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What’s the best deal in the UK for £30 a month?

A friend of my wife’s has emailed.

She’s just finished 18 months of contractual service with Orange and the company that sold her the deal has phoned her up again, wanting to flog another contract. They’re offering her 600 minutes (I imagine cross-network) along with unlimited text messaging for £30 a month. And, I suspect, a new handset although that wasn’t mentioned in the email.

Is this a good deal?

No. Or so I thought. Vodafone will, for example, offer you the exact same for 20 quid/month on a month-to-month rolling contract:

Ergo there has to be a much, much better deal available for contract customers? Right?

Well, let’s use the N95 8GB as an example.

What does your average Nokia N95 8GB retail for?

Vodafone will give you one for free along with 600 minutes and unlimited texts — AND unlimited mobile data — for £35 a month (18 months).

Hmm. 600 minutes sounds a bit… low.

I thought there’d be a better deal around.

Let’s check T-Mobile. They’ll give you the same handset on Flext 35 which gives you 1000 minutes, 2,000 texts or any combination. 18 months. £30 a month. But your new N95 8GB which, let’s face it, is getting a bit old now, will cost you a whopping £149.99. Stump up another fiver to take your price plan over 40 pounds and the phone is free.

Let’s have a look at Three. The challenger brand. They’ll have a good deal, right?

£35 per month, unlimited texts, 750 cross network minutes and a free N95 8GB. 18 month contract. Result. That’s a bit better, eh?

I have to confess I thought there would be better deals to be had.

How boring.

Any suggestions?

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

31 replies on “What’s the best deal in the UK for £30 a month?”

A “better deal” really depends on usage. If all you do is call landlines – no mobiles and never text or surf, your best deal is going to look very different to that of a teenager who does nothing but text and surf facebook.

As with all contracts – find the best deal for you, then ring up your provider and ask for your PAC. If they can't beat the deal you've found; move on!

And if you don't need all those minutes, you can bring the price down even further with Three. Add a data package for a fiver a month (still keeping it below £35) and use Skype instead/as well. Result.

depends what phone you want. T-Mobile do a range of phones on Combi 30 with unlimited data. So £30 gets you 700mins, unlimited Texts and unlimited Data.

Of course depends on phone

I have selected a Nokia E71 on a H3G X-Series bundle with unlimited 3G data as my primary GSM account. This combined with excellent WiFi coverage in the office and at home (over which I route inbound and outbound voice/SMS) mean that I rarely manage to come anywhere near my maximum limits.

I also find that I am using the H3G Skype-to-Skype calling more and more; this is in practice a free (untariffed) mobile to mobile call (subject to AUP of 4000 minutes per month).

To my mind there's a huge problem with Three's current tariffs: the video pack. You're paying £9 pcm for 90 video minutes, whether you want them or not. And it doesn't seem possible to remove it.

I was with Three for four years until recently, and always talked them up as I had had decent packages and service with them. When it came to upgrade time I couldn't get the N95 8GB without the video pack. (Actually, I could have paid a large amount for the handset and stayed on my previous tariff, but who'd gonna do that??) They kept ringing me after I'd requested my PAC but couldn't (or wouldn't) “remove” the video pack.

o2, gave me and N95 8GB on launch free, 600 xnet minutes and unlimited o2 to o2 calls as well as 1000 text messages for £25 on a 18 month contract. I did renew my contract to get this deal but just haggle, they wanted £35 to start with and £100 for the phone. Just haggle haggle haggle

o2, gave me and N95 8GB on launch free, 600 xnet minutes and unlimited o2 to o2 calls as well as 1000 text messages for £25 on a 18 month contract. I did renew my contract to get this deal but just haggle, they wanted £35 to start with and £100 for the phone. Just haggle haggle haggle

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