Mobile phone users in the UK have the opportunity to save more money thanks to new measures announced by communications regulator Ofcom.
It's seeking to do this by with new rules that make it easier to buy a handset and a tariff separately so you can save money in the long run. It's also urging networks to automatically switch customers who are out-of-contract to cheaper SIM only deals.
Right now an estimated whopping two million people are using their phone on a contract that's run its course. Rather than moving to a new deal and saving up to £74 per year, they're sticking with the contract. The new rules now mean they must be alerted by their network operator and given options to show how they could save money by changing contract – even more protections are heading your way.
Clear contracts for consumers
The proposed rules aim to help customers see more clearly what they're going to be paying before committing to a contract. As such the price of the handset and the price of the connection will be laid out so you can see if it would be cheaper to buy the SIM-free phone separately.
There are also plans to make split contracts more fair. These are contracts where customers pay for the phone and connection separately. The new rule will mean these two cannot be linked for over 24 months, thereby allowing people to upgrade when they want without feeling trapped to pay off another part of their contract.
Ofcom also wants networks to automatically move out-of-contract customers to fairer SIM only deals. Networks that have agreed include Virgin Mobile, Tesco Mobile, Vodafone and EE. Three has refused to do this.
Virgin Media will move out-of-contact customers to the equivalent 30-day SIM only deal, Tesco Mobile will reduce monthly charges, O2 will also reduce prices to equivalent SIM only deal while Vodafone and EE will reduce prices for out-of-contract customers after three months.
What are today's best mobile phone deals?
All of the mobile phone deals can be found at that link. These include big names on both Apple iOS and Android operating systems. To get you to the best contract tariffs on the biggest handsets even quicker, follow the below links and go from there:
Sign up to receive daily breaking news, reviews, opinion, analysis, deals and more from the world of tech.
Luke is a freelance writer and editor with over two decades of experience covering tech, science and health. Among many others he writes across Future titles covering health tech, software and apps, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and plenty more. He also likes to climb mountains, swim outside and contort his body into silly positions while breathing as calmly as possible.