T-Mobile started life on 13 September 1993 as Mercury One2One, later known as just One2One. It was was purchased by Deutsche Telekom in 1999 and rebranded as T-Mobile in 2002.
In 2009, T-Mobile and Orange announced a proposed merger and by March 2010, the European Commission had approved the merger with the new parent company being called “Everything Everywhere”. Both the Orange and T-Mobile brands were retained while the company is now the UK’s largest mobile operator with 37% of the market. It also acts as the backbone infrastructure for the first ever virtual network, Virgin Mobile.
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T-Mobile are one of the cheapest main mobile networks although better deals can be had by considering virtual networks Their texts and premium rate calls are very expensive but calls to UK landlines and mobiles are decent value at a flat rate of 20p/minute.
Their call centres are outsourced to foreign countries and users have reported difficulties in dealing with them, especially when trying to cancel contracts or sort out billing issues. Also, their retentions department is often unable to offer competitive rates. However, staff in their stores are usually more helpful.
Now that they have merged with Orange they have one of the best 2G networks in the country so you are unlikely to experience any signal problems. At 93% of the UK, their 3G coverage is also fantastic so you should always be able to get the fastest speeds.
To conclude, their tariffs are reasonable for a standard network and the Boosters offer good value for month but, although the network coverage is very good too, the customer service might let you down.
At a glance
T-Mobile’s PAYG tariff is cheaper than most other network operators with calls at 30p/minute but better deals can certainly be found elsewhere by using a virtual network. Unfortunately, its texts are quite pricey at 12p each and it is the most expensive UK network for non-standard calls with 0870 numbers costing 20p and, inexplicably, 0800 numbers being exorbitantly priced at 20p too. Even internet is not good value at £1 every day (although you do get a fairly generous allowance of 500MB a month for this). However, with the Talk plan, you get 100 free UK minutes if you top-up £10 every month.
They do have two other plans as well – Text and International. Both have more expensive calls at 25p/minute but Text gives unlimited texts when you top up £10 a month whereas International gives you 60 free international minutes. The other bonus is that you can send SMS on Text for only 10p and you get low cost international calls on International no matter how much you’ve topped up.
The T-Mobile Rewards deals are pretty underwhelming with the Weekend Talk reward giving you free calls all weekend but only to other T-Mobile numbers and only after you’ve topped up £10. The Weekend Texts also requires a £10 top-up and only works at the weekend but does provide unlimited texts.
Thankfully, the Boosters are more useful. The Text Booster gives you 30 days of unlimited texts for only £5 while the Internet Boosters give you flexible data rates. For example, you can get 5 days “unlimited” internet for only £2.50, a month for just £5 or 6 months for £20 which is only £3.33/month or just £40 per year. But before you get too excited about this, you should realise that a fair use policy is applicable – you might find better options by looking for other unlimited data offers. T-Mobile also have Talk Boosters but these are less useful as they only apply to calls to T-Mobile numbers. Still, £5 gives you 200 minutes which expire after just 5 days. There are also Blackberry Boosters and Euro Boosters.
Please see our price comparison table to compare T-Mobile’s latest pricing with that of other networks.
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