Now Mobile is a virtual network operated by by calling card business Nowtel that runs on the Orange network. It was launched on 26 July 2010 and targets the ethnic market in the UK currently occupied by other companies such as Lebara Mobile and LycaMobile. It is marketed as a budget brand that “offers competitive rates with no hidden charges and a straight forward, high quality network”.
While Now Mobile certainly targets international callers with rock-bottom international rates, they also aim to be very competitive on prices for UK calls and texts. The managing director Andrew Hallam has said the future focus of Now Mobile will be a move away from the saturated UK market with a view to exporting their model into Europe. They have a large dedicated sales and marketing staff and are thought to already have 100,000-200,000 UK customers.
If you are interested in trying Now Mobile, you can order your free SIM from here.
Now Mobile review
Like other networks that concentrate on this market, Now Mobile has great prices on international calls. While it can’t beat all the rates of Lebara Mobile and LycaMobile, on average it seems to at least match them and it also has some great value offers of its own to countries such as China, Nigeria, Romania and India. As it uses the Orange network, call quality and coverage in most of the UK is decent enough.
What makes Now Mobile stand out from the other ethnic networks in its sector is even lower UK rates. Its PAYG tariff charges just 10p for calls and only 5p for landlines while texts are cheaper than most other networks at 10p each. If you plan to use your mobile for calling friends and family in the UK as well as abroad, these cheap prices can easily save you a lot of money.
Also, despite being a budget network, Now Mobile offers some premium features as standard. For example, it fully supports both call waiting and conference calling which are often only available to business contracts on other mobile networks. Usefully, their customer support is also multilingual. You can top-up directly on the Now Mobile website (and even get some bonus credit) as well as at any of the 70,000 Epay, PayPoint and Payzone stores and even at Post Offices.
In summary, Now Mobile is a great choice both for predominantly international callers as well as domestic users. Its rates are some of the best available for both UK and foreign calls and its 5p UK landlines charge is fantastic value. Combined with premium features, free voicemail and the Orange mobile infrastructure, they offer a great all-round package. Even the bundles and deals are tremendously good value. However, the customer service is not always completely helpful and it’s still worth shopping around as there are still other networks that may be able to beat them both on service and price.
At a glance
The PAYG tariff on Now Mobile is surprisingly good value. In fact, the call charges are about as good as you can get with any UK network – any network mobile calls cost just 10p/minute while UK landlines are a mere 5p/minute. Texts aren’t as great value at 10p each but that’s still much cheaper than networks such as 3, Orange and Vodafone.
MMS picture messages are only 25p each and 0800 and 0845 numbers are both reasonably priced at 10p per minute. In what we think must be an amazing UK-first, voicemail is absolutely free. Even mobile data charges are very reasonable at just 15p/MB.
Now Mobile also has some great deals for making international calls which is not surprising as this is one of their specialities. For example, calling China is only 1p per minute for either landlines or mobiles and texts are just 10p. Fixed-line calls to dozens of countries such as Nigeria, Romania, Bangladesh, Russia, Turkey, New Zealand, Poland and Australia are also only 1p/minute. Many of the Now Mobile international rates beat those from its direct rivals such as LycaMobile and Lebara Mobile making it a very tempting choice.
Overall these prices are incredibly competitive and it’s hard to find networks that provider a cheaper service. The combination of low priced UK and international calls is very tempting and the free voicemail is a big bonus too.
Now Mobile have one fantastic bundle deal which is for unlimited texts. This costs only £5/month and lets you send as many SMS messages as you want (although there is a fair use limit of 5000 texts every month). Despite the high limit, this is about as good value as it’s possible to get in the UK and almost as good as other unlimited texts offers.
You can also get a variety of bundles of voice minutes. These start at £5 for 150 any network minutes all the way up to £25 for a massive 1500 minutes. You can also buy other amounts in £5 step including £10 for a respectable 250 minutes or just £20 for a huge 900 any network voice minutes.
Now Mobile also offer bundles including both texts and calls. For example, £5 gives you 100 any network minutes and 500 any network texts and £10 gives you 250 minutes and 2000 texts. Once you buy a talk and text bundle worth more than £15 you automatically get unlimited texts and at least 400 minutes. The £25 bundle in particular is fantastic value providing you with 1200 minutes and unlimited SMS.
Finally, Now Mobile have a great deal whereby you get £10 free credit as long as you top-up at least £30 online which drives down the true price of calls and texts even further. And, even better, whenever you top-up you you get free Now Mobile to Now Mobile minutes and texts – £5 gives you 100 of each and £30 gives you 1000 of each.
All of these bundles expire after 30 days.
Now Mobile runs on the Orange network. Please see our Now Mobile coverage page to learn about Now Mobile’s network coverage in your area. For more information, compare it with other mobile phone networks’ coverage.
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