Choosing a Mobile Operator – Which Provider is Right for You?

Choosing a new mobile operator on the UK market can be pretty complicated. There are just so many providers to choose from, and so many different contract plans that the decision can be tough. Today we’re talking all about how you choose a mobile operator, what your options are, and which operator tends to be the best for which kinds of customers. So, if you’re looking for a new operator, then read on to find out all you need to know to make a good decision.

Choosing an Operator: The Basics

Before you can start looking at operators, there are a couple of pieces of information that you’re going to need. Firstly, you’ll need to know which operators have coverage in your area. Different providers offer different levels of coverage (and therefore phone reception) in different areas. Fortunately, this information is fairly easy to find. Simply go to the OFCOM web site and look for their comparative coverage map. You just put your post code in and you will then be able to see which operators give the best levels of coverage in your area. You may or may not find that this narrows your choices down. The second thing that you need to know is what kind of calling plan you’re looking for if you want to sign a contract. This means estimating the approximate number of calling minutes, text messages and the amount of mobile data that you’ll need every month. Old mobile bills are a good way of getting an idea of the kind of limits you need, or you can get a pay as you go plan for a month and monitor your usage. Once you know this then go online and find a mobile tariff comparison site. Enter the calling plan limits that you’re looking for and the site will provide you with a list of plans with different operators that meet your needs. Essentially, you can then just choose the cheapest plan on the list, not forgetting to endure that it’s with an operator that gives you good coverage.

Your Operator Options…

There are three big mobile operators on the UK market, T-Mobile, Vodafone and O2. However, there are also plenty of other providers. Tesco Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Orange, Talk, EE, Three, the list is pretty endless. Unfortunately, we can’t say that one of these operators is better than the others for all customers, because that’s just not true. Instead, some operators are better for some kinds of clients and others for other kinds of clients. We’ve provided a brief list of the best operators for different customers below to help you make your decision.

For Heavy Phone Users…

The best operator for big phone users tends to be T-Mobile. T-Mobile has some of the biggest monthly calling plan limits for the cheapest prices on the market. They also have the cheapest totally unlimited contract, called The Full Monty Plan, which has no calling plan limits at all. The price of this plan varies depending on whether or not you choose to get a mobile phone with your contract, and if so on which phone you choose.

For Light Phone Users…

For people that don’t use their phones too much, then Vodafone tends to be the best choice. Vodafone has the cheapest contract options on the market, but these contracts do have extremely low calling plan limits, so they’re not really suited to anyone other than light users. However, if you’re looking to get the reliability of a contract for the cheapest possible price, then take a look at what Vodafone has to offer.

For Business Phones and Plans…

Customers looking for business phones and calling plans tend to veer towards O2. Firstly, O2 does have a wide range of decently priced, top end business phones to choose from. But they also offer specific business calling plans that are designed to meet the needs of business customers. Self-employed and freelance customers get discounts with O2’s business plans. And they also have a multi phone contract option, allowing you to get up to ten phones on the same contract, which is great for small business owners.

For Big Mobile Data Users…

Mobile data is usually the most expensive mobile phone service, which is why cheap contracts have such low mobile data limits. But if you’re a big data user, then you should take a look at contracts with Three. First off, Three has the cheapest mobile data prices around. But there is another advantage. Three is one of very few operators that offers truly unlimited data, meaning that you can use as much data as you want for your monthly fee. Many operators that have unlimited data plans also have fair usage policies, allowing them to slow down mobile data speeds after the operator feels that you have used enough, but Three does not have such a policy, making it a great choice for mobile data fans.

For Pay as You Go Customers…

A mobile contract isn’t your only choice to get service, you might want to opt for a pay as you go plan instead. With these plans you pre load your phone with credit, and whenever you use your mobile money will be subtracted from your account. When the credit is gone, you lose service until you load on more credit. Pay as you go plans make budgeting a lot easier, since you pay for services before you use them, rather than getting a monthly bill. Prices on pay as you go plans are fairly similar amongst major operators. However, Tesco Mobile is offering a great deal on a triple credit plan. This means that once a month Tesco will triple your credit, so if you put ten pounds of credit into your account you’ll actually receive thirty pounds. You do have to make sure that you do a credit top up at least once every thirty days or you’ll lose the deal. And the maximum amount of credit you can get is sixty pounds for a real payment of twenty pounds. But this is an excellent deal for pay as you go clients.

Sam Jones wasn’t sure about changing his business phones, but when he spotted a great deal he couldn’t resist. Before he signed the contract he browsed online price comparison sites to make sure he was getting value for money

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