In an official notice on their website, TPO advised customers they had entered Administration and would cease trading after February 26th, 2019.
The People’s Operator (or TPO Mobile), was a MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) that provided mobile phone service in the UK.
They offered affordable mobile service with an interesting twist. Each month, 10% of your mobile tariff went to charity. They used Three’s network to deliver service, with coverage for 97% of the UK population and more than 80,000 subscribers as of early-2016,
TPO Mobile offered prepaid pay monthly and pay-as-you-go (PAYG) services. Pay monthly tariffs ranged between £3.99 and £20. You needed to bring your own unlocked phone to use this network. However, support for 2G, 3G and 4G meant most devices were compatible with their service.
- Charity Donations: Each month, 10% of your monthly tariff goes to a supported charity of your choice. At the end of the year, TPO also pledges to donate 25% of all profits as well. However, TPO has not turned a profit yet.
- Refer-a-Friend Rewards: Refer a friend using your TPO number and you’ll both receive £5 in top-up credits!
Awards and Recognitions
- Uses the Three network, #1 in 3G Download Speeds in OpenSignal's State of Mobile Networks: UK (April 2017) report
- Uses the Three network, #2 in 4G Download Speeds in OpenSignal's State of Mobile Networks: UK (April 2017) report
- Uses the Three network, #2 in Ookla’s 2016 Speedtest Market Report UK for both upload and download speeds
- Uses the Three network, awarded lowest latency among major networks in OpenSignal’s 2016 UK State of the Mobile Network report for 3G and 4G coverage areas
- Uses the Three network, #2 in overall download speeds in OpenSignal’s 2016 UK State of the Mobile Network report
- Uses the Three network, #1 in 3G download speeds in OpenSignal’s 2016 UK State of the Mobile Network report
- Uses the Three network, #2 for 4G download and upload speeds in Ofcom’s 2016 Smartphone Cities report
- Uses the Three network, #1 in 3G download speeds in Ofcom’s 2016 Smartphone Cities report
How's the Network Coverage and Speed?
TPO Mobile used the Three network for coverage within the UK. According to the Three site, their 3G network now covers 97% of the UK population. Their 4G network lags behind slightly at 63%. However, at the time of writing, they’re working to expand 4G coverage.
TPO's support page let you check coverage and network types in your area.
In the 2016 “Speedtest Market Report UK”, Three ranked second for both upload and download speeds. Uploads averaged 10 Mbits per second while downloads averaged 22 Mbits per second.
OpenSignal's "State of Mobile Networks: UK (April 2017)" found average 4G download speeds of 23Mbits per second and 3G downloads speeds of 7Mbits per second.
This is similar to their data from last year. OpenSignal’s 2016 “State of the Mobile Network UK” report shows average 4G download speeds of 24 Mbits per second and 3G download speeds of 6 Mbits per second.
Finally, Ofcom’s 2016 “Smartphone Cities” report shows overall download speeds across 8 of the UK’s major cities averaging 15 Mbits per second.
Do They Charge Roaming Fees?
You’ll pay the same roaming fees whether you’re using a monthly bundle or PAYG rates. However, pay monthly subscribers must activate roaming on their account prior to use.
Fees vary by the area from which you’re using your mobile. Fee ranges include:
- Sending Texts: 5p to 45p each
- Receiving Texts: Free
- Making Calls: 16p to £2.50 per minute
- Receiving Calls: 4p to £1.25 per minute
- Data Usage: 17p to £15 per MB
For a full list of rates by destination, consult their Pay Monthly Charges and PAYG Charges pages.
What About Long Distance Fees?
All TPO Mobile tariffs included calling to mobiles and landlines in the UK with your monthly minute balance. However, pay monthly subscribers had to activate roaming on their account prior to use.
For calls outside the UK, costs depended on where you are calling. International texts werre 19p each anywhere in the world. Calling rates ranged between 25p and 95p per minute.
Previously, TPO published a full list of rates by destination on their Pay Monthly Charges and PAYG Charges pages.
Does TPO Mobile Offer Wi-Fi Calling?
No. TPO Mobile did not support native Wi-Fi calling or offer a Wi-Fi calling app.
How About Voice over LTE (VoLTE)?
Can I Tether My Mobile?
No! At the time of writing, TPO Mobile’s website said:
“It is our current policy at the moment that we do not allow tethering; this is so we can protect network speeds for all our customers.”
Can I Rollover Unused Data?
At the time of writing, TPO Mobile did not include data rollover with any of their tariffs.
What Add-ons or Bundles are Available?
At the time of writing, TPO Mobile did not offer any add-ons or bundles outside of their standard service plans.
Can I Bring My Own Mobile?
Yes! As TPO Mobile did not sell phones, you had to bring your own device. With support for 3G and 4G there was a good chance the service worked with your unlocked phone or tablet.
You’ll find a full list of pay monthly plans on their SIM Only Deals page.
Do They Require a Credit Check?
No! As all services are PAYG or prepaid, there are no credit checks to establish service.
Do They Charge an Early Termination Fee?
No! Since you have no term commitment with TPO Mobile, you’re always free to switch providers.
Can I Port My Number To or From EE?
All mobile networks in the UK must provide a PAC Code upon request. Giving this code to a new network will allow you to transfer your number.
To port your number to or from TPO Mobile, contact customer support and request your PAC code. They must deliver your PAC code within 2 hours of your request.
To receive your PAC code:
- The account you are trying to transfer from must remain open.
- You must be able to verify your identity through either personal documents or payment history.
Once you receive your code, contact TPO Mobile or your new network and give them the code. In most cases, your number will transfer within 1 to 2 business days. Be sure to complete this process quickly, as PAC codes expire 30 days from the date they are issued.
Will They Unlock My Mobile?
TPO Mobile does not sell phones. Should you need to unlock a phone from a previous carrier before switching networks, consult our network summaries for contact details and unlocking instructions.
If you spot any errors or missing information, please let us know! It's appreciated and will help make this page better for everyone.