Why choose a Three mobile phone contract?
Three offers the fastest 5G speeds of any UK mobile network and was recently voted the Best Network for Data by Uswitch for the second year running. Three also offers some of the cheapest phone deals on the market and was the first provider to offer unlimited data SIM-only deals, which now cost from as little as £12 per month.
Three has a wide range of handset deals available on 24-month pay monthly plans, from the latest iPhone 14 to older and cheaper models from brands such as Nokia and OnePlus, meaning there is something to suit every budget.
All Three mobile plans come with unlimited minutes and texts, and there is a choice of contract length on SIM-only deals, allowing for plenty of flexibility if you already have a handset you like.
How can I keep my number when switching?
To switch to Three and keep your existing number you will need to request a PAC (porting authorisation code) from your current mobile provider. To do this, simply text PAC to 67075. You should receive a nine-digit code within seconds, which will then be valid for 30 days. Once you have ordered your new Three SIM, you can fill out the number transfer form on Three’s website with both your old number, your new number, and your PAC. Put your new SIM into your phone and your old number should switch over within a day or so.
Three added extras
Three offers all customers access to its rewards app, Three+. As well as presale festival tickets up for grabs, there are also numerous freebies and discounts on drinks and meals out at restaurants such as Frankie & Benny’s, Chiquito and Caffe Nero, along with reduced tickets for Picture House and Cineworld cinemas.
Three enables free WiFi Calling and offers 5G as standard with all its plans (subject to a 5G-ready handset), and customers can manage their account easily via the My3 app, where you can pay bills and keep track of usage.
Three also occasionally throws in a freebie with its pay monthly phone deals, such as a free Samsung tablet and 12 months of Disney+, offering an even better deal for your money.
Three Mobile subscriptions
Three offers a wide range of mobiles to choose from, with all phone contracts lasting just 24 months. There is no option to pay off your handset early as there is with some providers, so you will have to be prepared to commit to the full 24 months of repayments.
Some handsets come with the option to bundle in additional tech, such as bundling AirPods in with an iPhone 14 or a Galaxy Watch5 with a Samsung Galaxy Flip4. It isn’t any cheaper but it does give you the option to spread the cost over two years along with your phone.
Customers that already have a phone can choose one of Three’s SIM-only deals, which offer data allowances ranging from 1GB to unlimited data, available on one-month, 12-month or 24-month contracts.
Three phone upgrades
Three offers you the chance to upgrade your phone at the end of your contract – there is no option for mid-contract upgrades as with other providers. You can upgrade your phone up to 38 days before your contract expires. The My3 app will tell you when you are eligible to upgrade and will also suggest personalised offers for you.
As mentioned, Three was the first UK network to launch unlimited data plans, ideal for getting the best out of Three’s 5G service. It also offers some other big data plans, including 100GB and 250GB, as well as very small allowances including 1GB and 4GB, all available on one-month, 12-month and 24-month contracts. All Three plans come with unlimited texts and minutes and are 5G-ready (subject to you having a 5G-compatible handset).
What is Fair Usage?
A fair usage policy is put in place by various mobile and broadband networks to ensure that internet traffic flows smoothly and no one suffers slowdown as a result of other users hogging the bandwidth. Three does not impose any fair usage limits on its UK network, but if you are travelling abroad, you are limited to a maximum of 12GB, regardless of how big your UK data allowance is.
4G and 5G Coverage
Three offers 99 per cent geographical coverage with its 4G signal, on a par with the other networks. Signal strength can still vary however, especially in more rural areas, and you may find you are downgraded to 3G when 4G is not available.
As well as having the fastest 5G speeds, Three also has the widest 5G coverage across the UK, which is now available across approximately 50% of the country.
Three 5G speeds
According to the most recent research from independent analytics company Opensignal, Three is streaks ahead of the other networks, with an average 5G download speed of 228.4Mbps. Its closest competitor is EE, which averages just 130.5Mbps.
All new Three plans, whether pay monthly or SIM-only, allow you to roam in 70 destinations around the world. For European destinations, there is a daily charge of £2 per day (the Republic of Ireland and the Isle of Man are free from charge however), and for other destinations included in Go Roam, it costs £5 per day. If you don’t use any of your phone’s allowances, you won’t be charged.
Customers choosing a pay-as-you-go deal don’t have to pay the roaming fee – the cost will come straight out of your allowance instead. A full list of destinations and the accompanying charges can be seen on the Three website. Customers wanting a lot of data while they are away can choose to buy the Three Data passport – this gives you unlimited data usage for £5 per day anywhere outside the UK and ensures that you won’t have to worry about going over your data limit.
Tethering a second device to your mobile phone in order to get online is a useful thing to be able to do if you cannot pick up a wifi connection. Three permits tethering and offers a range of high data and unlimited data SIMs that are ideal for creating a hotspot.
Three does not impose any limits on how much data you can use for tethering, so, subject to your mobile phone’s allowance, you can get the likes of laptops and kids’ tablets online without worrying about data usage. Although it’s handy for the odd occasion, tethering will consume data very rapidly (not to mention battery life) because you have two devices (or more) connected to the one mobile signal, so we’d advise choosing an unlimited data deal if you are a regular hotspotter.
Three customer service
Three provides various ways to get in touch. Customers can call 0333 338 1001 (or 333 from a Three phone) Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm and 9am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday. There is also an active Live Chat service on the Three website, or you can speak directly with a store advisor online using Three Store Now. Finally, the Three Community is a useful tool to ask questions to other Three customers who may well be able to help.
According to Ofcom’s most recent annual survey on customer satisfaction, Three ranked fourth for overall service satisfaction, scoring 86% against an average of 91% across the sector. It had the shortest call waiting time of all the mobile providers for customers contacting customer services, with just 15 seconds. This is far below the sector average of two minutes and 15 seconds, and suggests that if you do have reason to call Three, you should be able to get through very quickly.
Frequently asked qustions (FAQs)
Are Three mobile phones unlocked?
Yes, all mobile phones available to buy on contract with are unlocked as standard so if you want to move to another network at the end of your contract you can.
What is Three’s cancellation policy?
If you change your mind about a new phone you have 14 days to return it if you bought it via Three’s website, and just seven days to return it to a Three store.
What is Go Roam?
Go Roam allow you to use your Three data allowance in 70 destinations around the world for a daily fee of £2 in Europe and £5 beyond Europe.
Does Three have WiFi Calling?
Yes, Three supports WiFi Calling, but you will need to enable it on your handset in order for it to work.
How do I join Three?
If you are looking for a new pay monthly deal with Three, you can use the comparison tool above to find the best package for you. You can filter by manufacturer, price, contract length and data allowance. Once you’ve made your selection, just click on the See Deal link to go to the Sky Mobile website where you can finalise your purchase. If you are looking for a Three SIM-only deal, we’d suggest that you take a look at our SIM-only page.