Ironically, you may not recognise iD - it’s a relatively new mobile network. But you’ll definitely be able to identify the anachronistically-named company it comes from: Carphone Warehouse.
Despite its relative youth, ID's already making an impact by offering some of the most affordable 4G plans around. Everything's built around value, flexibility and simplicity - it's easy to find a plan that suits you, and the network makes sure it doesn't hide behind jargon and is upfront about tariffs and extra costs.
That focus on simplicity means that it doesn't come with much in the way of bells and whistles - no cool extras like priority tickets, or free subscriptions to Netflix here - but if you're just interested in a network that makes it easy, that might not matter.
iD Mobile plans and tariffs
There are loads of iD Mobile plans available, some with a phone included and some sim-only. Each offers a set amount of inclusive minutes, texts and data per month, from 250MB - suitable for light use like checking email and instant messages - all the way up to a hefty 20GB - enough to download some apps and stream a few movies and TV shows via mobile internet each month.
- GoTo: Simple, affordable pay monthly plans that include a set amount of calls, minutes and data per month, and 4G at no extra cost. 1-month, 12-month or 24-month contracts available - although some of the higher end phones are only available with the longest terms. You'll also get free Data Rollover to use your unused data the next month.
- Shockproof: These plans are designed to give you control over how much you spend. Each comes with a £5 cap on calls, texts and data - which you can change whenever you like - so if you exceed you allowance, you won't be surprised by a big bill later.
- TakeAway: Go abroad much? These plans are all about roaming. They let you use your plan's minutes, texts and data in 29 countries, so you won't have to pay any eye-wateringly excessive roaming rates in those places. The countries included are [deep breath]: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the USA.
There's also a data-focused plan that's only available sim-only:
- DataOnly: Gives you 500MB, 1GB, 3GB, 5GB or 20GB data a month. No inclusive minutes or texts are included at all - it's all about pure data.
What phones can you get from iD Mobile?
iD Mobile has a decent selection of handsets from all the big names, including iPhones, Samsungs, HTCs, LGs, Sonys, Microsoft Windows Phones, Huaweis, and Motorolas.
There's a nice balance between high-end wonder-phones like the ultra-sexy HTC One (M9) and Samsung Galaxy S6, and quality low-priced handsets like the Microsoft Lumia 535. And now they even do iPhones.
iD Mobile 4G coverage
iD Mobile shares Three's network, which reaches more than 97% of the population with 3G services and plans to have 98% 4G coverage by 2016. Unfortunately, Three doesn't have the widest 4G coverage, with the faster mobile internet mostly found in and around cities at present.
If you have an iD plan, you'll connect to 4G automatically if you're in a coverage area, otherwise you'll use 3G. Check out our guide for more on mobile coverage.
What's good about iD Mobile?
- Affordable, flexible 4G plans
- Simple tariffs that don't hide behind jargon
- Can roll your data over to the next month with GoTo
- Shockproof plans have £5 cap so you can't overspend
- Great if you go abroad - can use your allowance in 29 countries with TakeAway plans
- One month, 12-month and 24-month contract terms available
- Good range of phones available, including iPhone 6s, Samsung Galaxy S7, and Sony Xperia Z5
What's bad about the iD Mobile network?
- Weaker 4G coverage than some other networks, particularly EE
- Some high-end phones like the HTC One M9 only available on 24-month plans
- Not much in the way of perks or extras compared to EE, O2 and Vodafone