The mobile phone market in the UK is gigantic, and of course it’s still growing. Social media, lower data usage rates, increased mobility: all are reasons for why we depend on these tiny (and larger) devices. According to an OFCOM Communications Market Report (2013), 94% of adults own/use a mobile phone. This has resulted in a total of 82.7 million mobile subscriptions in the UK alone, with 61% of subscriptions on contract.
“… activities are mostly carried out using smartphones, with over half of adults (51%) now owning these devices, almost double the proportion two years ago (27%).
At the same time, tablet ownership has more than doubled in the past year, rising from 11% of homes to 24%. The average household now owns more than three types of internet enabled device, with one in five owning six or more” (OFCOM Communications Market Report (2013).
Mobile devices, whether we’re talking conventional mobiles, smartphones or tablets, all require mobile connections, often achieved through network plans. More and more consumers are switching to pay monthly deals in order to pay a fixed rate for a larger amount of minutes, texts and most importantly internet data. The range of plans available as of today exceeds everything on offer a few years back.
So what’s actually new? Networks have responded to consumer interest, demand and competition, resulting in more choice for us all when choosing a plan suitable for our device(s). Two year contracts that seem appealing at first but many of us then regret, whether due to the constant payments required or the far better deals that appear the next day you’ve signed, are no longer the only option if we want a good value deal.
The introduction of SIM only deals has revolutionised the industry, creating an appealing compromise between pay-as-you-go options and conventional pay monthly contracts. We are now offered the attractive allowance bundles in the tripe figures (often unlimited) without the hefty contract term length. 30 day (1 month) plans give us the flexibility, the price, the allowance and more importantly the freedom to choose, continue or quit. Competitor offers can be taken up as soon as the term is over. Repayments and issues that fall among long term holders of contracts no longer have to daunt us. It’s like holding a pay-as-you-go SIM with total control but also reaping the benefits of pay monthly allowances.
The introduction of new mobile networks that highlight their unique sales points force the bigger players in the market to rethink strategy and create new products. Mobile phone consumers are price aware – a new plan slightly cheaper can become appealing for a switch. Data heavy plans for tablet users reduces prices across the industry.
It is money saving, consumer centric websites too that help prices stay low or lower overall. Comparison sites like Compare SIM Only Deals do this very job, allowing users to customise the ideal mobile plan and find one most suitable. So it’s finally occurred – consumers are choosing the network offers, not vice versa. It won’t be long before we will be paying virtually nothing for absolutely everything.