Mobile Phone Networks

Here are the major mobile phone networks in the UK including their green pledges on carbon neutrality.

All other mobile phone networks in the UK must partner with one oth these four Tier 1 mobile phone network providers. Also anyone coming from abroad using the roaming feature on their phone will automatically be connected to their home network’s british partner. In theory, you could be living green in your home country, come to the UK and become a contributor to global warming. If you end up using any of the networks without a carbon pledge, please consider doing something to mitigate it.

NetworkProfileCarbon
Neutral?
EEOwned by large telecommunications provider British Telecom, EE was formed in 2010.No target
O2O2 took on its current brand name in 2002 after previously being known as Cellnet, then BT Cellnet. They are now onwned by spanish telecomunications giant Telefónica.Net-zero
by 2025
VodafoneFamous for being one of the biggest mobile communications companies in the UK for several years, Vodafone made themselves a household name sponsoring sports teams like Manchester United and the McLaren Formula 1 racing team.Net-zero
by 2050
ThreeBursting onto the schene with offers surrounding the laungh of 3G in the UK, Three mobile network have always offered fantastic deals and an alternative brand voice to the often stuffy and formal approach taken by the other three Tier 1 network providers.No Target

Tier 2 Mobile Networks

Who do the Tier 2 mobile network suppliers purchase their services from?

The tables below contain the Tier 1 supplier and the Tier 2 mobile networks that rely on them to provide their services.

Pie chart Tier 2 Networks Supported Tier 1 Networks
Number of Tier 2 networks each Tier 1 mobile network supplies services to in the UK.
NetworkInfrastructure
Provider
Carbon
Neutral
Asda MobileVodafoneNO
BT MobileEENO
EcotalkEENO
GiffGaffO2NO
ID MobileThreeNO
LebaraVodafoneNO
Plusnet MobileEENO
Sky MobileO2NO
SmartyThreeNO
Tesco MobileO2NO
Utility WarehouseEENO
Virgin MobileEENO
VoxiVodafoneNO

Carbon Neutral Status

Here are some projections for each network’s carbon neutral status over time based on their pledges to become carbon neutral.

UK mobile phone network carbon neutral projection chart
This cart is a simulated projection and does not accurately represent the exact yearly targets of each network.

As it stands today, only O2, will be net zero by 2025, with a further 25 year wait until Vodafone finally makes it there. That means by 2025, only 23% of the most well known mobile phone contract suppliers in the UK will be carbon neutral. In 2050, it will still be less than 50% at things stand today.

polluting mobile phone networks vs net zero UK

Hopefully more environmentally friendly or carbon neutral mobile phone contract suppliers pop up in Tier 2 and offset their own emissions including those they create with their Tier 1 supplier. We also need EE and Three to come up with their carbon pledges ASAP. We’re sure they must be working on them.

Hopefully progress can happen much sooner than 2050, becauase we’re facing a climate emergency. Mobile phone use probably isn’t going to push us over the edge, but we all need to play our part.