Jersey Consumer Council

Consumer News

A Shiny New Mobile Phone

October 21, 2015 Telecommunications, Top tips No Comments

A Shiny New Mobile Phone

If you are thinking of buying a new mobile phone here’s some top tips you need to think about. In the next few weeks in the Christmas rush, Jersey’s mobile telephone providers compete hard for your business and as such, there will be deals on offer, and we suggest you shop around.

All providers offer PAYG and monthly plans (12 or 24 months) and a huge selection of additional bolt-ons, e.g. extra call minutes, text messages or data and some even offer free calls to the UK, Poland and Portugal and some offer free incoming calls when roaming in the EU. In addition, each provider offers around 50 different types of handsets for sale, so the choice of which plan to go for, which tariff and which phone can seem a little daunting.

Buying a new mobile phone and deciding which one to go for and deciding whether to go on a Pay As You Go Plan (“PAYG”) or a Monthly contract, can be a daunting and complex matter. This 8 Step Guide will hopefully guide you through the process, to help you choose the right phone and right tariff, suited to your own particular needs.

We have identified 8 steps to assist you with your research and purchase decision.

Step 1: What type of mobile user are you?

Step 2: Check your usage

Step 3: Which type of phone do you require?

Step 4: Decide what your budget is

Step 5: Compare tariffs

Step 6: Check Mobile Signal Coverage

Step 7: Read the terms & conditions

Step 1: What type of mobile user are you?

Your first step is to decide which type of mobile user you are?

  • Are you a heavy, medium or light user?
  • Do you mostly call local, national or international numbers?
  • Do you make more calls or do you text more?
  • Do you access the Internet a lot whilst on the move? i.e. websites and social media

The answers to these questions will indicate which plan you should go on. If you’re just an occasional mobile user, maybe a PAYG plan is best suited to you. On the other hand, heavy users will most benefit from contract plans that offer the maximum amount of call minutes, text messages and data.

Step 2: Check your useage

The next step is to check your usage by checking your existing mobile phone bills, say over the past 3 months, or alternatively, if you have not got your recent bills to hand, your provider should be able to tell you. This will give you a good idea of how many call minutes, text messages and data you use.

If you are on a monthly plan for example and exceed your monthly minutes, text or data allowance, you could be paying a lot more than you think. Don’t forget, check whether you can be flexible in changing your plan at any time you like or if your contract has expired or is nearing expiry. Mention to your provider that you are considering switching. Just by asking them directly, you’re letting them know that you might switch. They’ll do their best to keep you by offering special deals, especially if you mention prices you’ve seen elsewhere. Comparing and switching only takes a few minutes and you can take or port your number with you. Just make sure you know what you’re paying at the moment, and the basic details of your phone usage. A Pay-As- You Go phone option maybe attractive if you are buying a first mobile phone for someone as this will be easier to keep an eye on costs as there is no monthly contract and gives good basic usage costs on which to make future mobile choices. (Section 5 for additional information)

Step 3: Which type of phone do you require?

Your first decision is whether to go for a conventional mobile phone or a smart phone, which meets your needs and budget. If you mainly need voice and text-messaging capability, and perhaps a music player and camera, then you’re perhaps best off choosing a conventional phone.

If however, you need frequent access and high-speed access to the internet, to shop and bank online, check e-mails, access social media sites, multimedia, games, travel, news, weather, references, etc., then a Smart phone is perhaps your best option. (the iPhone, Nokia Lumiere, HTC, Sony Experia, Blackberry and Samsung Galaxy are all examples of popular Smart phones – i.e. phones that act like mini mobile computers as well as essential phone functions) Most new Smart phones should be able to support 4G, and with 4G promised as early as 1st quarter next year, it’s best to check that if your choice is a smart phone, then it’s 4G ready! Most will, but be sure to check this first with the provider. Indications from the Jersey-based operators is that, unlike UK mobile operators, they will not be charging a premium rate. A 4G system, in addition to the usual voice and other services of 3G, provides mobile broadband Internet access, for example to laptops with wireless modems, to other smartphones and other mobile devices, is up to 10 times faster than 3G. You will soon be able to access the web, make internet telephone calls, download movies in minutes, watch TV, access social media – all whilst being on the move.

Step 4: Decide what your budget is

If you’re on a tight budget, and have limited use for making mobile calls, you may be much better off by choosing to go on a PAYG plan. Heavy users will more than likely be better off with a Monthly Plan, and the exact plan you choose is all dependent on your available budget and the amount of use you require.

Step 5: Compare tariffs


If you’re a light user and opt for a PAYG plan, you will need to buy a phone. With PAYG, you purchase credit in advance of service use. There’s no monthly contracts or complicated agreements. From just single figures you just top up your phone with credit as and when you need it. This means you’re in total control of where your money goes. If there is no available credit then access to the requested service is denied by the mobile phone network. Users are able to top up their credit at any time using a variety of payment mechanisms.

Advantages of pay as you go

Opting for a PAYG deal as opposed to a pay monthly phone contract has many advantages.

For starters, it’s the ideal option for first time mobile phone users such as teenagers or the elderly. Rather than diving into a phone contract which could result in you paying too much for a package of minutes, texts and data that you don’t want or need, a PAYG deal gives you the chance to get to grips with how you use your phone. If in time you decide you’re ready to upgrade to a phone contract, simply opt for a SIM only deal and you can hold onto your own handset whilst still keeping the payments low.

In the same way, a PAYG phone also allows you to cap your monthly spending, which is great for those who like to keep a keen eye on their bank balance. Unlike pay monthly contracts, a pay as you go deal won’t let you run over your allotted tariff. Once your credit’s gone, it’s gone!

Another advantage of a pay as you go phones includes the fact that they are flexible. So if you’re planning on going away for two weeks and leaving your phone behind, you don’t have to waste money by paying for a contract that you haven’t even used!

Be aware that if you do not use your PAYG credit within a specified period of time, as per your network provider should tell you, it expires and you will lose it!

What phones can I get on Pay As You Go?

You might be won over with the idea of a PAYG deal, but what mobile phones are on offer if you go down this route?

If you’re a technophobe you can always opt for an ultra-basic feature phone, which is simple to use, and above all, cheap to buy! Alternatively, if you want a slice of the pay as you go action without compromising on the handset, you can always pick up the latest iPhone, Samsung, HTC, Nokia or Sony flagship to fit in with the crowds.

This allows for a full mix and match option.

Monthly Plans

If you’re a medium to heavier user, a monthly plan might be your best option. The main benefit of entering into a monthly plan is that you usually get either a phone set with no-upfront costs or with a smaller amount paid up-front (or heavily subsidised phone) at the start of the contract, but you will be paying for it over the life of the contract. In general, the more expensive the phone (e.g. up-to-date smart phones), the more you will pay. Each mobile operator’s service offerings will differ so it’s best to check first before deciding which suits you best. You may wish to consider a handset finance option on phones as this separates the handset costs from the minutes, text and data bundle

You will need to work out what each operator’s package includes and excludes covering call minutes, text messages and data. When you select your handset you need to establish how the data works – the volume of both inbound and outbound data as this impacts on your data usage.

Step 6: Check Mobile Signal Coverage

Check out signal availability in the area where you live; you could ask friends and family or the mobile operator themselves you to show you on-line if their network coverage is adequate for where you live.

Step 7: Read the terms & conditions

You should make sure that you fully understand the terms and conditions of your preferred option.

Mobile Phone Check List

Steps Your Research
Step 1: What type of mobile user are you? Are you a heavy, medium or light user?

Do you mostly call local, national or international numbers?

Do you make more calls or do you text more?

Do you access the Internet a lot whilst on the move? i.e. websites and social media

Step 2: Check your usage

Note down the costs and details of 6 monthly bills; did you exceed or under use your limits?
Step 3: Which type of phone do you require? Smart or not smart?
Step 4: Decide what your budget is Work out what you can afford and how you will be paying for your mobile.
Step 5: Compare tariffs Research the Jersey mobile providers.

1. Airtel-Vodafone 07829 700121

2. Jersey Telecom Tel: 882882

3. Sure 0808 10 15 247

4. Y:tel 50 64 64

Each provider has a high street shop for you to visit and meet the staff.

Step 6: Check Mobile Signal Coverage


Research with friends and family or ask the network providers to show you their coverage.
Step 7: Read the terms & conditions


You need to read what you are signing up to and make sure you understand it.



Comments are closed.