See the four major UK networks; in size-order; EE, O2, Vodafone and 3

by George Lovell | | 1 comment

Beneath them, many popular networks such as Tesco Mobile. These are mobile virtual network operators. These companies do not own or operate their own network infrastructure, so they use the infrastructure from one of these four companies. This is often referred to as "piggybacking". If you use Tesco Mobile, your cellular signal and mobile data is transmitted by O2's masts.

Some networks are subsidiaries, owned by their holding companies. These companies operate independently as brands, and aim to target a different market.
BT own EE.
Virgin and O2 have merged, and own giffgaff.
Vodafone own VOXI and Talkmobile.
3 own Smarty.

EE have the best nationwide coverage, followed by O2, 3, then Vodafone. However, Vodafone have the best coverage in Bristol and surrounding towns. It's not yet clear which network has the best 5G coverage locally, but we suspect that it's EE.

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1 comment

Susan Walker

Susan Walker

I was with O2 for years but since March this year both my husband I have had no coverage. They kept saying a mast was down then month later it’s fixed but it was the same and then a new message oh we have a mast down! I have just joined BT broadband and a deal for EE sim. Guess what I now have coverage in the home !

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