Talkmobile Review & Coverage – Is Talkmobile any good in 2023?
Considering a switch to Talkmobile but not sure if they're any good? Talkmobile, formerly called TalkTalk Mobile, is one of the lesser-known SIM only providers - but are they any good?
Talkmobile uses Vodafone's network and spectrum, and all of their SIM plans offer unlimited calls and texts. What's more, they now offer 5G too. This review looks at the Talkmobile network coverage and customer service, as well as how they compare to other SIM Only networks.
Talkmobile Review: Coverage
First, let's focus on Talkmobile's coverage and signal strength. This mobile virtual network operator, also known as an MVNO, is owned by Vodafone and uses its signal infrastructure for its 4G services.
Originally, Talkmobile - back when it was called Talk Talk Mobile - was owned by Carphone Warehouse. In recent years, the company has been sold to Vodafone, who now own it and of course use the same network. We've updated this review to reflect the current ownership of the Talkmobile network.
The first port of call should be to check if you can get Talkmobile in your area. You can use the Vodafone network checker, or you can use the dedicated Talkmobile coverage checker here.
Talkmobile: How much data do I get?
There are a number of different SIM-only plans from Talkmobile. But you need to pick either a 12 month or a 30 day plan, they don't do any other plan lengths.
Talkmobile's SIM only plans are very affordable compared to the competition, with data limits ranging from 3GB to 100GB.
These plans are great for medium to heavy data users, as they offer unlimited texts and minutes, but lack 'extras' or features that make them stand out from pricier networks like Vodafone and O2.
Generally Talkmobile's prices are are cheap, so they're suitable for those with limited budgets.
Their range of plans currently start at 6GB a month, this is ideal for lower-usage users who only tend to surf the internet when at home and tend to use their WiFi. It's great to have a lot of data, but you might not be using even half of it - check your usage first.
If you're a large data consumer then you'll be glad to know that their top data bundle has now been doubled - from 50GB to 100GB. At that level, it's pretty much unlimited in all but name!
Talkmobile Review: Do I need to do a credit check?
Yes and no. If you opt for a Talkmobile 30-day rolling contract, you don't need to do a credit check first. You would, however, for the 12 month plans.
Talkmobile is a good choice if you don't need to use a lot of data, or want to switch to another mobile network provider. If you are concerned about failing a credit check, then compare all SIM only deals for those with bad credit.
Getting the best deal when choosing a mobile network can be difficult, especially if you have a low credit score. Talkmobile provides a wide range of payment options for their plans. There used to be monthly and yearly contracts available, which ranged from 12 to 36 months but these have now been simplified.If you're looking for a 12 month contract then compare prices on all plans first.
Do Talkmobile sell handsets?
Yes, in the form of an upgrade. If you already have a handset with Talkmobile, you can upgrade it at any time.
You may need to contact customer service to find out the details of your contract and upgrade options. Talkmobile offers a range of mobile phones, so you'll be able to choose one that suits your needs.
Do Talkmobile do PAYG?
Not any more.
For a cheaper option, you can buy a Talkmobile SIM-only plan. With Talkmobile's Essential tariff, UK calls and texts are only eight pence per minute. In addition, you can enjoy unlimited texts and data on their Rewards tariff. As long as you don't need a new handset, you can easily change your data allowance monthly. And if you're unhappy with the service, you can always cancel the contract. Talkmobile has a no credit check policy for their plans.
As for Talkmobile's network coverage, it has nearly 100 percent coverage throughout the UK. It piggybacks on Vodafone's network and offers customers good data speeds. The network also includes 3G, and 4G, but be aware 3G support is ending soon - in this case, by the end of 2023.
TIP: Check out our ID Mobile network coverage review
You can check out Talkmobile's coverage on their website and find out exactly what you can expect in terms of download and upload speeds.
Does Talkmobile support 5G?
Yes, it does.
Talkmobile have only just launched their 5G service, which of course uses the Vodafone network. Great news for those who want ultrafast speeds. The only proviso is that you need to be in a certain area to get 5G; if you live in a city or large town you can probably get a 5G signal nowadays.
You can check Talkmobile's 5G coverage on the Coverage link above.
Talkmobile Review: How good is my signal?
The Talkmobile UK network is operated by Vodafone, a big name in the mobile world. What's more, unlike O2 and Three, Vodafone is British-owned.
The Vodafone network has excellent coverage and 99.9% population coverage across the UK. Note that population coverage means the actual population, not landmass. If you live in a remote, rural place, you may not be covered - check first!
Why should I pick Talkmobile SIM only?
Because of the network coverage of the mobile network of Talkmobile, it offers its customers the chance to take advantage of cheap SIM only deals. As Talkmobile relies on Vodafone's network, it can focus on designing cheap deals instead of worrying about the maintenance of its own network. This is the same for other MVNOs such as SMARTY and giffgaff SIM deals.
The difficulty is in picking one that suits you. Particularly as you now have a lot of choice. The first thing to focus on, is the quality of the signal you get where you live. Everything else is, frankly, secondary.
Talkmobile: What alternative SIM only networks are there?
Quite a few!
Apart from Talkmobile, there is Virgin Media, Lebara Mobile, and VOXI for SIM Only - all of which are also using the Vodafone network. Unlike Talkmobile, these networks don't offer entertainment subscriptions.
Here I will briefly summarise each one, to help you choose (given that they all use the same network, assume coverage is identical for all).
- VOXI - useful if you are a social media user as you get loads of 'free' social media data allowance
- Virgin Media - useful if you've already got an existing Virgin Media account as you can get huge savings
- Lebara SIM deals - useful if you roam a lot, or make a lot of international calls.
There are lots of similarities between VOXI and Talkmobile. If you need roaming, then opt for Talkmobile, as you get a certain level of international minutes in most of their SIM-only contracts.
Remember, they use the same network infrastructure. This helps them compete against the "big four". You're never going to get the perks - such as inclusive Disney+ or Amazon giftcards - with the smaller networks, because they don't have any reason to offer them.
You can find out more about their network coverage by visiting their websites.
Talkmobile: Roaming reviewed
In addition to offering unlimited call and text plans, the Talkmobile network also provides international roaming to 41 countries in Europe. That means you won't have to worry about spending more money when you're abroad because you'll be able to use your same allowance.
This allows you to stay in touch with family and friends back home without worrying about data roaming charges. Talkmobile's plans come with international data roaming, which means you can connect to the internet wherever you go without incurring extra charges.
Talkmobile: Customer Support, is it any good?
If you're looking for an unlimited call and text plan, talkmobile is the mobile network for you. This MVNO is owned by Vodafone and offers coverage in almost all areas of the UK. It also offers good data speeds and an affordable contract-free option. Many of their plans come with unlimited texts, but some of them don't. But if you want unlimited calling and texts and the best price around, talkmobile is the network for you.
Customer service can be hit-and-miss
Generally according to the internet and websites like Trustpilot, we found that Talkmobile's customer service provided is generally just okay. Generally, we found that Talkmobile's customer service isn't as good as its rivals.
Vodafone - the same company let's remember - have been rated as the worst mobile network companies by Which?.
In a survey of 4,026 members of the public, Vodafone received the lowest scores in terms of customer service. EE and Vodafone were rated like that but Talkmobile was ranked sixth. Of the four top networks, EE, and Vodafone were ranked lowest. In the Which? survey, nearly 50% of consumers reported issues with their mobiles, with Virgin Mobile ranked sixth.
But is it fair to lump together Vodafone and Talkmobile?
Although Talkmobile offers a variety of tariff plans and is popular in the UK, its customer service is poor. It may be worth switching to another network if you're unhappy with Talkmobile's customer service. Customers can report problems here. You'll be given the option of cancelling your service if you're not satisfied. Remember, they are 30 day contracts for the most part, so if you're not happy, then vote with your feet and change provider: compare ALL the networks' SIM only plans.
Talkmobile Review: Conclusion
The Talkmobile network is not the fastest, indeed that accolade goes to EE.
They are also not the cheapest plans; iD Mobile's plans offer higher data allowances for comparable prices. However, Talkmobile does not require a credit check, and you can upgrade your handset and SIM to get better call and text rates as they are mostly 30-day contracts.
Talkmobile also offers unlimited call and text plans without any spending cap, but don't expect to get the latest handsets if you're upgrading. Talkmobile also boast roaming and 5G now, hotting things up even more in the competitive SIM-only niche.
If you're reliant on using the Vodafone network, VOXI or Talkmobile are both worthy of your consideration.