|My grandson's phone|
I am really a bit behind the times on what people pay for their phones these days, and I am interested to see how things stack up.
I used to sell Orange phones, and they had packages for monthly fees and call charges. These days a lot of stuff is included, though, ironically, freephone calls are often extra even now.
Of course, for a long time, phones were so expensive the mobile contract was a tie-in to cover the cost of the phone. I am frankly shocked at how cheaply a phone can be made these days with retail prices of SIM free phones starting under £15 inc VAT! Yes, smartphones cost more, and Apple doubly so, but even some Androids are SIM free in Argos under £100.
Do clearly, the cost of the phone is less and less of an issue for the mobile contract and finally (I hope) we are seeing more "you buy what phone you like" being completely independent of "you get a SIM for a service you like".
Also, I assume, gone are the days of the coverage wars. When I was selling Orange - coverage maps were king. These days there are always some black spots and some places with one network beating another, but coverage is ubiquitous for most. Am I right?
So, really, what are people paying these days, and what do they get?
The reason I ask is simply because of the service we are doing with this SIP2SIM. It is really aimed at businesses but I think it has a place for "normal phones". Last time we did this, I tried with some of my kids, and was surprised at the bills. What killed it was texts, and the cost for texts. But that has changed. No more are texts the thing - it is facebook messages, snapchat, iMessage, and so on, at data rates that are (a) mostly on wifi, and (b) a fraction of the costs of texts.
So I think, to be honest, a "pay for what you use" arrangement may make sense compared to the packages for my kids. Some are trying it now, even my 5 year old grandson. They, being family, do have the advantage that we charge them cost prices, but even at our normal retail I can see this working well.
Some people on irc have done sums and said we beat the mobile package they were on hands down, even paying us for inbound calls! It depends what you do - if you make lots of long calls all day then maybe not, but a lot of people now seem to make few and short calls, relying on iMessage and facebook and email (again, mostly on wifi).
I tend to make a mobile call long enough to walk to my desk phone and steal the call over to that, and use data and calls occasionally when away from the office. For me it is way cheaper, even as a company / business phone, than the £5/month I was paying giffgaff. It is a lot less hassle for me, and, of course, unlike every UK mobile operator it means I have ACR as required by law for over a decade now. I also get call recording of my mobiles (which I am sure financial services companies would love).
The prices we are selling at are (+VAT) £2/month, 2p/min for calls, 2p/text, 2p/MB for data. Yes, we tried to make it simple. No min term, just monthly rolling contact. Charged by the second and by the kb, so short calls and iMessages and so on are a tiny cost. We do a VoIP number for £1/month and calls as low as 1p/min with a 2p min charge. Even adding that to your outbound calls the overall cost is pretty low.
So do A&A SIMs, with a geographic number, actually work out competitive to typical teenage kid or even business phone packages?
I am thinking yes, at last, they might be - what do you think?