If you thought a 12- or 18-month mobile contract looked like a big commitment, take a look at Orange 's new 24-month contract deals . The French telecom giant has made the lengthy price plans available in response - it says - to customers saying they wanted to manage their mobile phone expenditure more effectively.

The new tariffs are designed around those wanting to spend around £20-£40 per month, but who also want far more free texts and minutes per month than they could have from shorter 12- or 18-month contracts.

"Our new 24-month contracts are perfect for those looking to get significantly better value in return for a lengthened commitment and hanging on to their handset for two years," says Orange's Rob Kerrison.

"Customers can talk and text even more, reducing the chance of having to spend beyond their monthly package cost."

The only problem with the scheme is making sure your handset lasts the two years between upgrades, especially if your new mobile only comes with a one year guarantee. What's clear is that the move will save the phone giant millions in unnecessarily upgrading handsets.

Orange is also offering a new SIM-only monthly rolling contract option - with a commitment of only 30 days - which has the "same benefits as the 24 month contract", offering high numbers of free texts and hundreds of minutes. Customers buy only the SIM card and buy the handset separately or use their existing phone.

Typical Orange 24-month contracts:

  • Dolphin £35: 900 minutes calls, unlimited texts
  • Racoon £35: 1200 minutes calls , 150 texts , unlimited landline calls
  • Canary £40 : 1400 minutes calls, 450 texts, unlimited Orange calls