EE Unlimited Data Review: £34 Per Month With No Download Limits
Tired of running out of data each month? Sick of having to pay extra for more data? An unlimited data plan could be just what you need. Finding a truly unlimited data plan has been tough for the last couple of years, but following in the footsteps of Three and more recently Vodafone, EE has recently started offering their own unlimited data plan.
Interested? In this review, we’ll take an in-depth look at EE’s unlimited data plans, including pricing, download speeds and their ‘Swappable Benefits’ offering. We’ll also give you a quick comparison to rival mobile networks offering unlimited data. Keep reading to find out all you need to know.
Table of Contents
Why Go Unlimited?
An unlimited data plan is more or less exactly what it sounds like. You get as much monthly data to use on your mobile as you’d like. As with everything in life though, there are pros and cons to choosing an unlimited data plan.
On the pro side, you obviously get tons of data. You don’t have to worry about running out, and you won’t get stuck paying extra charges for going over a monthly data limit. On the con side, an unlimited data plan isn’t going to come cheap. If you’re not a huge data user you might find that a plan with a data limit is actually going to be cheaper for you.
Before opting for an unlimited data plan you’ll need to take a look at your average phone usage (using old bills or the data tracker on your phone) to find out if it’s really going to be worth it.
What Unlimited Data Plans Do EE Offer?
EE is one of the UK’s largest mobile operators, and they’re currently offering three unlimited data options. Do be aware that these are only for contract customers (so PAYG customers won’t be able to get unlimited data), and are only available on 12-month contracts:
- The Basic 4G Unlimited Data Plan: This plan costs £34 a month and gives you unlimited 4G data, calling minutes and texts.
- The 4G Smart Unlimited Data Plan: This will cost you £39 a month and gives you unlimited 4G data, calling minutes, texts AND two swappable monthly benefits (we’ll get to those below).
- The 5G Smart Unlimited Data Plan: This will cost you £44 a month and gives you unlimited data, calling minutes and texts. However, you’ll have super-fast 5G mobile data where available, as well as three swappable monthly benefits.
What Are the Limitations?
Before we get to some of the advantages of these plans, let’s look first at limitations. Obviously, the initial limitation is that you must commit to a 12-month contract, there are no short term (1 month) contracts available with unlimited data, and PAYG customers also can’t get unlimited data. But many operators also put limits on their unlimited data plans when it comes to speed or the actual amount of data that you can use. How does EE handle this?
According to EE, there are no speed limitations on their unlimited data plans. You should be able to access the fastest speeds available in your local area. These vary depending on location, though average 4G download speeds are around 30Mbit/s with EE, and 5G is getting an average of around 100Mbit/s.
Fair Usage Policy
But can you really use as much data as you like? Well… kind of. There are a couple of restrictions. There’s an obvious restriction when you’re travelling abroad, as well as a slight restriction on tethering (see the Roaming and Tethering section below). However, the main fair usage restriction is that this plan is for personal use only.
As such, you can use up to 1000 GB of data per month. Use more than that, and EE will consider you a ‘commercial’ user and reserve the right to switch you to a business plan. That 1000 GB limit is pretty high though, so this shouldn’t really be a problem for most people.
Advantages and Benefits
EE does offer a few benefits with their unlimited data plans. There are two real areas of interest here.
If you have more than one SIM attached to your account (perhaps a SIM for a child or for your partner) you can share up to 120 GB of mobile data with any other SIM per month. You can easily gift data through the MyEE app.
If you opt for a Smart SIM plan, then you also get swappable benefits (2 per month with the 4G plan, 3 per month with the 5G plan). You can choose the benefits that you want and switch them every 30 days should you choose to. Though EE does offer a range of swappable benefits, only 3 are of interest to unlimited customers (the others, such as unlimited data for music streaming aren’t applicable if you already have unlimited data):
- Amazon Prime Video: A free subscription to Amazon’s video streaming service
- BT Sport: A free subscription to BT’s sports channel
- Roam Further: The ability to use up to 15 GB of your data per month for no extra charge when travelling in the USA, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, or Australia
How Does EE Unlimited Data Compare to Other Operators?
Unlimited data plans are becoming more popular, so EE does have some competition. How do they measure up? Well, to be honest, EE plans don’t come cheap when compared to the alternatives:
EE vs Three
Three offer unlimited minutes, texts and data for just £20 a month on a 12-month contract. That’s 4G only, but you’ll get access to 5G speeds for free as soon as Three’s 5G network becomes available in your area.
Our winner: Three. Doesn’t quite have the coverage of EE but for most users, the extra cost isn’t worth it.
EE vs Vodafone
Vodafone offers unlimited minutes, texts and data for £23 a month on a 12-month contract. However, the cheapest plans do limit your data speeds to 2Mbit/s, whilst EE’s speeds are without restriction.
Our winner: EE, Vodafone is slightly cheaper but we’re not a fan of the capped speeds and prefer the EE network.
EE vs Giffgaff
GiffGaff give you unlimited texts and minutes and always-on data for £25 a month on a monthly rolling basis, meaning you don’t need to commit to a longer contract. However, speeds are slowed when you use over 40GB.
Our winner: EE edges it, however, if you rarely go above the 40GB a month cap with Giffgaff, then there’s not much to separate them.
EE vs Smarty
Smarty also offers unlimited minutes, texts and data for £25 a month on a monthly rolling basis. However, this is a SIM-only network, so you won’t be able to get a new mobile on contract here.
Our winner: None. You’re probably best off going with Three unless the flexibility of no contract is what you really need.
EE vs Virgin
Virgin Mobile also have unlimited minutes, texts and data plan for £27 a month on a 12-month contract. However, this offer is only available to people who are already customers of Virgin Home Broadband or Virgin Media TV.
Our winner: EE as the requirements to get unlimited data from Virgin make it inaccessible.
So is EE Unlimited Data Any Good?
Yes, it’s pretty good. EE’s offer straightforward unlimited plan without many restrictions, however, you will be paying a fair price. You might want to consider all the options to ensure that you’re getting the best financial deal, as well as the best-unlimited deal…
As one of the UK’s largest providers, EE has great coverage. In terms of 2G, 3G, and 4G coverage, EE covers around 99% of the UK’s population. If you’re looking for 5G speeds, then EE currently serves six cities (London, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Belfast), with an expansion to a further 19 cities planned by the middle of 2020.
It is always wise to double-check coverage, however, just in case you happen to be in a black spot. You can do this easily by looking at the coverage checker on the EE website, or by using OFCOM’s tool.
Roaming and Tethering
Roaming with EE
If you plan on travelling abroad then EE will let you use your phone just as you would at home in 48 European destinations. And you can use that roaming swappable benefit to use your phone in the USA, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, and Australia. However, you can ONLY use up to 15 GB of your unlimited data when abroad. Any more than that and you’ll be paying 0.6p per MB of data. You can find out more about roaming with EE on their website.
Tethering on EE
When it comes to tethering or using your mobile as a hotspot to get other devices online using your mobile data, then EE allows you to do this. However, they do limit you to a maximum of 12 devices tethered to your mobile plan. You can find out more about tethering on the EE website.
From £34 per month
EE Unlimited Data SIM
EE offers the following unlimited data deals on 12-month contracts:
- EE’s 4G unlimited data plan with unlimited minutes and texts for £34 per month.
- EE’s 4G Smart SIM unlimited data plan with unlimited minutes and texts. Plus 2 swappable benefits for £39 per month.
- EE’s 5G Smart SIM unlimited 5G data plan with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts. Plus 3 swappable benefits for £44 per month.
Take your pick!