T-Mobile began life in 1993 as Mercury One2One, proudly launched as the world’s first GSM 1800 mobile network. It was bought by Deutsche Telekom in 1999 and rebranded as T-Mobile UK to bring it in line with DT’s other telecoms operations across the world. T-Mobile set about competing with Vodafone, O2, Three Mobile and Orange as the UK’s top mobile networks, and offered pay as you go plans as well as free handset monthly contracts to the increasingly competitive UK market. It increased brand awareness through a series of marketing strategies that incorporated high profile sports sponsorship, including on the shirts of West Bromwich Albion, Rotherham United and Bayern Munich. The latter deal remains one of the longest running sponsorships in club football, running at over 20 years.
EE Mobile Phone ContractsView All
As far as the best T-Mobile phone contracts in the UK are concerned, there are none. None any more in the UK, that is. In 2010 the Deutsche Telekom owned T-Mobile UK merged with France Télécom's Orange to create Everything Everywhere, which quickly dropped the full moniker to become EE, the UK’s largest mobile network operator. EE is, of course still going strong today, and was sold by France Télécom and Deutsche Telekom in 2015 to BT for a whopping £12.5bn. Not only is the T-Mobile story a perfect example of a German company taking a British company and joining forces with a French company to make it the best possible company it could be before selling it back to another British company for handsome profit, but is also testament to how successful T-Mobile became as a household name for shoppers on the hunt for the latest mobile phone deals on the UK high street.
Before smartphones transformed the way we view handsets the norm in the UK was either pay monthly phone contracts or pay as you go sim deals. It is safe to say that the release of the first iPhone in 2007 kickstarted the smartphone boom, and helped to propel T Mobile into the position it found itself in thanks to its merger of its high speed 3G and HSPDS networks with those of Three Mobile in 2008. Both companies realised that the future of mobile phones lay down the smartphone and data route, with the advent of Facebook in 2004 driving the concept of apps and mobile data being increasingly important to our lives. By 2012 smartphones had overtaken PCs as the most used devices to access Facebook and, when major messaging services like Whatsapp (2009) and Instagram (2010) launched it rang the death knell of SMS services.
It is small wonder, then, that the early T Mobile contract offers that featured precious minutes and texts have been replaced by contracts that offer endless call time and SMS as standard, while unlimited 5G data deals are the most sought after phone plans on the market. Thanks to EE and its scores of mobile phone contracts of all shapes and sizes the T Mobile legacy lives on. Just like its sponsorship of Bayern Munich.
- Tariff Information
T-Mobile offers a range of monthly contracts that can be separated into three broad categories: standard Pay Monthly contract, SIM only contracts and You Fix contracts. Standard Pay Monthly plans usually include a phone with the monthly cost of the contract while SIM only contracts do not include a phone and as such tend to be cheaper. You Fix contracts are unique to T-Mobile and offer a mixture of monthly contract and PAYG features.
Many monthly contracts from T-Mobile include an ‘Unlimited Booster’. Unlimited Boosters are a unique feature of T-Mobile’s network that allows users to select an additional service such as unlimited texts or unlimited landline calls and add it to their contract. This service can be changed each month depending on requirements and additional Boosters can be added to contracts for a monthly fee.
Standard Pay Monthly
Standard Pay Monthly plans last either 18 or 24 months and usually include a phone, a monthly allowance of free minutes and texts, and other selected services such as mobile internet. In general, 18 month contracts tend to be around £5 per month more expensive than 24 month equivalent contracts.
As well as standard contracts with varying allowances of minutes, texts and data, T-Mobile also offer special 24 month contracts known as “Full Monty plans”. All Full Monty contracts include unlimited internet, unlimited texts, unlimited T-Mobile calls and a large allowance of any-network minutes. These plans also come with a phone and more expensive plans are available packaged with premium phones.
Data allowances for contracts other than the Full Monty plans are separated into 3 categories: Basic, Standard and Extra, designed to suit different user needs. These packages also come with various amounts of free Wi-Fi access.
Many T-Mobile contracts include a free phone, but depending on their choice of phone and contract some customers may be required to pay an additional up-front free to cover the initial cost of the handset.
You Fix plans combine elements of standard monthly contracts and Pay As You Go contracts. Customers with You Fix plans pay a monthly fee and receive an allowance of free minutes and texts. Once these minutes and texts are used, customers must top-up in order to continue making calls or sending texts, similar to PAYG contracts. The advantage of this is that it isn’t possible to run up a large bill without your knowledge. All You Fix plans last 12 months and include one free Unlimited Booster, except the £10 per month deal.
Some You Fix contracts include a free phone, but due to the short duration of the contracts most will require an up-front payment towards the cost of the handset.
SIM Only contracts do not include a phone and as a result are frequently cheaper than other equivalent T-Mobile monthly contracts which include handsets. SIM Only deals are available with either 12 month or 30 day durations. See the T-Mobile SIM Only section for further details on these tariffs.
Pay As You Go (PAYG)
T-Mobile offer different Pay As You Go tariffs to suit different types of use, though all tariffs include a free data allowance with some top ups.
There are four types of PAYG plan: the Talk Plan, Text Plan, International Plan and BlackBerry Plan, each of which confers additional benefits when customers top up over a given amount. The Talk Plan offers lower standard call charges and free minutes; the Text Plan offers lower standard text charges and unlimited free text messages; the International Plan offers lower standard international call charges to selected countries and free international minutes; and finally, the BlackBerry plan offers BlackBerry Mail and Messenger services and free browsing.
Pay As You Go tariffs from T-Mobile can be further customised by adding ‘Boosters’. These are extra services such as extra inclusive text messages or mobile internet use that can be bought for a one-off cost, taken from credit.
If you’re moving to T-Mobile from another UK network, it is usually possible to keep your current mobile number. The first step to doing this is to simply sign up to your new contract with T-Mobile and receive a SIM with a new number.
The second step is to obtain a ‘PAC’ code from your current provider so that your new number can be replaced with your old one. ‘PAC’ stands for ‘Port Authorisation Code’ and you can obtain one simply by calling your current provider and requesting one. Ofcom, the UK’s telecommunications regulators, have stated that networks should provide customers with a PAC when requested either immediately over the telephone or within two hours via text message.
Once you have received a PAC from your current provider, pass it on to T-Mobile and inform them that you wish to transfer your new number. This should usually only take a few days.
It is sometimes possible to obtain a PAC before you sign a new contract and submit it during the process. T-Mobile will then automatically process the transfer of your old number, but you will likely have a new number for a few days while this process goes through. Note that PAC codes are only valid for 30 days after they are issued.
- Free Benefits
|Everything Everywhere||Free||All T-Mobile customers can use the Orange network for free when a T-Mobile signal is unavailable, allowing for better coverage.||All|
|Recommend a Friend||Free||When a friend joins T-Mobile on a current customer’s recommendation, both receive a £25 gift voucher.||All|
T-Mobile´s Pay As You Go and Pay Monthly contracts can be customised and expanded with their range of ´Boosters´. Some plans come with one or more inclusive Boosters, but most customers can add a Booster to their account for a fee, either added to their monthly bill or taken from their credit.
Boosters are available to provide a wide range of services, such as inclusive minutes, BlackBerry email services or mobile data. T-Mobile also offer a range of ´Unlimited Boosters´ which provide benefits like unlimited texts or unlimited calls to T-Mobile numbers.
T-Mobile offers mobile internet access for both Pay Monthly and Pay As You Go through a range of different options. Many Pay Monthly contracts from T-Mobile include mobile internet as standard and for others it can be added with a Flexible Booster. Mobile internet can also be added to a PAYG account with a Booster.
T-Mobile split their standard Pay Monthly data allowances into three categories:
Basic Internet – 100MB of mobile data.
Standard Internet – 750MB of mobile data and 3GB of WiFi.
Extra Internet – 1.5GB of mobile data and 3GB of WiFi.
Customers with lower data allowances attached to their contracts can add Extra Internet to expand their allowance for a monthly fee. T-Mobile do not apply extra charges to customers who exceed their data allowance, but they may restrict internet access to these users.
T-Mobile also offer a range of ‘Full Monty’ deals, all of which include unlimited internet. These contracts are advertised as having no limiting fair use policy. Customers without a data allowance can either add a data bundle to their account or browse the internet on a pay-as-you-browse basis, charged per day of access.
Pay As You Go customers on T-Mobile can also access the internet directly without adding a Booster and will be charged per day. Alternatively, PAYG customers can select a Booster to add mobile internet access.