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What is SMARTY? The new UK network explained

This week sees the launch of a new UK mobile network in SMARTY. In its own words, it promises to be the “simplest and most flexible mobile network around” with just three tariffs all of which benefit from the ability to turn any unused data into money off the following month.

Here's everything you need to know about SMARTY, including the best SIM-only deals, tariff costs, contract details and more.

What is SMARTY?

SMARTY is a new MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) established by Three UK and built to run on its existing network. SMARTY offers customers a simple selection of three SIM-only plans, in some ways mirroring that of similar rival propositions from the likes of Sky Mobile.

What are the main reasons to join SMARTY?

Simplicity looks to be a fundamental driving force behind SMARTY’s three available plans. You get the choice of a 2GB, 4GB or 8GB package, all of which feature unlimited calls and texts per month as standard. SMARTY plans operate on a rolling monthly contract so you aren’t tied in should you wish to switch to someone else either.

Being powered by Three UK’s 4G network means 4G LTE speeds for all SMARTY customers (where available) as well.

One of SMARTY’s biggest draws is the ability to turn unused data from one-month into money off the next. Jump to the next section to see just how saving money from data works with SMARTY.

What are SMARTY’s contract prices?

SMARTY’s three tariffs are suitably named Small, Medium and Large. Small includes 2GB of data a month for £7.50, Medium includes 4GB of data and costs £10 a month, whilst Large includes 8GB of data and costs £15 a month. There’s no joining fee or cancellation fee, should you decide to leave.

The way SMARTY calculates its plans is simple: £5 from any of its three tariffs covers the cost of using the network and unlimited calls and texts, with £1.25 added for every 1GB of data assigned to each plan on top.

As for turning unused data into money off your next month’s bill, if a SMARTY customer subscribed to the Large (8GB) plan only uses 5GB of mobile data in one month (leaving 3GB unused) that converts (at the same £1.25 rate) into a saving of £3.75 off their next month’s bill.

If you need additional data on top of your monthly allowance it’s again priced at £1.25 per 1GB of data, with data add-ons available in amounts of 1GB, 2GB and 4GB. Data add-ons also carry across from month to month should you not use all that extra data in one go.

Is mobile tethering/hotspot use included in SMARTY’s plans?

SMARTY counts tethering use just the same as standard data usage, meaning there are no hidden costs for using your phone as a hotspot and it simply counts against your plan’s monthly data allowance.

What isn’t included in SMARTY’s plans?

There are a few notable omissions that potential SMARTY customers should be aware of before signing up.

‘Unlimited calls and texts’ only applies to standard UK landlines (starting with 01, 02 or 03), freephone numbers (starting in 080) and standard UK mobile numbers (starting in 07).

Similarly to data add-ons, if you need extra cash in order to ring numbers like 101 or those starting in 084 or 087 then you can also pick up cash add-ons in £5 increments of £5, £10 or £15.

SMARTY is also a UK-only network right now, meaning you can’t yet dial out to international numbers or more importantly, use your plan abroad whilst roaming, however, the MVNO caveats this limitation, stating that these elements weren’t possible to have set up for launch, implying that customers will be able to use SMARTY plans abroad or to call abroad in future.

What is SMARTY’s 4G coverage like?

As SMARTY uses Three UK’s 4G network it offers the same level of coverage. If you want to check whether SMARTY will work in your area, we suggest using Three UK’s coverage checker.

When is SMARTY going live in the UK and how do I sign up?

SMARTY launched on Thursday, 31st August and you can sign up on SMARTY.co.uk by creating an account or simply hitting the ‘get this plan’ button underneath the tariff that best suits your needs.

Will there be a SMARTY app?

Right now there aren’t any plans for a SMARTY app but it seems as though it’s simple enough to log in and manage your account directly from SMARTY’s website.

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