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Tesco Mobile phones and SIM-only deals

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About Tesco Mobile

Tesco is the UK’s largest supermarket but it’s also a widely used and respected mobile provider. It offers service over O2’s network and perks like Clubcard points, which can give you discounts on your food and fuel at Tesco or other shopping and entertainment bonuses.

At a glance

The good: The bad:
Wide range of handsets and SIM only deals 4G download speeds not as fast as rival networks
Some of the cheapest deals on the market UK coverage not as extensive as other networks
Price caps mean you won’t have unexpectedly high bills Free roaming not available outside of Europe
No mid-contract price rises
Discounts for adding family members to your plan
Get 5G for no extra cost
Upgrade your handset early with Anytime Upgrade Flex
Get Tesco Clubcard points for topping up your bill
Receives a low number of complaints compared to rival networks

Tesco – MVNO Using O2’s Network

Tesco Mobile is the UK’s largest mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), one of a number of providers that piggyback off the four major mobile networks in the UK. In Tesco Mobile’s case, it’s O2, which gives its customers access to O2’s mobile network strength and coverage. O2 boasts 99% population coverage, as well as geographic coverage of 74% of the country. You’ll also be able to get O2 service in 95% of indoor premises in Britain, the highest indoor coverage of any network. However, O2’s 4G speed lags behind other networks. It clocks in at an average of 15.8 Megabits per second (Mbps), less than half the speed offered by EE’s 4G (32.5 Mbps). But you’re more likely to be able to connect to that 4G and not resort to the 3G network. O2 offers the second best 4G availability after EE - customers are able to connect to it 84% of the time.

Why use Tesco to access O2?

Tesco Mobile offer convenience, flexibility, family friend plans, and Clubcard Benefits

Flexible Tesco Mobile Tariffs

Handsets are typically available on 24-month pay-monthly contracts, but you can gain more flexibility with Tesco’s Anytime Upgrade Flex Plan. These plans allow you to choose a contract length for your handset - either 12, 18, 24, 30 or 36 months - and then a separate contract for your usage. You can then adjust your tariff for usage at any time, if you discover you’re not using all your data or that you don’t have enough. When searching for a tariff via Tesco, you can fiddle with your phone contract length, data allowances, and upfront payments to reduce your monthly bills.

Tesco Mobile also offers SIMs on a pay-monthly basis, on 12-month contracts, or pay-as-you-go SIMs that you can top up.

Unfortunately, none of Tesco Mobile’s plans offer unlimited airtime minutes, texting, or data. You’ll top out at 5000 minutes of talk, 5000 texts, and 50GB of data.

You can purchase Tesco Mobile phones and contracts online or in one of the more than 450 Tesco stores with mobile phone staff.

Earn (and Redeem) Tesco Clubcard Points

Meanwhile, for every £1 you spend on your mobile phone contract from Tesco, you’ll receive one Clubcard point, which can be redeemed on your shopping or put toward other perks, including days out and restaurant deals. Add more than one Tesco Mobile contract to your account and you’ll benefit from the Family Perks Scheme. Each month your family can select between receiving extra minutes, extra data, extra Clubcard points, or money off your bill.

Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction for Tesco Mobile customers has swung in the last few years. While it ranked second among the seven mobile phone providers ranked for their customer service by Ofcom in 2018, with 97% very satisfied, that fell to 90% in 2019, placing Tesco last. However, Tesco Mobile pay-monthly customers recorded the fewest number of complaints in Ofcom’s latest figures - just one per 100,000 customers, compared to an industry average of four per 100,000.