Mobile Network
Comparison

Use this comparison site to pick the best and cheapest mobile phone network in the UK

28 April 2016 ~ 6 Comments

Who can beat LIFE Mobile’s new deals?

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LIFE Mobile is a virtual network offering 3G coverage to 99% of the UK population, on the EE network. They’ve just released some new monthly deals that offer excellent value from under £5/month on a SIM-only rolling tariff.

Currently, LIFE Mobile offers the following four SIM-only deals with 30 day bundles:

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A key feature of the LIFE Mobile offering is their Smart Cap option. It is intended to give you better control over your monthly data expenditure. Smart Cap gives you a small buffer to limit your out-of-allowance charges. The default setting is £5 but you can call them and change this to anything from £1 to £30.

For example a Smart Cap of £1 on the £4.95/month tariff, your monthly bill from LIFE Mobile will never exceed £5.95. This is a great feature if you are paying the monthly bills on your children or someone else’s phone. You will never get an unpleasant surprise at the end of the month with Smart Cap.

LIFE Mobile’s cheapest offering at £4.95 has no rivals. If you are connected to BT Broadband you will get 200 minutes with 500 MB of data at a discounted rate of £5.00. This is 400 minutes less talk-time than you will get with LIFE Mobile.

Giffgaff can only offer 250 minutes talk-time and 500 MB data for £7.50. They do have a less expensive option at £5.00 per month, but that only gives 125 minutes talk-time, 500 texts and 100 MB data.

TPO offer some incredible deals but are also outdone by LIFE Mobile’s pricing. Their best priced option costs £5.99 and only offers 100 minutes of talk-time, 100 texts and 500 MB data. For £8.99 TPO still falls short with airtime at 300 minutes, but they offer unlimited texts and 2 GB of data which LIFE Mobile only offers in their £9.95 package. But LIFE Mobile supply 1000 minutes of airtime and 1 GB of data for £7.45. The choice is really whether you use your phone more for talking or for applications which will use up your data. For many users, data is less important since they are often in Wi-Fi zones where they do not use their data at all.

For anyone with their own unlocked mobile phone there are few strong alternatives. LIFE Mobile offers a true budget beating way to get connected. And their UK based call centre has been getting very good reviews from customers. This strong offering puts LIFE Mobile amongst the top UK virtual networks and completely trounces the likes of Vodafone and O2.

26 April 2016 ~ 3 Comments

iPhone SE – New Old iPhone

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Apple just announced the iPhone SE and is billing it as the most powerful four-inch phone ever. Using the four-inch display and aluminium casing similar to the 2013 iPhone 5S, the company claims it took a “beloved design, then reinvented it from the inside out”.

The new phone is very similar to the 5S, but it has the power and performance of the new 6 series which makes for a very attractive overall package. Technical specifications are very similar to the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus with a 64-bit A9 chip and an M9 motion co-processor which should give the same processing and graphics performance found in the flagship models. Photographic specifications are also the same with a 12 megapixel iSight camera capable of capturing 4K video. Live Photos is included in the SE package, which brings your still photos to life with sound and movement.

The new phones all share improved wireless specifications which give faster LTE and Wi-Fi. It is now possible to browse the web, download apps, and games, and stream video over 802.11ac Wi-Fi and LTE at higher speeds than on the iPhone 5S.

Techradar describes the iPhone SE in a review as “a simply brilliant palm-friendly phone”. It really is a very good phone, especially if you like a smaller and more manageable phone which sits comfortably in your hand (and even more so if you have a small hand, which can often struggle with the larger smartphones). And of course, the low price makes it the most affordable iPhone in the market.

The iPhone SE is a bold step by Apple to target a market niche ignored by Samsung, LG, and other Android smartphone manufacturers. Apple is offering consumers a premium small screen smartphone with the features and technical specifications found in its top models. The compact Android smartphones, by comparison, are all offered with downgraded features and low specifications. It’s a shame that, until now, there hasn’t been as much choice.

This might also have been somewhat shortsighted from the Android manufacturers; Apple confirms that the “compact” smartphone market is still very strong, particularly in China. More than thirty million four inch phones were sold by Apple last year which probably accounts for Apple’s reasoning behind the production of the iPhone SE. It is a well calculated gamble which we expect to pay large dividends for the company.

With a starting price of just £359, the new iPhone SE should prove to be another winner for Apple. What do you reckon?

02 April 2016 ~ 5 Comments

Tesco buying back Tesco Mobile shares

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Tesco Mobile is on the move onwards and upwards. The supermarket chain has just announced aggressive plans to grow its mobile market share in the UK through a planned buy-out of its current joint venture with O2 while securing new agreements with Hutchison (Three Mobile) to give it increased access to the most profitable side of the UK mobile market.

Tesco currently has about 4.5 million customers and operates as a virtual network utilizing O2’s resources. It uses O2’s cellular towers and does not need to worry about having its own network infrastructure. This gives it access to O2’s 70% 4G coverage of the UK market.

Hutchison’s proposed £10.25bn takeover of O2 will see a change in the mobile market in the UK as Hutchison will then be in control of both the 3 and the O2 networks. Although the figures probably pale in comparison, Tesco is determined to grow its share of this market to provide an alternative profit stream to the tough grocery market. Meanwhile, Three Mobile will welcome Tesco’s plans since they will help counter the opposition it has received from the competition watchdogs regarding the impact of the acquisition on the UK mobile market.

Sharon White, head of the communications regulator Ofcom, voiced her opposition to the deal last October and in a recent letter to the Financial Times stated that “a combination of Three and O2, creating a new market leader and reducing the number of UK networks from four to three, would damage competition and leave consumers poorer ”.

The Telegraph has reported that: “Tesco is an interested party in the merger review process. It is important that any landscape created by the merger process allows challenger brands, such as Tesco Mobile, to deliver the best possible services for UK customers, and champions consumer choice.”

Tesco has had a 50:50 joint venture with O2 for thirteen years and is planning to buy back a portion of Tesco Mobile shares which O2 owns. It is rumoured that such a deal could cost Tesco up to £300 million. At the same time, the supermarket wants to secure a long-term deal with Three Mobile for capacity in the new network after the merge with O2. Tesco’s intention to build its mobile base is a radical about-turn for Tesco CEO Dave Lewis who last year announced his intention to sell off Tesco Mobile to reduce its £22bn debt.

We wait to see how this development will impact users. Will it mean increased costs or increased value? What do you think?

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