Tesco Mobile £30 deal: your questions answered

Tesco Mobile
Suzanne Shaw fronts up Tesco Mobile's £30 promotion

Tesco's new £30 per month tariff which we reported on yesterday gives you unlimited calls, texts, browsing and picture messaging. Here's everything else you need to know.

Is there a fair use limit?

As with anything supposedly unlimited, there is. The "unlimited calls, texts and browsing are subject to a fair use limit of £500," says Tesco, though doesn't define how this could be split. You'd have to make an awful lot of calls to get near that, though. Tesco's most expensive call rate is 20p per minute, so that's 2,500 minutes or 41.6 hours per month!

Who runs the network?

Tesco Mobile is a joint venture between O2 and Tesco and as such is a virtual network – the actual infrastructure is O2's, so you're using its mobile and data coverage.

Do I get a handset?

No, you bring your own handset, so you need to make sure it's unlocked. To send MMS messages or browse the web, you'll obviously need a compatible handset.

Will Tesco send me a SIM?

Yes. You can upgrade from any existing Tesco Mobile tariff, or order a new SIM if you're not an existing customer.

How long is the agreement?

It's a rolling contract, so you can cancel it any time with a single month's notice.

Does it include all calls?

All standard calls to UK 01, 02 or 03 landlines and 07 mobile numbers are included, but not premium, non-geographic and free phone numbers starting 08 and 05.

Is there any international use included?

No, you will have to pay standard roaming or international call rates. Check the link for a full guide to calling rates in the country you want to visit.

Can I use the tariff for tethering my phone to my laptop?

You can't – as is standard on most unlimited tariffs, you're not able to use the browsing minutes for anything other than personal use on the phone. You are also not allowed to do "continuous streaming of any audio / video content, enable Voice over Internet (VOIP) [or] P2P or file sharing" though short-form video content would appear fine. Though, providing you don't use it too much, Tesco would be hard pressed to detect that you were using it for this kind of access.


Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site T3.com. Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.