by Phil Turner
If you’ve got a mobile phone, you need mobile phone service. That means deciding on a calling plan and mobile service provider. Most people have plenty of questions about this process, since there are so many options and choices can be overwhelming. So today we’re looking at the most frequently asked questions about mobile service, and giving you some honest answers…
Which is the Best Mobile Network?
There is no best mobile network. The best mobile network for you is the one that offers what you’re looking for, so the best provider is very subjective. Find a provider that has good mobile phone coverage and a calling plan that fits your needs and your budget, and that will be the best network for you.
How Do I Know Who Has the Best Mobile Phone Coverage?
Finding out who has the best mobile phone coverage in your area is simple. You have two options. Either go to the OFCOM web site and check out their coverage map that compares the coverage of different providers in different areas, or go to the web site of the provider you’re interested in and look at the coverage map for that individual company.
How Do I Know Which Calling Plan to Choose?
Calling plans vary by company and choosing the right one for you is complicated, but important. There are three parts in the average calling plan, a monthly limit of text messages, a limit for calling minutes and a limit for data use. You want to make sure that all three limits are appropriate for you. You can look at some old mobile bills to see what your average usage looks like, or you can simply monitor your mobile use for a month to see what kind of limits you need. The wrong sized package is going to cost you money, either way. A too large plan means you’re going to pay for services that you’re not going to use, while a too small plan means that you’re going to get extra charges on your bill for going over your monthly limits. So choose carefully…
Should I Get a Mobile Phone with My Contract?
That’s up to you. But you should ask yourself if you really need the phone before deciding. If you don’t have the cash to pay for a phone up front and you need one, then signing one of these incentive contracts might be a good idea. However, you do end up paying more than the phone’s retail price by signing these contracts, so if you don’t need a phone or you have the money to buy one right now, it’s not worth signing an incentive contract.
I Have a 4G Phone, Can I Use It?
Right now your only choice for getting a 4G data plan is if you sign a contract with EE. This is currently the only network that offers a full 4G data plan. The prices aren’t cheap, however, though EE does give you unlimited calling and texting with every 4G calling plan.
Can I Cancel My Contract?
Yes, you can, but it’s going to cost you money. Most mobile contracts contain something called an early termination clause, this basically charges you a penalty should you decide to end the contract early. This penalty is usually a fixed fee multiplied by the number of months left to run in your contract. The fixed fee varies by company, but it’s always expensive. Also, if you signed a contract that gave you a mobile phone you’ll probably find that you need to pay the remaining balance on the price of the phone before you can cancel your contract.
How Long Should My Contract Be?
There are a variety of different contract lengths offered by mobile service providers, and which one you sign is up to you. Generally, the longer your contract is the cheaper your monthly price will be. But remember that signing a longer contract ties you to that network for a longer period of time. That means that you won’t be able to get more benefits from signing a new contract or get cheaper prices by switching to a different provider.
Can I Change Providers?
Absolutely. You can technically change any time you want, though if you break your contract you’ll have to pay the above mentioned penalty. Depending on how much the penalty is and how much you’ll save with the new provider, this may or may not be worth it. Once your contract has ended though, you can switch to any provider you want at any time.
Will My Phone Number Change if I Change Providers?
No, not any more. The law says that you have to be able to keep your phone number if you want to do so. This is simple, you just ask your old provider for a PAC code before cancelling your service, and then pass that code along to your new provider, who’ll make sure that the service is switched while you retain your phone number.
What if My Service is Poor?
There are some cases in which you are legally allowed to cancel a mobile contract with no penalty. If the service you’re getting is not what was advertised or promised by your contract, or if you move to an area that has no coverage with your current operator then you should be able to cancel your plan with no problems. Should the operator change their terms mid-way through your contract, by raising prices, for example, you should also be able to cancel the contract. You can’t, however, cancel a contract simply because you don’t like the service. This is why it’s so important that you choose your provider and calling plan carefully.
How Much Will I Pay Per Month?
Your monthly payment depends on many things: which provider you choose, which calling plan you choose and whether or not you stick to the limits of your calling plan. An average monthly phone bill for an average user in the UK on a contract without an included mobile is around twenty pounds.
Author Phil Turner is a UK writer that finds a mobile phone to be essential but was having coverage problems. A quick search via uSwitch helped Phil to find to find an operator that offered decent mobile phone coverage in his area.