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O2 promises cheap international mobile calls

O2 'International Favourites' to be launched

O2 logo

O2’s International Favourites promises cheap international calls

Cheap international calls from your mobile will soon on offer from mobile giant O2 following the launch of its latest add-on, ‘International Favourites’.

O2 has designed International Favourites to target the UK’s £1.4 billion international calling market. Costing from £10 per month, O2 claims that when it launches the new add-on at the end of October, International Favourites will be ‘one of the best deals on offer for the six million people that regularly call abroad’.

O2’s new offer is aimed at people calling abroad from the UK rather than people who want to take their mobile phone on holiday.

International Favourites costs

O2’s International Favourites will be available as an add-on for O2 pay-as-you-go or pay-monthly customers for a fixed monthly fee on top of existing pacakge costs. The add-on has a one-month rolling contract. 

  • £10 a month gets you 3,000 minutes (50 hours) to three nominated international landline numbers
  • £20 a month gets you 3,000 minutes (50 hours) to three nominated international landline numbers plus 200 minutes to five nominated international mobile numbers 

You can change your nominated phone numbers on a monthly basis if you wish. 

‘Call me’ number

Both options also provide a ‘Call me’ phone number. ‘Call me’ gives ‘International Favourites’ customers a local phone number in one of 42 countries that can be given to unlimited friends and family members in that country. 

When contacts in that country call the local number, from either a landline or a mobile, it will connect to the O2 customer’s UK mobile but will cost the caller no more than their standard local rate.  

Cheap overseas calling alternatives

O2 says existing rivals to its new deal include:

  • Sim-only mobile providers, such as Lebara and Lycamobile – which specialise in cheap overseas calls
  • International phone cards
  • Skype and other Voip providers, which offer cheaper overseas calls via your computer

However, O2 described the international phone card market as ‘kind of grubby’, and filled with lots of hidden and costly catches. It added that unlike Sim-only providers and Skype, O2’s new deal is aimed at people who don’t want to have to put a new Sim in their phone to make international calls, and who don’t want to be tied to their PC or landline to be able to make or receive calls.

Which? mobile expert Ceri Stanaway says: ‘At first impression, £10 per month seems like a hefty fee to call just three landline international numbers. 

‘However, if you make lots of international calls from your mobile, using International Favourites may work out cheaper than sticking to your mobile’s standard overseas rate. If you have lots of friends and family based overseas and value the flexibility of making and receiving overseas calls wherever you – and your mobile – happen to be, O2’s new ‘International Favourites’ is worth considering.’

O2’s International Favourites add-on was developed following its purchase of mobile Voip company Jajah earlier in 2010 – relevant calls are carried over this mobile Voip network. 

O2 told Which? that this is the first step in its new plan to become market leader in the international calling market, and that it will be investigating other propositions – such as pay-as-you-go international calling plans – in the future.

If O2’s new add-on tempts you to switch, check first how O2 fared in the Which? reviews of the best mobile networks, plus more at Which? Mobile

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