OVIVO Mobile has shut down and ceased business as of 19 March 2014. For full details please see here and also check out our post for full details about how to keep your number and choose a new network with £10 free credit.
OVIVO Mobile was first started in September 2011 and officially launched a few months later on April 16th 2012. The CEO and Founder of OVIVO Mobile is Dariush Zand and he has plenty of experience as he’s been in the Telecommunications business since 1995.
OVIVO is an advert-supported network. Basically, in return for having a free mobile phone bill, you have to look at occasional adverts. The service is aimed at the price-conscious student market. for more information about the network, check out our two profiles and interview with Dariush.
Get started with an OVIVO SIM card
OVIVO Mobile review
OVIVO claim that the key driver behind the business was to innovate and drive change. They found that most customers on monthly bundles wasted the majority of their allowances and hence the model does not favour the consumer. This is especially true due to the lengthy contracts that are so common now.
Instead, they offer a completely different pricing model where you get free monthly allowances. In order to fund this, OVIVO show you adverts while you’re browsing the internet using their SIMs. You can get free usage for tablets and dongles as well as normal phones.
When you encounter an advert you can either click through to see more or can wait five seconds to continue what you were doing. OVIVO state that if you’ve been on the web for a while (five minutes or so), or you’re downloading a lot of content (like video or application updates in the background), you might see more advertising than usual, but this will return to normal when you’re using less data. They do also make it clear that they try to minimise the customer intrusion. So, for example the advertising will become more, targeted the more you use it and you shouldn’t see adverts while in the middle of a transaction on a website.
We were a little sceptical of OVIVO when we first tried them back in 2012 as many have tried this payment model in the past and failed. For example, the ill-fated Blyk also targeting students and is now a distant memory. However, OVIVO have been running for several years now and only seem to be growing.
They have excellent rates for normal usage – just 8p per minute, 5p per text and 16p per megabyte. But of course, their stand-out feature is their amazing value for money £0/month bundles and it’s hard to argue with these on a price point-of-view. If you’re a low user and can consistently stay within their monthly limits, it’s hard to make an argument for any alternative that would end up costing you money. After all, you get your free allowance every month with no minimum top-up required!
It’s worth noting that advertising is a key part of the OVIVO Mobile service, so you won’t be able to use VPNs or other services that bypass advertising whilst you’re using OVIVO. You also shouldn’t use any ad blocking software whilst on the OVIVO network. We’ve also had reports that they currently work better on iOS phones rather than Android mobiles. But having said that, if most of your data usage is through apps rather than a web browser, you won’t even see much advertising and we’ve found that over several years their customer support has been consistently excellent both by email and phone.
At a glance
As already mentioned, OVIVO’s rates are great even when you’ve run out of your free allowance. Their calls are charged at just 8p/minute making them one of the cheapest networks in the UK. Even better calls to other OVIVO customers are only 2p/minute. Texts are also priced very competitively at just 5p each and also 2p to OVIVO numbers. has amazingly cheap rates. Even though it’s better than many rival PAYG networks, data is not as cheap at 15p/MB but you also should remember that you get a free allowance every month.
There are two options for their £0/month bundles. The phone bundle is called Freedom 0 and gives you 250 minutes, 200 texts and 500MB of data completely free every month. Because of the fantastic value a totally free mobile plan offers, there’s a small one-time fee to get started. But from then on, you get completely free minutes, messages and mobile internet every month. You just need to pay £20 to get started which gives you £15 of additional credit with the remaining £5 going towards the cost of initially getting the SIM card.
If you just need mobile data for a tablet or dongle, you can get the Data 0 plan which gives a massive 1GB free mobile internet every month. Again, you’ll have to pay £20 to start with and you’ll get £15 of free credit with the remaining £5 going to cover the SIM card and administration costs.
In addition, OVIVO also offer paid-for bundles if you need more than what’s included in their free plans. For phones there is the choice of the Freedom 5, Freedom 10 and Freedom 20. They cost £5, £10 and £20 a month respectively. For your money you get an extra 500MB of data every month on the Freedom 5. In addition to this you get your minutes bumped up to 600 and your texts bumped up to 1000 on the £10 plan. And if you want get a massive 1500 minutes, 2000 texts and 2GB of data in total, you can go for the Freedom 20. Again, you’ll have to pay between £20-£25 to get started no matter which of these plans you choose but you’ll get all your money back in the form of credit as OVIVO will waive the SIM and admin fees.
For data-only bundles, there’s also the Data 5 which costs £5/month and gives you 2GB instead of 1GB as well as the Data 10 which has an allowance of 3GB for just £10/month. As with the other paid-for bundles, you’ll get all your money back in the form of credit as OVIVO will waive the SIM and admin fees.
OVIVO also have several other deals currently running. If you bring your mobile number to Ovivo, you will also receive a £3.00 bonus. When you top-up on OVIVO, you’re eligible for a bonus – top-up £20 to get a £5 extra credit, top-up £30 for a £10 bonus or even qualify for a massive £25 bonus when you top-up £50 of credit or more.. In addition, OVIVO Offers is a free service that gives you access to online deals and promotions from our partners. If you make a purchase through this scheme, you get rewarded with free OVIVO credit.
To compare OVIVO Mobile’s latest pricing with that of other networks, please see our price comparison matrix.
OVIVO Mobile runs on the Vodafone network. Please see the OVIVO coverage page to learn about the network coverage in your area. For more information, compare it with other mobile phone networks’ coverage.
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