What Network Does Tesco Mobile Use?

Just like Sky Mobile, Tesco Mobile is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO). This means it leases cellular and data from another network. And like Sky Mobile uses the O2 network to deliver service in the United Kingdom, Tesco Mobile does too. GiffGaff is another example of a carrier that leases bandwidth through O2. But this does not mean the services will have the same pricing; one could be cheaper than the other.

This is because each network has different needs, and some have more buying power than others. In theory, the higher your buying power, the lower the rate. It’s basically bulk buying — think of it like you’re buying a crate of shirts from China that you’ll then sell in a store in the UK. You’ll be buying cheap (the more you buy, the cheaper the price-per-unit) and selling them at a markup to turn a profit. The cheaper you buy, the cheaper you can sell.

Despite using the same infrastructure, Tesco Mobile and O2 do not always offer the service to their customers. It’s not uncommon for an MVNO to settle for slower connection speeds to keep lease costs down, passing these savings on to customers and undercutting the main carriers. These break-out networks typically cater to one specific need that the larger players don’t, like budget-friendly offerings.

What Network Does Tesco Mobile Use?

Tesco Mobile use the O2 network to offer 3G, 4G and 5G in the United Kingdom. This means that if you’re unable to use O2 in your area, you won’t be able to use Tesco either. The same applies to 5G as well: If you can’t get O2 5G where you live or work, you also won’t be able to get it with Tesco. There’s total parity between the zones these two networks work in, because Tesco Mobile customers connect to O2 cellular masts.

There’s a handy coverage checker on the Tesco Mobile website that’ll help you see what sort of service you’ll receive in your area. Just pop in your postcode and it’ll let you know where you’ll be running 3G, 4G or 5G. There’s also a map that illustrates how strong the signal should be indoors and outdoors, depending on the surrounding area and how close the nearest O2 mast is (the nearer the mast, the better the connection).

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