The People’s Operator ditches EE network in favour of MVNO agreement with Three


Charity MVNO has signed wholesale agreement with Three that will go live in Q1 2016 and see it offer 4G services

Charity MVNO The People’s Operator has ended its MVNO agreement with EE aggregator Transatel in favour of a direct wholesale agreement with Three, it has announced.

TPO will launch 4G services next year, it said, after striking the new deal with Three, bringing an end to its three-year partnership with Transatel, with its 50,000 subscribers due to be migrated over from EE’s network during Q1.

TPO CEO and co-founder Mark Epstein (pictured above) said: “Our new wholesale agreement with Three UK targets delivery of mobile network coverage, including 4G, to our customers from the first quarter of 2016.

“It also allows us to continue to deliver competitive plans to our customers whilst marking a significant step towards the profitability of our UK business.”

The People’s Operator is a charity MVNO that allows its subscribers to direct 10 per cent of what they spend towards a charity of their choice. It also donates 25 per cent of all its profits to charitable causes.

TPO is the latest MVNO win for Three Wholesale, following agreements with Carphone Warehouse MVNO ID Mobile, and JOi earlier this year.

Three UK director of wholesale Lynda Burton said: “We are excited about partnering with The People’s Operator, bringing the strength of our network to their innovative and unique social media platform that supports good causes.

“Three is committed to the wholesale market. TPO joins our growing stable of MVNOs on the UK’s most reliable network.”


  1. I switched to TPO to get away from 3’s terrible network! Moving to EE now. With TPO’s latest price hike I can get a better service with EE for a lower price!

  2. It’s September and TPO have finally moved to the THREE Network. The whole process of porting etc was pretty awful. There was one week notice that you had to order your SIM, and activate it or you would lose your number sent during middle of July the busiest holiday period of the year. I was abroad in the Faroe Islands of all the places and had zero bars the whole time. Meaning when I got to the UK suddenly I got my text and I had 3 days to order, receive and setup my new Sim. Luckily it was fast delivery. My number was supposed to be ported over in 2 days because I left it so late. But I had a new number for almost 3 weeks because of big delays (not a huge deal as no one calls or texts me really). I phoned them about this spending 30 mins on hold twice and giving up. After desperation kicked in with 3 days left until my PAC code expired I called them and was on hold for 57 mins before I spoke to someone. It’s fine. It got sorted on August 24th about 1 month after it should have. On EE I had fantastic service. Signal almost everywhere, could always access the internet. It seems that with THREE they have given TPO second priority. I get barely any signal at home. Zero signal at work (which is why I left them a few years ago seems that nothing has changed), but even worse is when I have full signal and 4g I still have no internet access for the majority of the time. This is the same issue I had with GiffGaff on O2, their cheapo customers got a second rate service. I’m about to cancel my service with TPO and go onto contract because it’s cheap, but when you can’t use your phone in the middle of Oxford Street, then what hope have you got in the rest of the world?

  3. I was originally with 3 but after a bad service and deal with them I left and joined TPO, which I thought at the time was brilliant. 4G plan at aonly 6.99 per month, loving it, no call drop outs, no sending failure of texts, until they hit me with a shocker. They wanted to charge me double what i apid, and get less data and minutes, in fact less minutes as in LESS THAN HALF of what I got. Yeah well, they lost me as a customer moving to 3, a network that does not work in my area, constant call drop outs, constant no service and they tried everything to get me to stay, I don’t think so, anything to save a few quid and charge customers nearly double for what they have or had. Good Riddance TPO just showed your true colours, oh and for the record, TPO said they changed to Three to give customers the chance of using 4G, that is total rubbish, because TPO had access to 4G with EE, I had a 4G plan before they switched, they realised that they could make more money switching to 3 and charging customers double, absolute scammers that’s all TPO are.

  4. TPO have charged me an extortionate amount for data, that was supposed to be included in my monthly data allowance. I seems that in December they reduced my calls and data bundle allowance drastically but still continued to charge me £11.99 for the bundle, I was not aware of these changes and have checked my email account and to my knowledge did not received this email informing me of the changes.

    This month I used approximately 2.6GB of data which is well within my bundle allowance or so I though it was shocked to find out I have been charged £165 for apparently exceeding my allowance by 1.6GB.

    All phone conversions with TPO lead to”we contacted you via email there is nothing we can do”

    This practice of reducing data bundles then charging extortionate amounts for data is not ethical and is set out to catch TPO customers out with huge overpayment for data usage

  5. Terrible news !.

    I was just looking at their website and their prices have increased massively, pretty much doubled from what they were at the start of December 2015. I have two pay monthly’s with them, a 4GB and a 6GB, and to be blunt I do not want to use Three as my network.

    Looks like TPO will be loosing my custom and I’ll have to suck it up and have contracts directly with EE themselves. I wonder if BT purchasing EE has prompted this, maybe BT are stopping EE from providing MVNO services ?.

  6. Ronnie Lawson: Where are you seeing the price hike info? I’m a TPO pay monthly customer and haven’t been sent any information about price changes. Also, the prices on the website are the same as usual:

    I came to TPO from Three and always found them (Three) to have the best network coverage in my stomping ground, the M4 corridor, although TPO on EE wasn’t too bad either but no 4G. I for one welcome our new, Hong Kong overlords.

  7. This is very very bad news for me!!!!
    I have two Tpo sims and have just topped up the credit on both. One sim works in a device that is 2g compatible only. The other is on a simlocked EE iPhone 5 which currently works great on Tpo. When the change over to the 3 network happens both my devices will stop working. The 3 network doesn’t work on 2g!
    Anyway whats the point of switching when EE is a better network as everybody knows. Also why bother with Tpo payg when the 3 network is even cheaper with their 321 deal.

  8. They’re also massively increasing their prices, I’m currently on 6GB for £15 per month, but have been notified this will now be 1GB, and the most data I can have is 4GB for £30+ per month!

  9. Glad I read this article, was about to change to TPO in January but as I have NO
    Three coverage where I live would have been a disaster. Not sure how Three gets its great coverage reviews ? I bought a £5 Three sim to check out my coverage areas and they were all bad, from Oxford to Surrey ! Easily the worst of all the operators I checked.