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PAYG is, like every other part of the mobile phone business becoming intensely cut throat with deals getting better each month in the customer’s favour. This article will look at what is on offer and consider the relative benefits of PAYG and PAYG pay monthly mobile contracts against full monthly contracts

The carriers are all trying very hard to attract customers with eye-catching deals including the latest mobiles, one of the recent announcements was 3’s new unlimited data on pay as you go and this is truly unlimited, there is no fair usage limit as with nearly all other mobile data allowances. This would allow a user to download all the apps, music, streaming entertainment they desire with 3 stating their confidence in the strength of their 3G network allowing them to offer this package. It is a pretty strong statement of intent and you can expect other providers who can support it to be pushed into offering similar deals even if most mobile users would never normally approach their use limit. The release did not state whether phone tethering, that is using the latest mobiles as a data modem for a computer was also allowed under this plan; it’s likely not to be. The package costs £15 per month for unlimited data combined with 300 any-network minutes and three thousand texts. Alternatively the more expensive package is £25 for data with 500 minutes and three thousand texts.

Another scheme, this time by Carphone Warehouse that is aimed at tempting you on to their PAYG service is the 12-month Taste Card, with a value of £69.95 along with a free phone for a £5.10 per month top up which comes with 50 texts and 50 minutes of call time. The phones that come with this are only basic such as the Nokia 1800, 2220 or Samsung E2121B but at the low cost it’s worth the fifty percent off from food the card gives at over four thousand restaurants nationwide.

Orange have launched a new pay monthly mobile top up service called Tiny Top Ups which allows cash-strapped consumers to make tiny payments of 10p to make individual texts or phone calls. For most users this would be an expensive way of doing it compared to topping up a PAYG phone.

Vodafone’s new deal is a set of PAYG price plans that include 1000 minutes of free calls to other users on the Vodafone network in addition to your normal credit. The TopUps come in three flavours of £10, £15 and £30 which all offer 500 MB of internet access and 300, 500 and 3000 texts respectively.

Finally the smart phones have been popping up in PAYG deals though they are still very pricey for top of the line models. Apple’s iPhone 4 is available from a number of network operators now with a price tag in the region of £495 from O2 and Vodafone. O2 also throws in a free 300 texts and 500MB of data for users who top up at least £10 per month. With the incredibly high initial price of the latest mobiles it is hard to see these as good deals, especially with the smart choice of a contract with Orange available where you change your contract after 6 months under the My Best Plan offer.


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