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How Do I Choose a Mobile Provider and Phone? - The 5 Steps

By Edited Oct 21, 2016 0 0

In today's world, a mobile phone is almost a necessity. Being in constant contact is almost expected of us, and there aren't many people who don't have a mobile phone. However, the market is flooded with mobile service providers and mobile devices, so the process of getting a phone, whether for the first time or because your current contract has ended, can be a complicated one. It's a little overwhelming when you look at all the options that you have. Today we're looking at how exactly you should go about the process of getting a provider and a phone to make sure that you get the best deal. So here's everything that you need to know to get the connectivity that you want.

Think About Your Needs...

The very first step in this process should be thinking about your own needs as a consumer. What exactly is it that you want to do? You might just want a simple phone for calling and maybe text messaging. Or maybe you want an internet connection, so you can get your emails and surf the web. Think about how you will use your phone and what your main tasks will be, since this will help you decide later which mobile service provider and phone will be best for you. You obviously also need to think about budget, how much you're willing to pay for a phone, and whether or not you can pay a monthly fee, and if so, how much can you afford per month. All of these things will make later decisions easier.

Choose a Mobile Provider...

There are an awful lot of mobile providers on the market in the UK, and most of them are very similar. There are some notable exceptions, however. For example, if you are more into data and online phone use than traditional calling and messaging, then the provider Three is going to be your best option, since they focus on data plans more than calling plans and offer the best data prices. O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone are the big name providers. With these companies you're probably not going to get the absolute cheapest prices, but you do get security and good coverage, since these providers all cover the majority of the UK. Smaller, regional companies generally offer better package prices, but the down side of these is that you often lose mobile phone reception when going out of your local area or when away from urban locations, so they might not be a good choice for frequent travellers. If you're really not sure which provider to choose, then go to the next step below before deciding.

Contract or Pay As You Go?

When you sign up with a mobile provider you can choose between signing a contract or using pay as you go. Signing a contract means that you have to keep your phone plan for the minimum contract length (usually two years) and make payments whether you use the plan or not. A plan has a set number of calling minutes, data and messages, and you'll pay the same monthly price every month regardless of whether you use them all or not. However, you often get free phones with contracts, and price per minute or per message is generally cheaper than pay as you go. Pay as you go gives you more control. You top up your SIM card with money, and then use your phone until that money runs out, at which point you put more money on the card. You only pay for what you use but prices are higher than with contracts, and you don't get things like free hand sets. Decide which plan you want to go for, and then if you haven't chosen a provider yet, see who offers the best prices on the kind of plan that you're looking for.

Do a Mobile Phone Comparison...

Once you've decided on a provider, you'll need a phone. The easiest way to decide which phone to get is to apply the information that you thought about in step one, namely how you're going to use your phone and what for. You can use this to select a few phones that will meet your needs and then do a mobile phone comparison to see which one of these phones is best. The simplest way to do this is to use a mobile phone comparison web site where you enter the names of two phones and the site tells you how they match up. Depending on your needs you may or may not want to go for a smart phone. Smart phones are great, they keep you connected to the internet, let you play games and do all kinds of fantastic things. However, they're also expensive. If you need a phone only for calling and messaging then you might want to skip the smart phones and go for something more basic but cheaper. If you do want the smart phone then you're certainly going to have a lot of choice. Probably the best smart phone for new users is the iPhone, since it's very intuitive and easier to use. There are more budget friendly smart phones available though, Huawei, for example, makes some great mobile devices that won't hurt your wallet.

Go Visit Your Chosen Operator...

Almost all of the above steps can be completed with a little online research. But once you're ready to buy, you're probably going to have to hit the high street and go to a mobile phone operator's retail store. There you can sign a contract and get your phone. This process can be a little time consuming, but if you already know what you want and won't be persuaded otherwise, then you should save a little time. Salesmen will try to upsell you at this point, trying to get you to go for a bigger package or a more expensive phone. Listen to what they have to say, they may have a good point and mention something that you hadn't thought about. But walking into the shop with a clear idea of what you want is always a good plan.



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