Before you start looking at pricing you need to check each network’s coverage in the areas you’ll be using it. Don’t rely on their coverage maps - check it yourself with a PAYG SIM from each network.
Where I live, all the networks show excellent 4G coverage and three of them show good 5G. In reality, only EE is reliable for 4G and 5G - the others suffer from oversubscription and have very poor data speeds and constant dropped calls.
It’s worth taking the time to check before you commit to a contract.
In addition to checking real-world coverage consider your needs. Data is one thing, but also I have an Apple Watch with cellular connectivity and only the major carriers support esim. So I use O2 for my personal line and Apple Watch on esim, and a traditional Lebara sim for my business line. Both services combined cost around £21/month.
When I lived in the Midlands, I was on a Three contract. When I moved back to the SouthWest, Three was just no good at all where I live and so I swapped to Vodafone, which has a much better footprint. I pay £6 a month, which includes 3.5GB of data, more than adequate for my needs as I’m definitely not a data hungry user. I also run a PAYG o2 sim which still only charges 3p per min for calls. Wife is on o2 contract, which was quite handy when we were in Sweden because she didn’t get any roaming charges. I believe most of the rest of the carriers are now charging for roaming in European countries? and o2 have apparently said they are not going to stiff customers with the roaming charges in the EU either now or in the future.
Definitely this. In particular, don’t rely on Three’s mapping. They tell me I have good 5G coverage at home (I don’t have a 5G phone , so can’t check), but when I look to getting a 5G router, they tell me that they hope to have 5G in my area soon.
My Wife’s o2 contract went up recently, but I think it amounted to about 60 pence increase, hardly a deal breaker for her moving to another provider.
Roaming isn’t exactly a big issue for us personally. For starters, we rarely visit anywhere in the EU these days and when we go to other places in the world, we’ll often just buy a local SIM for our stay and pop it into a MiFi. Egypt particularly has some good data SIM deals on some of the local networks. Any calls we make, are generally via WhatsApp and with the MiFi device, it’s easy and a whole lot more secure than using hotel WiFi etc.
If you’re already looking at honest mobile, you might be interested in registering for their smart signal beta.
This is the only realisation of the rumoured Apple endeavour from a few years back. Essentially an MVNO that piggybacks on all the networks for an optimised always best connection. Google Fi for the U.K. in a nutshell.
It’s a slow starter though. I’ve been on the wait list for months. Invites started going out last month, and I’ve not been invited yet despite being among the first in the queue.
Otherwise, in terms of pricing, features, and value I’ve been a fan of Sky mobile since that launched and have remained so ever since. I’ve been with Sky Mobile now longer than I have with any other network.
I’ll be honest here, I didn’t even realise Skype was still a thing. The last time I used Skype, was circa 2008 I think.
As I say, we generally use a MiFi abroad for data only sim so we can make calls via WhatsApp. South Africa is a bit of a pain buying a SIM because of RICA and we usually buy a SIM at Cape Town International airport and the guys at the Vodacom desk sort that out for us, but still a mild faff.
The change isn’t applicable to contracts already in service, presumably your wife is on the old system which is lesser than the next set of increases; but it’s not just about the material value of the increase: I don’t really like the idea that the networks have pretty terrible ethics and are expensive and have bad contract terms, with garbage support to boot