All About UK Mobile Operators

In this article we compare the UK mobile phone operators to enable you to make the right choice when considering which operator to go with.

There are many phone networks to choose from on the UK market, and this is both a good thing and a bad thing. So much competition tends to be good for consumers because it keeps prices down to reasonable levels and means that operators often offer special deals to encourage new customers to sign contracts. But it does also mean that the choice of which operators to go with can be a little overwhelming. If you're wondering which operator is best for you, then today we're looking at the major UK service providers. So, before you make your decision, read on to learn a little more about the operators you have to choose from.

The Best Phone Networks...

There is no one operator that's better than any of the others for everyone. What the best operator really comes down to is the one that offers the right service for you at the right price. When looking at phone networks you're going to have to consider a couple of factors. You want to make sure that the operator has good coverage in your area, which you can easily check out on that operator's web page where you'll find a coverage map. Then you want to think about what you need in a contract, what kind of monthly calling plan you're looking for. However, some operators do tend to be better than others for certain kinds of customers, but this is only a generality. You'll have to do a little research to make sure that you're getting the best deal.

The Big Three...

There are three big operators on the UK market: T-Mobile, O2 and Vodafone. Being big companies, these operators tend to offer the cheapest deals, simply because they can afford to do so. T-Mobile is probably the network that offers the best coverage, and particularly if you live in a rural area you'll probably find that T-Mobile is the operator most likely to get you good service. They're also a good choice for phone addicts. T-Mobile has the best value big contracts on the market, meaning contracts that have high monthly limits for calling, texting and mobile data. Their small contracts aren't always the best deals though. Lighter phone users might want to look at Vodafone, which is basically the opposite of T-Mobile. Vodafone offers the best deals on small contracts, those with low monthly limits. The low monthly limits don't make these contracts good choices for heavier users who are going to end up exceeding their limits and paying expensive extra costs though, and bigger contracts with Vodafone aren't such great deals. Finally, O2 is the last of the big three. O2 is a frequent choice for business customers, since they offer dedicated business calling plans, have discounts for freelance and self-employed customers, and have a wide range of good business phones to choose from. O2 also has the widest general range of phones to buy, often getting hot new releases ahead of other companies. One area that O2 is not renowned for though is customer service, regularly scoring low on customer service satisfaction sites. But the big three aren't your only choices, and you might benefit from signing up with a smaller company.

More Specialised Services...

The smaller operators tend to specialise a little more on certain kinds of service. Three, for example, is a relatively new operator on the UK market that specialises in mobile data. If you're a fan of mobile internet, then Three might make a good choice for you. They have the cheapest data prices on the market, but they also have truly unlimited data. Many operators advertise unlimited data packages, but then employ a fair usage policy. This policy allows the company to slow down your mobile data speeds if they think that you're using too much data, even though your plan is supposed to be unlimited. Three don't do this, and their All You Can Eat mobile data is truly unlimited, meaning you can use as much as you want. Another operator that's rapidly growing in popularity is Orange. Orange has prices that fall at the low end of the spectrum, though they're not always the cheapest. What is nice about Orange though is the flexibility of their offers. They have a system of optional extras that you can add on to your regular contract to get better prices on certain kinds of services. For example, if you're a frequent traveller you'll know how expensive mobile roaming charges are. Not only are you paying premium prices to use your phone abroad, but you also pay to receive calls and messages. By adding a roaming package on to your Orange contract for five pounds a month, you can use your mobile anywhere inside the EU for the same prices as you would pay to use your phone in the UK. That option will certainly cut down on your phone bills if you're often out of the country. Orange also has the best prices on international calling if you add the appropriate package to your contract. Virgin Mobile is another operator that's becoming increasingly popular, though their prices do tend towards the high end of the market. But there is one big benefit to Virgin Mobile. Bundling is when you get more than one service from the same provider, and it usually results in you getting the services more cheaply than if you got them all separately. If you bundle your home broadband, cable TV and mobile service with Virgin you do end up getting a great deal, paying far less than you would to get those services from three different companies. Virgin also throws in free calling to other Virgin numbers when you bundle your services, which is handy if many of your contacts are already Virgin customers. Finally, EE is another specialised operator, having the only true 4G speeds on the UK market. If you're looking to make full use of your 4G capable phone, then EE are going to be the operator to sign up with.

Phone networks all offer different things but did they offer what Sam Jones wanted?  To find out he compared them on sites such as uSwitch and managed to find himself a great contract.


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