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Mobile phones, contract and pay as you go - information and a ShoppingTrolley UK buyer's guide.

Buy Mobile Phones
- Free UK delivery on a wide range of mobile phones and accessories. Choose a contract with any of the networks or a Sim Pack for "Pay As You Go". Many offers include free phone plus half price line rental.

Mobile phones and contracts - a buyer's guide

Networks

There are five main mobile phone networks in the UK, which are O2, Orange, T-mobile, vodaphone and 3. Other pseudo networks such as Virgin use existing networks but sell under their own name - Virgin in fact uses the T-mobile network.

e2Save
- All of the latest handsets, with offers including line rental from 99p / month or even 12 months free line rental.
PowerUp Mobile
- The place to buy Smartphones, Blackberry and other business mobiles, with a choice of networks and operating systems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contracts

Contract phones are contracts purchased through a retailer, which normally provide you with a free or reduced price handset and a number of "free" or reduced price calls or texts per month, in exchange for a monthly contract fee. In general, the higher the monthly fee, the lower call charges. Great deals are available when you buy online.

Pay as you go

Phone plans like the traditional T-Mobile prepaid plans usually have no monthly fee, but you have to buy your own handset. In order to pay for calls, you can top up via vouchers or credit card. Some pay as you go companies such as Virgin will bill you monthly in arrears for calls made.

Number portability

You can usually take your mobile phone number with you to another network, provided you have fulfilled all contractual obligations with your existing company. You will need to apply for a Porting Authorisation Code (PAC) from your current provider. They may charge for providing the PAC, and you will need to ensure that you do not cancel your existing contract. Once the number has been transferred, your existing contract should be cancelled automatically.

Small print

Ensure that you read the small print of any new mobile phone contract carefully, so you know exactly what you are signing up for. In particular, verify monthly billing costs - for example, do you need to pay an additional amount for itemised billing, whether or not you require it? Do you have to pay for insurance? How much are the call charges to foreign countries? How much are the call charges if you take your phone abroad?

motorola v3 razorHandset features

Todays technologically advanced handset have many features and functions, some of which are explained below:

  • Text messaging. All recent handsets have this feature, including "predictive text", which guesses what you are typing in to speed things up.
  • Extras - many handsets have extras including some of the following: clock, calculator, games, programmable ringtones and a calendar.
  • Downloads - many handsets allow you to download additional ringtones, games and screensavers. You will need to ensure that the item you want to download is compatible with your phone, and that you have enough power in your battery for the download to complete.
  • Triband - a handset will need to have this feature if you are likely to use it in the US.
  • WAP - allows internet access from your mobile.
  • GPRS - always on data connection, charged by the kiliobyte downloaded.
  • Fax and Data services - Some handsets allow you to send and receive faxes, access databases etc, in conjuction with a laptop or a pda.
  • Bluetooth - can communicate with other bluetooth devices removing the need for wires.
  • Camera - Having a built in camera can be a useful feature, eg if someone drives into the back of your car.
  • MP3 player / radio - A nice extra to have but not essential.

Interesting Fact:

Rod Baber, from the UK, has broken the world record for making the world's highest phone call - from the top of Mount Everest. He was sponsored by Motorola, and used their Z8 handset to make the call.