Phones Key » Phone News » Best UK phone plan?

  #1 (permalink)
: Good evening.
In July I am going to move to Scotland, as a student, for 4 years.
My biggest problem is the phone plan!

I cannot understand the difference between Pay as you go plan and Pay monthly plan.
As I can see, the Pay as you go plans are poor even more expensier than Pay monthly one.

Can I subscribe a Pay Monthly plan as a student? In case, what do I require to subscribe it?
Do I need a credit card?

I can see that some pay as you go and some pay monthly SIMs last 12 months, then? Should I buy a new one or I just need to renew the one I got?

Could I pass from a Pay as you go plan to a Pay monthly plan without changing my phone number? Or should I get a new SIM with a new number?

Sorry for all these questions, but it seems to be different in UK. I'm Italian and I don't understand these plans!

What is the best operator in terms of service/cost?

Thank you very much!
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  #2 (permalink)
: Edit: you may want to look at this article on Mobile coverage in Scotland

and coverage in general - links to charts

Moving ("porting") your number is a right for all users
You ask for your PAC (port authority code)
from your old network/current number
Give it to the new supplier /contract - inside 2 days it moves, often inside 24 hrs

You can move from PAYG to PAYM as you wish


PAYG (Pay as you go - in advance basically) are designed for people
- who cannot commit to a 12 month or other long term plan
(though there are now 30 days plans, give 30 days notice to leave)
- who have no UK credit record, so cannot be allowed a UK contract.

PAYM (pay monthly - post pay, end of the month) are for people who
- can commit to a 12/24 month contract AND know thier useage
(see also 30 days contracts to learn your usage levels)
- can get a contract
- may want a new phone also, a 480 pound phone would be 240 pounds on a 24 month contract (i.e 20 /month plus maybe 10 extra for calls/data).

You may therefore need to be on PAYG for the first 2-3 months, to establish a UK bank account and credit card, before you could sign even a 30 days contract. But you never know, they may let you use your overseas credit card.

Three is a good network to start with for low charges
2p/text (to UK numbers)
3p/min (to any UK number)

That said, look at O2 internation SIM card (only on PAYG),
1p/2p min international calls..

O2 also have a nice feature,
you can spend 10 pounds to buy 3000 mins of international calls
AND it gives 3000 mins of incomming international calls ...
They give you an Italian No, and anyone in Italy can call it and your UK phone rings !! (and uses the extra 3000 mins per month incomming calls allowance)

to get best performance you may therefore want 2 SIMs
- 2 phones, or better
- Dual SIM phone, available in Europe more easily than UK
but lots on ebay.
and have both SIMs working, and choose which to make a call
and both SIMs recieve calls,

and from a Major retailer Expansys
(so retailer EU sale of goods guarentees)

See Samsung Galaxy DUOS S series
S-7562 DUos older model
S Grand, bigger and more recent
see here

there is even a Dual SIM S4 Mini !!

See others on ebay and on gsmarena (database of all phones)

O2 international SIM

Calling Abroad

5 pounds BOLT ON

They also do an O2 calling card.

Oh, and THREE does some totally unlimited (10's GB !) data
and on 2 of their rates allow unlimited tethering, so you could make a Hotspot, and use a tablet or computer on the 3G (and double 3G almost 4G data) mifi link via your phone. Three's ONE PLAN

so you could use SKYPE / facetime to call home etc
from anywhere...


PAYM - select NO Phone/your phone not listed
and look for ONE PLAN
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  #3 (permalink)
: If you want to keep an eye on the costs I may suggest Tesco mobile.

They use the O2 network, so you will get coverage with Tesco where O2 are covering

They do capped contracts, this means you can set up a cap from 2.00 to 100 for your phone. In other words you could have a 25 per month contract that won't go above 27- even if somoene steals your phone and calls lots.
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  #4 (permalink)
: You would have to get a UK contract, although prices for cross-europe mobile use are coming down, it'd still be prohibitive.

In the UK there is a process for transferring your number from one provider to another, but it only works when transferring from one Uk provider to another UK provider!

Pay as you go gives you a set amount of talk, texts, and data, that last either 30 or 60 days, or untill used. Once used you have to top up to continue using.

Pay monthly via direct debit and get a set amount of talk, texts, and data, usually cheaper than your would pay on pay as you go. Also if you over run your allowance you just get billed for it, and don't lose access to your service!

Pay as you go, you probably have to pay for the phone. Pay monthly you can go on a contract that ties you to a supplier for up to 2 years, or you can buy the phone outright.

If you buy the phone outright then the best deal that I'm aware of in the UK is 15/month for Unlimited talk, unlimited texts, and unlimited data!
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  #5 (permalink)
: Thank you very much.
Thanks too to Stewart and Crim Liar.

You're all my savers!
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  #6 (permalink)
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