Best business mobile phone plans 2021: top 6 for small businesses

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The best mobile plan provider for small businesses is Vodafone, thanks to its excellent customer service and practical rewards system.

But every SME is different, and there are lots of specific factors which business owners need to consider when purchasing a mobile plan.

The right provider can improve your company's efficiency by giving you a bounty of essential features and generous allowances – the wrong choice could lose you money and create a negative customer experience.

So which is the best plan for your business? With 20 years in the business, our experts have matched thousands of small business owners like you to a business mobile plan that works for them. Simply complete our quick and easy cost comparison form and you too can be paired with top suppliers for your business without having to waste several hours of your time on research.

Or if you'd like to read on, we'll break down everything you need to know when you're choosing a business mobile plan, and – using our own in-depth research – bring you our pick of the 6 best business mobile phone plans in 2021.

Save money and compare business mobile plans now Do you already have a business mobile plan? Compare quotes in just one minute

Best business mobile phone providers

Our extensive testing found that bigger doesn’t always mean better. That’s why our Top 6 Business Phone Plan Providers includes only the most impressive of the big players (EE, BT, 02, Vodafone), but also some slightly smaller ones you won’t want to miss (Plusnet, Virgin Mobile).

To create our list of the best business mobile phone providers, we focused on what our start-up entrepreneurs tell us are the 3 most important factors for small businesses. They were:

  • Value for money – While you’re still growing your business, you need to keep the bills in check. But as a savvy business owner, you know that even more important than price is value for money
  • Coverage & speed – You’re busy, you don’t have time to hang around for slow download speeds, or risk a make-or-break call not getting through. Below we even explain how to check your coverage for different providers before you join them
  • Customer support – With a great business phone provider on board, you shouldn't have much to worry about. But when we're talking about your business, you need to know you can get back on your feet as quickly and easily as possible

Vodafone: best business mobile plan provider

Vodafone are hard to beat when you consider the range of business mobile plans and packages on offer. Their Rewards system, business customer expertise also make them stand out.

With the largest number of UK based stores, and an active customer service team to rival most others, they'll always be in hand to support your business.

VodafonePros – Generous Rewards scheme for pay-as-you-go customers, easy to get help (with 500 UK stores), business mobile experts, 30 day trial, perks

Cons – Slightly lower Ofcom customer satisfaction rating than rivals (but with help readily available)

Vodafone business mobile review breakdown

Value for money – 4.5/5

Coverage and speed – 5/5

Customer support – 4/5

Compare Vodafone's best mobile phones for business:

HandsetUpfront costMonthly cost
Apple iPhone 11£24.17£37.50
Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G£24.17£56.67
Sony Experia 5£7.50£46.67
Huawei P30 Pro£24.17£37.50

Value for money – 4.5/5

Vodafone offers good value for money, and has a vast mix of pay-monthly offers for business use.

Not sure how much data you need? Vodafone will let you Data Test Drive, meaning you get to enjoy unlimited mobile data for the first two months, and you can update your bundle to whatever amount works best for you.

Small business phone plans

Small business owners are well taken care of by Vodafone with a range of plans to suit most budgets and needs. The most popular ones are:

  • Vodafone Business Value – A straightforward solution for small businesses on a tight budget, including Business Traveller, data capping and Vodafone Secure Net.
  • Vodafone Business Extra – For the ‘always on' businesses that need to stay connected, get everything included in Business Value, plus extras like damage insurance and Vodafone Rapid (lost and stolen cover).
  • Vodafone Business Black – If you're running an ambitious start-up, you might need bundles of data, texts and minutes for your business trips abroad.

SIM Only Deals

Vodafone's SIM only plans are a great option if you want to keep your existing phone and save on minutes, texts and data.

The SIM only data plans are ideal for companies with fewer than 50 employees, and start from a tidy £11 a month, with no hidden costs. You can check Vodafone's data bundles out here.


Pay-as-you-go customers also get some nice perks and freebies – like the Freebie International Minutes plan which gives you more free international minutes the more you top up. You can flick through Vodafone's pay-as-you-go phones here.

Then there's a pretty generous Rewards loyalty scheme, where you get points for every top-up that you can put towards more calls and data, or even your next smartphone.

Coverage and Speed – 5/5

As one of the UK's biggest mobile providers, Vodafone runs its own network, offering 2G, 3G and 4G coverage across the UK.

OpenSignal rank Vodafone just a whisker behind EE and O2 for average broadband speeds and availability, so they're in the top three nationwide.

Customer Support – 4/5

In the latest Ofcom report, Vodafone received 11 complaints for every 100,000 customers, which is slightly above average.

That said, it's one of the easiest phone companies to get help from if things ever go awry. They've got 500 shops all over the UK, so there's bound to be one near you. You can find your nearest Vodafone store easily on their UK store finder.

Plus Vodafone offer a whole 30 days to try out your phone and coverage, and if you're not impressed you get a full refund. That's well above the typical 14 days most other companies will give you.

Interested in finding out more about our top rated business mobile plan provider? Visit them yourself.

Compare Vodafone's business mobile deals today.

EE: best speed and support

EE is the biggest mobile network provider and have the best coverage, hands down. That makes them ideal for the busy small business owner, who doesn’t have time to lose, although but expect rivals to offer more competitive prices.

ee logo sqPROS – Top 4G speeds, most reliable coverage in UK, shared family plans, stores up and down the country, range of incentives, free replacement for 24 months, UK-based customer service
CONS – Shaky customer service, less budget-friendly than competitors

Value for Money – 4/5

Coverage and Speed – 4/5

Customer Support – 5/5

Compare EE's best mobile phones for business:

HandsetUpfront costMonthly cost
iPhone 11£75£71
Samsung Galazy S10£8.33£65
OnePlus Pro 7£25£55

Value for Money – 4/5

EE is unlikely to appear on any budget-topping lists, but if you value good coverage for your business needs, they’re a great one to consider.

Their top business mobile phone plans start at £18 a month for a SIM-only contract, but their rates are more competitive when you throw in the handset.

SIM only plans
Small business owners can choose between EE's Essential plans or Max plans. They start at just £11 a month, and many have EU roaming included. Here's EE's full list of pay monthly SIM only deals.

Or if you'd rather go contract-free, why don't you have a nose through their pay as you go SIMs?

Coverage and Speed – 4/5

EE pioneered 4G (super-fast wireless internet) and still offers the best download speeds and coverage – reaching 75% of the UK of all the business mobile phone providers.

Don’t just take their word for it – we checked with neutral coverage experts OpenSignal and they rate EE Number One here, with top download speeds of 31.8Mbps.

Customer Support – 5/5

EE doesn’t have a leading reputation for top customer service. But we found that in the latest Ofcom report, they don’t fare too badly – generating just four complaints for every 100,00 customers. That’s lower than BT and Vodafone.

Perhaps that’s because EE offers a host of incentives – from free Apple Music or BT Sport streaming to helpful alerts to stop you eating up all your data too soon.

On top of that, with more than 500 stores up and down the country, EE is one of the biggest phone providers, so they’ll be there should your small business need them. They even offer free phone replacements if anything goes wrong in the first year, the My EE Bill Analyser helps you stay on top of your bills.

We still have another four in-depth reviews of top providers to go. But if you’re struggling to compare contracts, coverage, and customer support, just provide us with a few details and, in a couple of minutes, we’ll find the most suitable plan for your business.

O2: fair payment plans and customer service

02’s strength is their customer service – and as a big provider, you can expect great coverage to boot.

PROS – Flexible tariffs, fair payment options, 02 Priority perks, hundreds of stores, 02 Guru support, top coverage, business apps available
CONS – Helpline waiting times can be lengthy

Value for money – 4/5
Coverage & speed – 4/5
Customer support – 4/5

Compare O2's best mobile phones for business:

HandsetUpfront costMonthly cost
iPhone 11£0£62.92
Samsung Galaxy Note 10£20£45.50
Huawei P30£0£42.67

Value for money – 4/5

02 welcomes small businesses with open arms via their dedicated Small Business Plan. You can choose between SIM only, SIM+phone and pay-as-you-go deals.

O2 SIM only plans

O2's SIM-only tariffs start from just £12 a month for 500MB (or £14 with VAT), but their most popular offer for small business owners is 10GB (of 4G data) a month from just £20 (£24 with VAT).

Coverage and speed – 4/5

O2 has its own network and offers 2G, 3G and 4G coverage. Coverage experts OpenSignal found that 02 customers got a 4G signal 74% of the time – beaten only by EE (with 79% access).

Customer support – 4/5

As one of the UK's largest mobile phone providers, customers can reach 02 from one of their hundreds of high street stores, where you’ll benefit from the expertise of the company's ‘O2 Gurus'.

02 even aims to treat their customers like stars. With 02 Priority, you can expect many a perk like pre-sale tickets – and there’s also 02 Rewards which gives PAYG customers a percentage of your spend on credit.

Then there’s 02’s happy customers – on Ofcom they have a stellar customer satisfaction rating at 93% and only 3% have a reason to complain.

Virgin: great for customers

Virgin Mobile gets top marks for customer satisfaction, and will custom-build the best plan for your small business.

virgin mobile logoPROS – Highest customer satisfaction, fastest helpline response rate, extensive coverage, seamless switch, access Virgin Media Wi-Fi hotspots
CONS – Small range of plans, fewer stores

Value for money – 4/5
Coverage & speed – 4/5
Customer support – 4/5

Value for money – 4/5

Virgin Mobile offers small businesses their Virgin Business Enterprise Plan. This package is tailored to you specifically, so you can enjoy less admin and lower costs. But it also means you’ll need to contact them separately for a quote.

With Virgin, you can also save £5 a month when you combine your business broadband with a 4G bundle.

Pay monthly phones
Virgin have the latest handsets from Apple, Samsung, Sony and more. And all come with 4G data as standard.

Virgin SIM only plans

Virgin’s 4G business mobile SIM plans give you a whopping 98% UK coverage on EE, plus exclusive access to 250,000 Virgin Media wifi spots.

We like these plans, because they work with you. You can choose between a plan with texts and minutes, or go for a data-only option.

Coverage and speed – 4/5

Virgin Mobile guarantee the best network coverage in the UK, having partnered with EE and O2's 4G networks. That means they can custom-build your mobile solution, based on your location and individual business needs.

Customer support – 4/5

Ofcom’s unbiased survey shows Virgin Mobile’s customers report the highest levels of overall satisfaction with their broadband service – at 91%. They are also some of the most satisfied customers in general – a whopping 94% give Virgin Mobile the thumbs up.

Plus, with an average call wait time of 38 seconds, you can be sure your small business is in good hands.

BT: strong and well-known all-rounder

15 years after selling its mobile division to 02, BT Mobile got back in the game in 2015. Today, they are one of the most popular networks, serving everyone from small businesses to NATO and Unilever.

bt logoPROS – Great coverage, good variety of business plans, shared employee plans, unlimited BT Wi-Fi access
CONS – No stores, hit-and-miss customer service

Value for money – 3.5/5
Coverage & speed – 4/5
Customer support – 3/5

Value for money – 3.5/5

On the surface, BT aren’t the cheapest providers of business mobile plans. But we found out that if you have your broadband, TV, landline and mobile services with them, you can save quite a few bob.

BT Mobile mostly offer SIM-only deals that you can pair with your existing handset, but you can also find some of the smartphone contracts on their books. Their SIM-only plans start from just £8 a month.

SIM only plans
BT's SIM only plans are some of the cheapest around, starting at just £8 a month. Plus if you're keen to add any colleagues, you save 20% on each extra SIM you add.

Click here to compare BT's full range of SIM only deals – these are perfect for small business owners who want to use their existing phone.

On top of these deals, BT broadband customers save £5 a month on their mobile plans. Small business owners can also build their own plans, and if you have 5 or more employees you can take advantage of these tidy packages:

  • Mobile Sharer – Create a personalised plan of unlimited UK minutes, texts and data for all your devices
  • BT One Phone Professional – Get the horsepower of an office phone with the freedom of a mobile packed with business features

Coverage and speed – 4/5

As a virtual provider, BT Mobile doesn’t have its own phone network, but you can expect good 4G, 3G and 2G coverage because it’s hooked up to EE’s solid infrastructure.

Customer support – 3/5

BT keeps its prices low by not having its own stores. But their staff are on hand if you need them on 0800 800 150 (or 150 from your BT Mobile) or through their website.

If you’ve read this far into our review of the best mobile plans for businesses, you must be pretty serious about finding just the right provider for your business. We can help. Just give us a few details about your business and we’ll match you with the most suitable plan for your needs.

Plusnet: flexible and affordable

You probably know Plusnet as a broadband provider. But did you know they also offer SIM-only mobile phone deals? Plusnet is a great value option, especially if you are already a Plusnet broadband user.

plusnet resizedPROS – Value for money, flexible packages, reliable broadband
CONS – Virtual provider, can be tricky to contact

Value for money – 4/5
Coverage & speed – 3/5
Customer support – 3/5

Value for money – 4/5

Plusnet customers rave about its value for money, with most SIM-only contract-holders paying under £10 a month.

They don’t sell handsets, but their packages can all be changed every 30 days, so they’re ideal for the small business owner who wants to stay in control of their business contracts.

Plus, they use a bill-capping tool called Smartcap, so you can wave goodbye to any shock charges on your monthly statement. This can be particularly useful if you wanted to add any employees to the scheme.

Coverage and speed – 3/5

As a virtual provider, Plusnet uses EE's phone network – and offers 2G, 3G and 4G coverage.

Customer support

Plusnet doesn’t have its own stores, so they can be that bit trickier to pin down. But if you need any help or advice, you can always reach them online or over the phone.

What's the best business mobile phone?

Some of the best business mobile phones in 2020 are:

  • Apple iPhone 11 – the best business phone from Apple; offers all-day battery, durable handset, and powerful processing
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10 – seamless usage with Windows computers thanks to Link-to-Windows options and DeX for PC platform
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10+ (5G) – large screen that allows you to edit documents right on your phone (+usage with Windows computers)
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 – secure, fast, powerful and packed with business-savvy features like Secure Folder and Power Share (+usage with Windows computers)
  • Sony Experia 5 – great for creative businesses; has a unique, high-quality display that can give filmed content the edge
  • Huawei P30 Pro – offers the most impressive phone camera around, and one of the smartest, most powerful AI chipsets available
  • OnePlus Pro 7 – large display for running business apps; fast internal storage, powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor

This list is a good place to start if you're looking for a reliable, effective business mobile phone. If you're looking to keep costs down, take a look at our list of best budget smartphones for business.

How do I choose the best business mobile phone provider?

There are some questions you’ll want to ask yourself to help you pick the best business mobile phone provider for you. Let’s start with the easy ones:

  • Who needs the phone? – Maybe it’s just you, or if you want to put several employees on the plan, networks like BT can offer special rates
  • Is my business growing or pretty stable? – If you think you might benefit from being able to mix up your bundles, be sure to opt for a more flexible plan like EE's and Plusnet's commitment-phobe packages
  • Who is my current broadband provider? – With BT, Plusnet and Virgin Mobile, you can save on your monthly bills when you combine your business broadband with your mobile phone plan

Read this far and still don’t know which is the right business mobile provider for you? Let us help. Simply fill in our short questionnaire and we’ll match you with the most suitable providers for your needs.

How much data do I need?

Many small business owners spend most of their days hooked up to their Wi-Fi, so data usage may be less than you’d expect.

Unless you’re streaming daily films for your commute (remember you could always pre-download them over Wi-Fi), you’re unlikely to be a heavy user.

5GB to 12GB mobile data is usually plenty for most small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Which business mobile plans offer the best coverage?

EE gets the trophy for coverage. Their network pioneered 4G (faster internet speeds) and they cover 75% of the whole of the UK.

But today even the smaller mobile network providers piggyback on the infrastructure of the largest suppliers, so the difference is smaller than you might expect.

To check which provider is best for where your small business is located, just tap your details into Ofcom’s coverage checker.

Though EE wins here, it isn't far ahead of its top contenders: Vodafone and O2.

Compare business phone plans

Now you have a better idea of what the mobile phone network providers are really like, the next step is to find out which ones are offering the best deals for the mobile phone you're interested in.

We at Startups are here to help. With 20 years experience providing advice and guidance to UK small businesses, we can help you save time and money by comparing quotes from leading suppliers today. All you have to do is complete our 2-minute questionnaire to be paired with the supplier most suitable for your business.

Bryn Glover has been Editor of since 2017. Running the site's content strategy, Bryn spends a lot of time speaking to entrepreneurs and preparing for Startups' annual editorial campaigns.

Having worked in journalism for just under a decade, Bryn wrote for sites like The Times, Reader's Digest, Independent and Times Higher Education before moving into the small business world.

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