Virgin launches UK's 'best value' mobile contractVirgin Mobile unveils £8.50 per month tariff

11 February 2009

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Virgin Mobile has launched a mobile phone tariff it claims is the ‘best value in the UK.’

The 18 month pay monthly deal costs £8.50 a month and includes a mobile handset, 100 anytime minutes and 100 texts each month.

Read our guide to the best mobile phone networks and providers here.

Inclusive mobile, minutes and texts

When Virgin Mobile customers on the £8.50 tariff have used their inclusive 100 minutes and texts, their tariff switches to Virgin Mobile’s standard rates, which include 15p per minute calls for the first five minutes each day and then 5p per minute thereafter.

Although the £8.50 deal includes a free mobile phone handset, only selected models are available free with the £8.50 plan. 

This excludes high profile and high specification phones like the Samsung Tocco, but does include the Which? Best Buy Nokia 5220 XpressMusic.

Virgin Mobile £8.50 tariff

The £8.50 per month tariff is one of the cheapest standard pay monthly contracts available if and even compares well against traditionally cheaper sim-only deals, which don't include a mobile phone handset.

Which? Technology expert, Matthew Bath, says: 'If you don't mind being tied into a contract for 18 months, Virgin Mobile's £8.50 pay monthly tariff is good value for light to moderate mobile phone users.

'But if you don't need a new handset or use your mobile phone much, it may be worth considering a pay as you go deal where you won't have a minimum contract or standing monthly charge.'

Rival cheap pay monthly mobile phone tariffs

  • Orange’s closest deal open to new customers offers 100 minutes and unlimited texts for £14 per month – but you'll need to commit to a 24 month contract.
  • Vodafone has a £15 per month 18 month plan which includes a new mobile phone and unlimited texts – but the deal does not include any inclusive minutes.
  • A comparable deal from T-Mobile costs £15 a month for 18 months, offering a phone, 100 minutes and 200 texts.
  • O2’s online £14.69 tariff lasts for 18 months and offers a phone handset and either unlimited texts or unlimited O2 to O2 calls.

Cheap sim-only monthly mobile phone tariffs

Some of the cheapest mobile phone deals are available from most mobile phone networks if you opt for a sim-only plan that does not include a new mobile phone handset. Cheap sim-only deals include:

  • Vodafone is currently advertising its best value sim-only plan. For £10 a month you get 100 minutes, 500 texts and the minimum contract period is 30 days.
  • Virgin Mobile’s Virgin £10 Talk sim-only plan costs £10 a month and offers 200 minutes, 200 texts and no minimum contract.
  • O2’s Online 10 plan offers 150 anytime minutes and 300 texts every month – and you'll only be tied into a contract for a month.
  • T-Mobile’s cheapest sim-only plan is its £15 a month Solo 15 plan with a one month minimum contract. It offers 350 minutes and unlimited texts.
  • Orange’s Dolphin 15 sim-only plan costs £14.68. Users get 200 anytime minutes, unlimited text and no minimum contract period.

You can compare mobile phone handsets and find Which? Best Buys in our mobile phone review.

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