back to article O2 set to ditch handset upgrade lock-in

UK telecommunications operator O2 will aim to break the mobile phone handset upgrade cycle with a new selection of tariffs that will be cheaper than the pay-as-you-talk and monthly contract offerings currently available. A source familiar with the new O2 Simplicity range, which will be announced next week, said they will cut …


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  1. Ben Richards

    What about Data???

    Ok o2 are going to revamp their contracts but i bet is doesnt include decent data packages! O2's "unlimited" but really 1 gig data package is £45 per month in comparission to t-mobile's web n walk at £7.50 !

    How can o2 justify these prices ????

  2. Adam Wilbraham

    Virgin have been doing this for a while...

    Isn't this just the same as what Virgin Mobile have been offering since they introduced monthly contracts? My £10 a month 300 minutes / 300 texts SIM only deal is a monthly rolling contact too...

  3. Dan Maudsley

    Not new

    This isn't new and has been offered by other networks for some time. For example, Vodafone's Pay Monthly Sim-pack offers:

    * Fantastic savings on our standard pay monthly price plans

    * 30-day contract

    * Keep your existing phone

    (Taken from the Vodafone website)

    ie. exactly the same as this 'unique' O2 offering.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Look at the data rates!

    That £15 a month SIM-only offer looks good to start with, but look at the data prices!

    You get a measly 1MB included (actually they write Mb everywhere, ie. megabit, but let's be generous and assume they're just illiterate and that they really *mean* megabytes) and anything you use beyond that is a stonking £3 a Meg.

  5. Matthew

    Can only be good news...

    Anything that eccourages other operators to ditch the deliberate crippling of features in tied handsets must be good news.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Not new

    Indeed, not "unique", though I don't see that word in the piece. It is significant if they mount a decent push on this - others keep it pretty quiet so they don't upset the handset manufacturers.

  7. David Beck

    Playing catch-up

    Seems to me O2 are playing catchup. I'm on a T-Mobile SIM only 30 rolling contract plus WnW for a total of £15 a month and have been for about a year. Voda have SIM only (with expensive data still?), Virgin have pretty much always had it (I still have an Orange OVP contract based on the Virgin contract with zero cost per month). This leaves Orange out in the cold (no OVPs anymore). I don't count "3" since it doesn't count.

    I reckon the operators have finally discovered that if you are older than their sales staff you don't really want a new phone every year.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Upgrade subsidy?

    Yeah like where Orange offers 'subsidies' on upgrades that are vastly more expensive than those who just get a new contract and hardly different from buying the phone outright, and you still get a locked down phone!

    Sim-only deals are pretty good if they offer all the features. Problem is people like Orange (maybe others?) will deny you from using things like 3G and TV services on monthly contracts unless you buy their own branded phones (because they won't issue 3G sims or provide the content for the phone for these services).

    Though things are shifting now in the premium phone markets where consumers are now potentially better off buying unbranded sim-free phones which are not crippled or locked, or keeping their existing phone if it's expensive and only a few years old instead of upgrading. More so if you're a user more into smartphone features (PDA stuff), some data use and limited calls so don't need an expensive monthly tariff just to get a "free"* phone.

    * - as anyone should know, nothing in life is really free. Too many people are suckers for this with mobile deals though.

  9. Lloyd


    I've just told Orange where to stick their contract on an upgrade. They don't offer anything decent on 12 month contracts any more, I'd have to sign up to a new 12 month contract with them and suprise suprise, the phone I want is only avaiable for upgrade (limited amounts with priority given to existing customers apparently). So after 12 years as a customer I've finally left and am moving over to Vodafone and good riddance to be honest.

  10. Julian

    Not New Really

    O2 have been offering Sim only deals 30 day contracts like this for ages. £25 per month gets you 1000 text messages and 2000 off peak any network minutes. Looking at the website today they seem to have ditched this tarrif in favour of 600 minutes and 1000 texts for £25 per month crap!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cheap in Belgium

    When I moved out to Belgium a few months ago to work for Proximus (full disclosure etc) I was astonished at how cheap mobile contracts are compared to the UK. It is forbidden for companies to subsidise the handsets, so they are charged full price, but the cost of a contract is very low.

    For example, I currently pay 5 euros a month for a contract including 20 minutes of any time any network calls...that's less than 3.50 ukp...

    Although - to be fair, the data rates still aren't fantastic...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not even new for O2

    They didn't advertise the fact, but if you asked, they'd cut the contract cost after the 12 or 18 month tie in if you chose not to upgrade, so this isn't new, just spun differently.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How strange..

    Erm.. I've had an o2 sim only contract for two and a half years, so this isn't new!

  14. Jeroen Wijnands

    Sim only?

    Sounds like we've had in this country for a number of years now. It's called sim-only. Typically about 60% cheaper than a normal plan.

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