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How to buy and activate an eSIM from Three UK

Do you want to get a Three UK eSIM? Find out what are the requirements to buy one while traveling to the UK!

Julio O.

January 15, 2024

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Three is one of the leading mobile carriers offering eSIMs in the UK, which provides a versatile and convenient connectivity experience, but in order to use this service, it is important that you understand everything about how to apply for and activate a Three UK eSIM, pricing, plans, tariffs, and the activation process.

So, in this article, we’ll walk you through the main aspects of Three’s eSIM in the UK, from pricing and available plans to compatible devices. In addition, we will explore other companies offering eSIM in the UK and the services you can enjoy with Three’s eSIM.

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Data plans & rates

Three UK offers a variety of eSIM plans meant to meet different personal needs and budgets. 

Rates vary depending on the amount of data, minutes, and text messages included in the plan. From now on, we will explore the costs depending on whether they are prepaid or postpaid plans.


Three’s prepaid plans are also called “Pay As You Go,” which means that they are plans that you pay for according to your needs. You will get plans for a certain number of days and data packages starting at 10 GB, which cost from $10,50 (£8.22).


Postpaid or contract plans are those with automatic renewal. You will have at your disposal data plans with different lastings, from days to months, and likewise, you will find data plans with a certain amount of GB to complement your consumption.

The costs for these plans start at £6,10 (£5,02) per month and will offer different amounts of mobile data, text messages, and more.

Big Ben, London, United Kingdom. Source: Unsplash

Three UK eSIM-compatible devices

If you are considering changing your traditional SIM card for an eSIM, it is ideal that before you make the request, you can check the compatibility of your device with this technology.

As with the other companies, compatible devices are mostly those manufactured by Apple with OS iOS 12.1.1 or higher. Similarly, Google Pixel 3, Samsung Galaxy, Huawei P40/P40 Pro/Mate 40 Pro, Motorola, Oppo, and Xiaomi 12T Pro are compatible.

Smartwatches and tablets, such as the Apple Watch Series, Galaxy Watch, Huawei Watch, Oppo Watch, iPad Mini, and iPad Air, are also compatible with the Three UK eSIM.

How to request an eSIM from Three

To apply for a Three UK eSIM, follow these steps:

  • Visit the Three UK website and select the desired plan.
  • Enter your contact information and create an account.
  • Pay for the plan and select the eSIM shipping option.
  • Wait for the email with the QR code and activation instructions.

Alternatively, you can order your eSIM at any of the Three stores available in the UK.


The main requirement is to have an eSIM-compatible cell phone. After meeting this requirement, you will need to purchase a plan, specifically one of the “Three Your Way Plans,” which are ideal for starting the eSIM service.

Follow these steps to get your eSIM

  • Step 1: Make sure you have a compatible device.
  • Step 2: Apply at your nearest Three stores for the eSIM. If you prefer, you can go to one of the authorized stores.
  • Step 3: Follow the operator’s instructions. Wait for the activation code, i.e. the QR code that will be sent by email.
  • Step 4: Set up your eSIM as your main line.

How to install the eSIM on your device

The steps to install an eSIM vary depending on the type of device. To help you through the installation process, we have separated our guide according to the operating system chosen.

Apple iPhone

Important! Before you start, you must be connected to a WiFi network.

After receiving the QR activation code, you will need to be able to scan it and then enter the confirmation code, which will allow you to download the eSIM profile on your device.

To go into detail, we have prepared an excellent eSIM installation guide for iPhone and iPad, which you can’t miss.


The procedure is essentially the same as for iPhone, but the installation varies depending on the device to be used, even if it is the same operating system. We recommend you review our installation or activation guide for Samsung Galaxy, Xiaomi, Motorola, Huawei, and Oppo.


The steps may differ depending on the brand and model of the device but generally involve going to the network or connection settings and looking for the eSIM option to add and activate your Three UK eSIM.

You can get more step-by-step information in our installation guide for smartwatches.

Other companies offering eSIMs in the UK

In addition to Three, other companies in the UK also offer eSIM, such as Holafly, Vodafone, and O2, for example. To continue, we will mention the highlights of each company’s service so that you can find the best connectivity option that suits your data consumption during your trip.


Holafly is one of the most recognized companies worldwide, which offers unlimited data eSIM starting at $6 for 1 day. Before traveling, travelers can choose how many days they are staying and how many eSIMs they will need, no need to worry about huge data packages.

Did you know that it is possible to get Holafly’s eSIM for Europe travel? Holafly has coverage in more than 170 destinations worldwide, but it also offers regional eSIMs, with which you will have data in different countries with a single eSIM. In addition to including unlimited data, you can use up to 500 MB daily in data sharing with other devices.

holafly esim customization uk
Holafly eSIM for the UK. Source: Holafly.

To buy the eSIM, you just have to access Holafly’s website. Among its advantages, we have its performance guarantee, instant delivery, 24/7 customer support in your language, consumption monitoring through its Mobile App for Android and iOS, top-up feature, and all this without permanent contracts.

You may also be interested in the eSIM plan for Spain that is compatible with iPhone and Android devices.


In the United Kingdom, Spain, and many countries in Europe and the world, you will find the Vodafone eSIM service, but to acquire it, you need to meet several requirements. The main requirements are that you have a compatible cell phone, that you have been a Vodafone customer for at least one month before applying for the eSIM, and that you have Internet access. 

To install the Vodafone eSIM, you only need to scan the QR code provided by the company. Within the plans, you will find minutes to call, roaming in Europe, and mobile data packages. Their rates start at $20/£16,50.


O2 has available its eSIM UK service exclusively for customers. That is, if you are not a customer of the company, you will not be able to get the eSIM. In case you have a contract with O2, you will have to request your eSIM through their customer service number.

As for the requirements, you will need a cell phone compatible with this technology, and for security reasons, you will need to send a photo of your ID on both sides for validation. If they manage to validate your identity, you will receive the eSIM in a maximum of 48 hours.

The plans and rates offered by O2 start at $12,15/£10 and include 10 GB per month.

Services offered by Three UK eSIM

With Three’s eSIMs, you get additional services such as those listed below: 

  • Mobile Hotspot: Some eSIM plans include a mobile hotspot for sharing data with other devices.
  • MultiSIM eSIM: This option allows customers to use two eSIMs on the same device.

Also get to know with us some of the best eSIM for the United Kingdom!

FAQs about the Three UK eSIM

How much does a Three UK eSIM cost?

The price of a Three UK eSIM varies depending on the plan chosen. Plans start at $12,15/£10 for 7 days of unlimited data and unlimited calls to the UK and other European countries.

Can I use an eSIM and a physical SIM at the same time?

Yes, you can use an eSIM and a physical SIM at the same time on your device. This will allow you to use two different mobile lines on one device.

Does the Three UK eSIM work with 5G?

Yes, Three UK’s eSIM works with 5G, but only on 5G-compatible devices.

How long does it take to activate a Three UK eSIM?

Activation of a Three UK eSIM usually takes only a few minutes. However, in some cases, it can take up to 24 hours.