A Guide to UK Mobile Networks for Students

Hey there, its been a while since I have updated this space due to the assignment and exam period. However, now that they are over, I hope to be back posting more frequently! 🙂

For today’s blog, I will be sharing about the different mobile networks here in the UK since whether you are new to the UK or just looking for a better mobile deal, choosing the right mobile network is essential for staying connected. Additionally, with so many options out there, it can be tough to figure out which one suits your needs best. Thus, we will be taking a closer look at some of the top mobile networks in the UK, including Lebara, Giffgaff, Three, and Vodafone, to help you make a more informed decision.

1. Lebara:

Lebara, which is what I have started using recently, is a fantastic option for students who are more money conscious and want the flexibility in starting or cancelling their contract at any time. Not only do they run on Vodafone network, but they also offer great value SIM-only plans for as little as £5 a month and is known for its flexible plans. Additionally, I do have a referal link here: http://aklam.io/sRoZtO which if you sign up using it, you can get 50% off your first 3 months which is a win I would say!


  • EU Roaming included
  • No contract, pay-as-you-go flexibility
  • Hassle free sign up
  • Competitive prices


  • Coverage can vary depending on location

2. Giffgaff:

Giffgaff is another popular choice among students for its flexibility, affordability, and excellent customer service. Operating on the O2 network, Giffgaff offers a range of “goodybags” (monthly bundles) that cater to different data, call, and text needs. Moreover, they also sell new and refurbished phones if you ever need to get a new phone here.


  • No contracts, flexible monthly plans
  • Competitive pricing and regular deals
  • Easy to switch plans or top up as needed
  • You can use up to 5 GB of your full allowance while you are in the EU


  • No physical stores for in-person support
  • Coverage can be spotty in certain areas

Best for: Students who want flexibility and good value for money.

3. Three:

If you’re a heavy data user, Three might be the perfect fit for you. Known for its generous data allowances and excellent 4G and 5G coverage, Three offers plans that cater to those who stream, browse, and use social media extensively. Furthermore, they have physical stores unlike Giffgaff which gives you the reassurance to drop by and ask for any help you are facing with their service.


  • Generous data plans, including unlimited options
  • The UK’s Fastest 5G Network
  • Excellent 4G and 5G coverage
  • Free roaming in many countries (Go Roam)
  • Have a rewards app where you can enjoy amazing offers from brands like Cineworld, Caffè Nero, Uber Eats, and more.


  • Contracts can be longer-term and are more pricey

Best for: Heavy data users and those who travel frequently.

4. Vodafone:

Next, there is also Vodafone is one of the largest mobile networks in the UK, known for its reliable coverage and extensive range of plans. Whether you need a basic plan or something more comprehensive, Vodafone has something to offer.


  • Reliable nationwide coverage
  • Wide range of plans and options
  • Perks like Vodafone Rewards and VeryMe


  • Can be pricier than some competitors
  • Some plans come with long contracts

Best for: Students who want reliable coverage and enjoy additional perks.

Choosing the Right Plan for You:

When selecting a mobile network, consider the following factors:

  • Coverage: Check the network’s coverage map to ensure you’ll have good reception in your area.
  • Data Needs: Assess how much data you typically use each month to choose a plan that meets your needs without overpaying.
  • Flexibility: Decide if you prefer a pay-as-you-go plan or if you’re comfortable with a contract.
  • International Calling: If you frequently call or travel abroad, look for plans that offer competitive international rates and roaming options.
  • Customer Service: Consider the quality of customer service and support available, especially if you anticipate needing assistance.

Of cource, these are not all the mobile networks they have in the UK. There are also others like EE and O2 which are pretty well known too which you can do further research on. Just remember, everyone has different priority and needs so the best mobile network for each individual will differ. No matter which network you choose, the key is to find a plan that fits your lifestyle and budget.

All in all, I hope this blog has given you more insights into the mobile networks here in the UK and made them more comprehensible. See you in the next blog!