the group bought EE in 2016) - and that’s good news for customers. EE boasts the fastest speeds of any mobile network in the UK, outpacing O2, Three, and Vodafone to offer 4G download speeds that average 32.5 Megabits per second (Mbps). You’re also more likely to be able to connect to the 4G network and not be reverted to slower 3G. EE’s 4G is available to more than 99% of the population and covers 90% of British landmass, with plans to hit 95% by 2020. Altogether that means users are successfully connecting to its 4G network 89% of the time.
You’ll pay your bills and buy your handset from BT Mobile, but your phone will use, and display at the top of its screen, EE’s 4G or 3G networks.
Perks and Extras – BT TV & WiFi
BT’s packaging of these services brings you BT Sport as well as free access to BT Wi-Fi on the go, through more than five million hotspots located in cafes, pubs, shops, and transport hubs up and down the country. Hop onto one of these when you’re out and about and you can conserve your mobile data allowance.
Contract Types & Allowances
Speaking of allowance, BT Mobile’s contracts top out at 40GB of data a month, but all packages - from 500MB to 40GB - come with unlimited calls and texts.
BT Mobile specialises SIM-only deals, on monthly mobile contracts, to be loaded into a handset you already own or have purchased outright elsewhere. But it does also sell contracts with top line handsets from Apple, Samsung, Google, and others. Offerings tend to be restricted to the latest phones, though, so you won’t find a deal with an older model.
BT also doesn’t offer any pay-as-you-go deals; all its deals are on 12-month contracts.
BT offers some compelling discounts and flexibility for families. The cost-saving Family SIM plan gives you up to five SIM cards, each with a different allowance, on one contract and paid via one bill. You get a discount on each SIM you add and can add and subtract them as you want - they’re individually on thirty-day rolling contracts. You can also impose a spending cap on all mobile tariffs, so you, or one of your family members, don’t eat through all your data streaming Netflix and rack up overuse charges.
Discounts for BT Broadband Customers
If you’re already subscribed to BT’s broadband deals, you notch discounts on your mobile contract - usually £5 off each month of your contract with a handset.
Customer Service and Complaints
BT doesn’t appear in Ofcom’s customer satisfaction tracker surveys, but the telecoms regulator does compile information about complaints. BT had the second highest number of complaints, at 8 per 100,000 customers, behind Virgin Mobile, for the period from July to September of 2018.