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Which Mobile Operator is Best for Me?

By Edited Feb 13, 2014 0 0

The UK market is flooded with mobile phone operators. And it seems like everyone wants to offer you something special to sign up for a contract. But choosing your operator is an important decision, since how satisfied you'll be with your service depends a lot on which operator you choose. Today we're talking about the best mobile phone network for different needs. We'll talk about how you choose an operator, and which network might be the best one for you. So, if you're in the market for a new mobile service operator, then read on to get all the info you need to make a good decision...

Choosing an Operator...

You can't simply choose the best mobile network by cost. There are a couple of other factors that need to be involved. Coverage and calling plans are both big factors in your decision, and you need to look at these things before you start looking at finances. However, once you've established coverage and which kind of plan you want, then you can go online and start comparison shopping to find the best prices for you.

Coverage...

Initially, you want to make sure that you're going to get coverage with a network. Not all operators have the same kind of coverage in all areas of the UK. Generally, urban locations get pretty good coverage with everyone, but rural areas have more of a problem. If a network doesn't have good coverage in your area then you're going to find that you get bad phone reception, slow internet speeds and bad call quality. It's possible that you phone won't work at all. There's obviously no point in signing up to a network that isn't going to give you good service. Each individual operator will have a coverage map on their web site, or there's a comparative coverage map on the OFCOM web site.

Calling Plans...

Next you need to think about your calling plan needs. When you sign up for a contract with an operator you will be asked to choose what kind of plan you want. A calling plan is composed of three monthly limits: one for the amount of calling minutes you can use, one for the amount of text messages that you can send, and one for the amount of mobile data you can use. You get these limits for a set monthly fee. However, you will pay the same fee whether you use all the minutes, texts and data in your plan or none of them. So if the limits are too big for you, you'll pay for services that you don't use. When you go over the limits in a calling plan you'll pay big extra charges for using extra services, meaning that a plan that's too small is an equally bad financial decision. Choosing the right calling plan is easy if you have old mobile bills, since you can check them for your average monthly usage. If you don't have bills, then get a pay as you go plan for a couple of months and see how you use the phone before deciding on a plan.

The Best Mobile Phone Network...

There is no one operator that is the best mobile phone network. The best network for you is the one that offers the services that you need at a price that's right. However, there are some networks that are better at certain things. So, depending on what you're looking for, you might want to check out some of the networks listed below...

The Best Mobile Data Network...

Mobile data is very expensive, and if you buy a cheap calling plan you'll find that you get very low data limits. If mobile internet is your thing though, then you should look at Three's calling plans. Three has the cheapest prices on mobile data, as well as completely unlimited data plans. This means that you can use as much data as you want for your monthly price. Be warned that Three doesn't have cheap calling minutes though, so this isn't the plan for frequent callers.

The Cheapest Network...

Price really depends on what you're looking for. However, the cheapest packages on the market are usually offered by Vodafone. These low price contracts are perfect for lighter phone users, people who don't need too many calling minutes, texts messages or too much mobile data. They're not great deals for average phone users though, since these users will rapidly use up the low limits on the calling plans and have to pay extra charges.

The Biggest Packages...

For heavy phone users a completely unlimited plan is going to be the best idea; completely unlimited means that you have no limits on calling minutes, text messages or on data. If this is you, then T-Mobile has the cheapest completely unlimited plan on the market right now. For average or light users this isn't going to be a good plan, since you'll pay for a lot of services that you don't use. But heavy users will profit from an unlimited plan.

For 4G Users...

4G capable phones offer you a far faster internet connection, so you can better stream video on your phone and get quicker downloads. But a 4G phone needs a 4G network to connect, otherwise it will simply revert to using a regular 3G signal for mobile internet connectivity. 4G networks are not offered by all operators in the UK, though they soon will be. At the moment, your best bet for 4G packages is with EE. They are currently the only UK operator that offers full 4G service, though some others claim to offer 4G speeds tend to be slow. Prices for 4G packages are high, however, and you will pay three to four times as much for a 4G data plan as you would for a 3G data plan. The service is also not available in all areas of the country, so you'll need to check carefully with EE before signing up for these expensive calling plans. But all of EE's 4G packages do come with unlimited calling minutes and text messages.

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