With affordable SIM-only 4G plans that are up to 5 times faster than 3G, loads of perks like BT Sport and discounts for BT broadband customers, BT Mobile’s landed in a big way. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
BT (www.BT.com) may be more commonly associated with broadband deals than mobile ones, but the provider's hit the mobile scene in a big way. How big? It bought 4G operator EE for £12.5 billion. That's pretty darn big.
Now it's officially launched its mobile plans - affordable SIM-only and contract deals with lots of cool extras, like BT Sport, free access to Wi-Fi hotspots, and discounts for families and existing BT customers.
As you'd expect from the new owners of EE, all plans are 4G - superfast mobile internet that's up to five times faster than 3G technology. It's essentially like having home broadband on your phone.
In this guide we'll discuss the BT Mobile plans you can get, network coverage, customer service, what the provider does well, and where it might let itself down a little.
BT Mobile SIM-only plans
BT Mobile currently offers three SIM-only plans, each one a 12-month contract, with tons of extras like BT Sport (see extras section below). If you get broadband from the provider too, then you'll get a £5 discount on any plan - a nice little perk for the BT faithful.
Here's what you can get:
- BT Mobile 15GB Plan: gives you the most data of all plans - a chunky 15GB! In addition, you get unlimited calls and texts. It's a good choice for anyone who uses their mobile a lot, particularly if you want to stream video and music over 4G. Includes BT Sport app free.
- BT Mobile 6GB Plan: gives you unlimited calls and texts, and 6GB of data. It's a nice middle ground plan for those of us who like to browse a lot and occasionally stream music and video on the go. Includes BT Sport app free.
- BT Mobile 2GB Plan: gives you 500 minutes of call time, unlimited texts and 2GB of data. This will suit people who use mobile internet on a regular basis, to check Facebook, look at photos, browse the web, and chat with friends.
- BT Mobile 500MB Plan: gives you 200 minutes of call time, unlimited texts, and 500MB data. A good choice for casual phone users, who typically stick to Wi-Fi, and use 3G or 4G for emails, texts and instant messaging.
Obviously, BT's opted for clarity over imagination with its call plan names, but hey - if it keeps things simple, we're all for it.
BT Mobile Family SIM
If you need to sort out mobile plans for the whole family, BT makes that nice and easy. Its Family SIM plan lets you add up to five SIM cards onto a single account - and each one you add gets cheaper. They'll all have to have the same monthly allowance, but luckily that can be up to 15GB data per month. Plus, it means all your family's mobile plans, your broadband, and your home phone can be dealt with on a single bill.
BT Mobile pay monthly handset plans
If you'd like a shiny new bit of kit with your plan, BT now offers a range of handsets on pay monthly contracts. These give you a new phone for reduced upfront cost, which you then pay off over the course of your mobile contract.
Devices available include flagship uber-phones like the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, the excellent Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, and Sony X. There are also more modestly-priced handsets like the Samsung Galaxy A3, iPhone SE and Sony M4 Aqua.
In truth, it's not the biggest selection of mobile phones you'll see, but there's not a dud among them.
Once you've picked your phone, you'll have to choose between four plans:
- 400 mins inclusive calls, unlimited texts and 500GB data a month. A low-cost option that will suit those who only use mobile internet to check email or social media.
- 1,000 mins calls, unlimited texts and 3GB data a month. A nice all-round plan that will suit most casual users.
- Unlimited calls, unlimited texts, 6GB data, and free BT Sport app. Another good all-rounder plan, but for those who need a little extra data.
- Unlimited calls, unlimited texts and a hefty 15GB data, plus free BT Sport app. If you're a heavy user who likes to stream a lot of video over 4G, this is the one to get.
BT Mobile perks and extras
All BT Mobile plans come with some very cool extras - all included at no extra cost. Here's what you get:
- Unlimited access to BT's 5 million public Wi-Fi hotspots.
- BT Sport app (with 15GB and 6GB plans), which lets you watch Premier League matches and other sports while out and about. You can find out about BT Sport in our extensive guide.
- Monthly spending caps to ensure bills don't spiral out of control - even when you're abroad.
- Unlimited calls to 0800 numbers.
- Free voicemail.
- £5 monthly discount for BT broadband customers.
BT Mobile coverage
BT owns EE, therefore it uses EE's network. That means it has the widest 4G coverage of any network in the UK, covering more than 85% of the UK population. Its 4G is also the fastest, regularly topping RootMetrics speed tests.
All BT plans are 4G, but if you step out of a 4G coverage area, you'll seamlessly slip back to 3G if it's available. Fortunately, EE's 3G coverage is excellent, covering 98% of the population.
Of course, it's worth noting that there are still parts of the country where even 3G coverage is spotty or even non-existent. That's why it's crucial you use a coverage checker to see if you can get BT Mobile not just where you live, but in all the areas you typically frequent.
What's good about BT Mobile?
- Fastest, widest 4G network in the UK
- Affordable mobile plans to suit causal and heavy users alike
- All plans are 4G - up to five times faster than 3G mobile internet
- Discounts for existing BT broadband customers on all call plans
- Good range of handsets to suit different tastes and budgets
- Free access to 5 million BT Wi-Fi hotspots across the UK
- Free BT Sport on top-tier plans
- Set monthly spending caps so you stay in control of your phone bill - the caps even stay in place when you're abroad
- Have up to five SIMs on one monthly bill with extra discounts - great for families
- Unlimited calls to 0800 numbers and free voicemail on all plans
What's bad about BT Mobile?
- No unlimited data plans available
- Only three choices of allowances on plans
- 4G mobile internet not available everywhere yet
- No pay as you go plans as yet
- Not the widest choice of handsets
A cheap way to get BT Sport for non-BT customers
BT Mobile offers an extremely cheap way to get all the live sport on BT, including Premier League football, via the BT Sport App.
If you're not currently a BT Broadband customer but want BT Sport, you can get free access by taking any of the 15GB or 6GB BT Mobile plans. The cheapest price for a plan with BT Sport for non-BT customers is £20 a month. If you're a Sky customer you'd have to pay around £20 a month + £15 activation fee to get BT Sport on your Sky package. You're saving yourself over £50 by opting for the BT Mobile SIM route.
It's worth noting that BT Mobile SIM-only deals only give you access to BT Sport via the BT Sport app, not via your television. You can stream BT Sport via the app on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. The app gives full access to BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN live as well as a host of sports news and info to keep you up to date when you're on the go.
Streaming a live football match can eat up over 1GB of internet data, so we recommend hooking up to Wi-Fi where possible.
BT Mobile customer service
If you need to get in touch with BT Mobile customer service, you have a few options. Its help page is loaded with a dizzying number of FAQs and guides to help solve common issues.
If you prefer the more direct approach, you can call customer service directly by dialling:
150 from a BT Mobile phone
0330 123 4150 from non-BT mobile phones
0800 800 150 from landlines
+44 179 359 6931 from abroad