Tesco Mobile switches on its 4G networkProvider offers 4G deals using O2’s phone network
23 October 2013
Which? Recommended Provider Tesco Mobile has started to sell 4G deals, enabling smartphone users to access the internet at much faster speeds.
The new network is available in a small number of major UK cities and prices start at just £10 per month.
Visit our mobile phone reviews to find out which are the best 4G phones.
What is 4G?
4G is a next generation mobile technology that promises home broadband levels of internet speed on the move. Because of this, 4G is ideally suited to services that demand more capacity, such as video streaming and downloading music and movies.
Regulator Ofcom estimates that download speeds could be around five to seven times those of existing 3G networks. This would mean that a music album that takes 20 minutes to download on a 3G phone would only take three minutes over 4G.
For more information, read our what is 4G? guide.
Tesco Mobile’s 4G smartphone plans
Tesco Mobile is offering 4G pay-monthly and Sim-only deals. Prices start at £10 per month for a Sim-only option that comes with 250 talk-time minutes, 5,000 texts and 500MB of data.
If you want a deal with a free 4G phone, the cheapest option costs £17.50 per month. That provides the same number of minutes, texts and data plus either the Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 or the Nokia Lumia 920.
Customers can cap their tariffs, so they won’t be surprised by high bills, and can add or remove the 4G element from their deal at any time or change the amount of data included each month. Adding 4G to an existing deal costs just £2.50 a month.
Tesco Mobile’s 4G coverage
Tesco Mobile is the first ‘virtual network’ to offer 4G deals. As a virtual network it doesn’t have its own phone masts - instead it uses the O2 network.
Tesco Mobile therefore offers the same 4G coverage as O2. It’s currently available in London, Liverpool, Leeds, Bradford, Birmingham, Coventry, Leicester, Sheffield and Nottingham. And by the end of the year it will also include Newcastle, Glasgow, Manchester and Edinburgh.
O2 has announced that it will bring indoor 4G coverage to 98% of the UK population by 2015.
Rival 4G networks
EE launched the first 4G network in 2012. It has the best coverage and is available in over 120 towns and cities across the UK. O2 and Vodafone turned on their networks on 29 August while Three is expected to launch its 4G network later in the year.