22 May 2016 ~ 4 Comments

Free mobile roaming in the EU

Tesco Mobile and Vodafone have both announced free-roaming options in the light of the EU anti-roaming plans which have resulted in all roaming charges being reduced to €0.05 per minute, €0.02 SMS and €0.05 per MB. Roaming charges will be completely removed in June 2017.

Customers of Tesco Mobile who travel to Europe have been offered zero roaming fees for the summer. This means that both Pay as You Go and contract customers will be able to use their existing mobile tariffs for calls, texting and data usage. The scheme called ‘Home From Home’ applies to subscribers visiting any EU countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The offer will be available between 23rd of May and the 3rd of September.

Vodafone is offering its customers on their RED plan free EU roaming in 40 countries. The plan is similar to Tesco Mobile’s offering, except Vodafone also offers a monthly data allowance of up to 4GB while roaming. Customers will not be able to use all the data in their bundles when abroad since the EU data is capped and there are restrictions depending on the data plan a customer has. An 8GB RED Value bundle will give 2GB of inclusive data while a 12GB Red Value plan will give you 4GB of data. The downside of Vodafone’s offering is that it will only apply to new and upgrading customers signed up from the 6th of May. Existing customers will be disappointed to know that they will be excluded from this offer.

The announcements of free roaming will be welcomed by UK mobile users planning a summer holiday in EU countries.

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28 April 2016 ~ 8 Comments

Who can beat LIFE Mobile’s new deals?

life-mobile

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.

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06 November 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Sainsbury’s suddenly axes network

sainsbury mobile closing copy

It has emerged that Mobile by Sainsbury’s currently has a shelf-life of fewer than three months. The supermarket juggernaut has quietly been banishing marketing materials from all of its 1000+ stores in preparation for the shocking shutdown. Current customers have only until 15th January next year to use up their existing credit and choose a new operator to port their number to.

According to an insider source, the reason for the sudden closure is a break-down in negotiations with their infrastructure provider, Vodafone. The network was always a joint-venture between the two companies and without any agreement between them, there is little option but to stop providing a service. At the moment it’s unclear whether Sainsbury’s approached any other providers to step in place of Vodafone to keep the network live. We’ve also not received comment on how financially successful it has been for Sainsbury’s as it might be assumed that they have been looking for a graceful exit strategy.

While there has been little warning to their customers, industry experts say that it’s not a surprising outcome. Vodafone have been reportedly looking to completely withdraw from providing services to piggybacking MVNOs such as Sainsbury’s and Talkmobile.

Sainsbury’s is the second biggest supermarket brand in the country and two of its arch-rivals, ASDA and Tesco are still running their virtual networks running on other carriers. It has to be said, that their offerings have seemed to be much more successful too. While Sainsbury’s will no longer be marketing their network in stores, several of their retail outlets will still be selling mobile phones and accessories.

If you’re an existing customer of the network, you should start thinking about changing to a new network, requesting a PAC and porting your phone number over. No services at all will be available from 15 January 2016.

Did you see this coming? Are you a Mobile by Sainsbury’s customer and if so, what’s your reaction? Do you think Sainsbury’s are acting fairly? And how many of you expecting this coming? Should Sainsbury’s have done anything differently after negotiations with Vodafone broke down?

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