How to choose the best mobile network for you
We all know that today’s mobile devices are capable of completing untold tasks. From simple phone calls and text messages to browsing social media or playing immersive games, smartphones and tablets have revolutionised the way we communicate with each other.
But all of these benefits might not come to fruition if you choose the wrong mobile network. Without sufficient service or enough inclusive minutes and data for your wants and needs, there is not much point in even owning a smartphone or tablet.
So, to avoid these problems, here is how to choose the best mobile network for you.
Before agreeing any deal that ties you to a particular network, find out what their coverage is like in your area. Coverage will determine the strength of your mobile phone’s signal, which is typically worse in rural areas. You can usually check what a provider’s coverage is like by typing in your postcode on their respective websites, but you might also want to ask friends and colleagues about which service they use, and how much they like it.
Your choice of contract will depend on how you intend to use your phone. The two main options are:
- Monthly contract – In exchange for a fixed monthly fee, you will receive a certain amount of inclusive minutes, texts and data for free. The price of the handset may also be included in this amount. But remember, the charges for going over your limit can be very expensive.
- Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) – You simply pay for what you intend to use in advance and aren’t tied down to a contract. However, you might find yourself continually topping up if you are constantly using your device. SIM-only deals are also similar to this option, but you will already need a handset.
With monthly contracts and PAYG deals, you will need to think carefully about how many minutes you spend on the phone, how many texts you send, and how much time you spend online. Thankfully, hundreds of mobile phone tariffs are available to match the requirements of all consumers. But by using a price comparison website, you can narrow down this profusion of choice and find the best mobile plans for you.
Making a decision
Generally speaking, mobile phone users that are heavily dependent on their device should opt for a monthly contract. On the other hand, PAYG deals are best suited for occasional users. If you can’t differentiate between providers in terms of cost and coverage, see what else they have to offer. For example, some providers give their customers a discount at certain high-street retailers, nationwide Wi-Fi coverage or the opportunity to buy early-bird tickets to concerts and gigs.
However, don’t base your decision solely on these incentives; choose a network that provides the best coverage and value for money.
Image by Robert Scoble used under the Creative Commons license.
Mark Heely is a tech head, and loves to write about the latest gadgetry available on the market. Mark lives in London with his dog, Kay.