Hello and welcome to Ken's Tech Tips, one of the UK's largest independent mobile technology websites. Our mission is to demystify the world of mobile technology. We're doing that by providing a no-nonsense guide on smartphones & mobile technology here in the UK. Whether you're looking to understand mobile technology, to compare the best deals available on the market, for a full review of the tariffs on each network or for information about changing your network or handset, we're here to help.

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Free Pay As You Go SIM Cards: Listed, Reviewed & Networks Compared

November 18th, 2014

How to get a free SIM card for your phone: Pay As You Go offerings compared from 18 UK mobile networks.

Pay As You Go SIM CardWhether you’re a smartphone fanatic or someone who only uses their phone on a very occasional basis, there’s some great deals to be had on Pay As You Go.

The best Pay As You Go tariffs offer super-low calling rates often rivalling those on a Pay Monthly tariff. If you’d like to take advantage of the best offers currently available, simply order a free SIM card below and slot it into the back of your existing mobile phone. There are no credit checks and there’s no need to set up a direct debit: simply top-up your phone when you need extra credit.

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Compare Pay As You Go Networks: Prices & Coverage

November 12th, 2014

Looking for a Pay As You Go mobile network with which to use your handset? Our interactive comparison table allows you to compare by price and by coverage.

Top UpConsumers looking for a Pay As You Go mobile tariff are spoilt for choice here in the UK. With nearly 20 networks you’re able to choose from, the UK has one of the most competitive marketplaces in the world for mobile communication.

When choosing a Pay As You Go mobile network, there are two primary considerations: price and coverage. It’s vitally important to get the best deal and not to pay any more than is required. You’ll also want a mobile network that offers good and reliable coverage.

The table below is intended to help you with navigating the UK’s mobile market. For each Pay As You Go network, we’ve listed the charges for accessing the internet, for making a phone call and for sending a text message. We’ve also listed the coverage provider for each mobile network. You can use the table in conjunction with our other guides when choosing a new network.

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Giffgaff launches 4G Goodybags from £12/month on Pay As You Go

November 8th, 2014

giffgaff is launching their 4G service on the 12th November. 4G goodybags will start from £12/month with 500 minutes and 1GB of 4G internet.

Giffgaff Logogiffgaff, the low-cost people-powered network which uses coverage from O2, is due to launch their 4G service on the 12th November 2014. Members wanting to use the new service will need a 4G-ready smartphone and one of giffgaff’s new 4G-ready goodybags. The 4G-ready goodybags start from £12/month with 500 minutes, unlimited text messages and 1GB of internet.

Compared to the normal 3G service, members using 4G on giffgaff can expect download speeds around five times faster. They’ll also benefit from a more reliable connection as giffgaff is using O2’s 800MHz spectrum in order to provide their 4G service. The low-frequency spectrum at 800MHz means better indoor coverage (the existing 3G service runs on the relatively high-frequency 2100MHz spectrum).

In this article, we’ll review giffgaff’s line-up of 4G-ready goodybags. We’ll compare the new 4G goodybags to giffgaff’s existing line-up of 3G-only goodybags. We’ll also compare giffgaff’s 4G offering to rival 4G offerings on Pay As You Go including those from EE, O2 and Vodafone. Finally, we’ll look at the 4G coverage offered by giffgaff and how you’re able to keep an existing number when moving your phone over to giffgaff.

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Vodafone’s Freedom Freebees: Pay As You Go Bundles From £10/month

November 5th, 2014

Vodafone’s Freedom Freebees start from £10/month on Pay As You Go. 4G internet is available from £20/month and 4G Entertainment from £30/month.

vodafoneVodafone’s most popular Pay As You Go tariff is their Freedom Freebees which start from £10 per month. The Freedom Freebees tariff will automatically convert your Pay As You Go credit into a 30-day bundle. The £10 per month bundle gives you 150 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of 3G internet. For 4G connectivity, you’ll need a bundle of £20 per month or more. For £30/month, there’s also 4G Entertainment included in the plan (a Spotify Premium or Sky Sports Mobile TV subscription).

The Freedom Freebee bundles are in direct competition with giffgaff’s goodybags, EE’s Everything Packs and O2’s Big Bundles.

In this article, we’ll review Vodafone’s Freedom Freebee bundles. We’ll look at how to buy a Freedom Freebee on Vodafone Pay As You Go and we’ll compare the Freedom Freebees to rival offerings from other mobile networks. Finally, we’ll look at the handsets available on Vodafone Pay As You Go, the level of coverage available on the tariff and how you’re able to keep your existing phone number when moving to the tariff.

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Cheapest Pay As You Go Bundles: The Best Value Prepay Packages For Your Phone

November 4th, 2014

With a Pay As You Go bundle, you convert your credit into a better value allowance of calls, texts and internet. We compare the UK’s cheapest Pay As You Go bundles.

Pay As You Go SmartphonesIn the UK, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to Pay As You Go deals. There are currently more than 40 Pay As You Go tariffs from 19 different networks. The strong competition in Pay As You Go means the best value deals now sometimes rival the best value deals found on Pay Monthly.

To get the best value on a Pay As You Go tariff, you’ll normally need to convert your airtime into a one-month Pay As You Go bundle. Buying a bundle is a little bit like paying for your usage in bulk. Instead of paying for usage on a per-minute, per-text and per-megabyte basis, you buy a bundle which lasts for one month and comes with calls, texts and internet included in the bundle. For frequent mobile users, the overall cost of using your phone should be much lower when buying a bundle.

At present, there’s a wide range of bundles to choose from in the UK. This article compares across the market and showcases some of the best value deals available in the UK.

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EE offering 100MB of ‘Free Data Every Month’ for life on Pay As You Go

October 29th, 2014

EE is currently offering “free data every month” for new customers on Pay As You Go. Customers get 100MB/month of free 4G data when they buy a new 4G smartphone, tablet or SIM card.

EE Christmas 2014 OfferNew customers joining EE Pay As You Go will receive 100MB/month of free 4G data as part of EE’s “Free Data Every Month” Christmas promotion. Once activated, the free data offering will continue indefinitely with the only condition being your device or SIM card is used on the EE network at least once every 180 days.

The 100MB of “Free Data Every Month” is available on new 3G & 4G smartphones and on free SIM card orders until the 28th December 2014. To qualify for the offer, you’ll need to activate your SIM card by making a one-time top-up of at least £5 before the 4th January 2015.

The free data offer is also available on new 4G tablets until the 31st January 2015. EE’s 4G tablets currently start from £99.99 on Pay As You Go (this will give you an Alcatel OneTouch Pop 7S). The tablet must be registered online by the 6th February 2015 in order to qualify for the free data offer.

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Inactivity Periods on Pay As You Go: How Long for Account Termination and Credit Expiry?

October 28th, 2014

If a Pay As You Go mobile phone or SIM card isn’t used for a certain amount of time, your credit may expire and your service could be terminated. Find out the account inactivity policy for each UK mobile network.

Top UpA Pay As You Go mobile tariff is often ideal for people who only use their phone on a very occasional basis. Unlike a Pay Monthly contract, a Pay As You Go phone doesn’t have the regular outgoings of monthly line rental. You simply pay for the things you actually use: the number of minutes you call for from the phone, the number of text messages you send to other people and the amount of data you download from the internet.

Because you won’t be charged for monthly line rental on a Pay As You Go tariff, it’s often a popular option amongst people who want their phone for “emergencies”. Whilst Pay As You Go tariffs don’t have a monthly line rental fee, there is an important requirement to use your phone occasionally to keep the line active. On most Pay As You Go networks, you’ll need to make a chargeable activity (e.g. an outgoing call or text message) at least once every six months. However, on some networks, the policy can be stricter (e.g. needing to use your phone at least once every 84 days). If you exceed the inactivity period specified by your network, your line will be terminated and any remaining credit on the account will be lost. Furthermore, you’ll lose your phone number and it will no longer be possible to transfer your phone number over to another network. Your phone will often display an error such as “SIM card registration failed” if this has happened to your account.

In this article, we’ll review and compare the inactivity policies of UK Pay As You Go mobile phone networks.

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EE’s Shared Plans: Share Your 4G Data With Other Smartphones & Tablets

October 23rd, 2014

EE’s Shared Plans allow you to have up to five devices on one combined plan. Share your 4G data allowance with other smartphones and tablets and get one combined bill for all of the usage.

EE Shared PlansCustomers on EE with more than one device can sometimes save money by signing up to a Shared EE Plan. By bringing multiple devices onto one combined plan, you’ll be able to share your data allowance across the multiple devices. You’ll also get one combined bill for all of the usage.

Shared 4G plans start from £7/month for a data-only SIM card (perfect for tablets and mobile broadband) and £12/month for a smartphone SIM card (complete with unlimited calls and unlimited texts).

You can order a shared 4G plan when buying any Pay Monthly handset from EE’s website (during the checkout, tick the box under ‘Add a 4G SIM to your existing device’). You can also buy one of the recommended sharing bundles listed on EE’s website.

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Vodafone 4G Entertainment: Free Netflix, Spotify or Sky Sports Mobile TV

October 17th, 2014

Vodafone’s 4G price plans have a free ‘Entertainment Pack’ included in the offering. Choose from a free subscription to Netflix, Spotify or Sky Sports Mobile TV.

Vodafone 4G Entertainment ServicesCustomers choosing a 4G price plan from Vodafone can choose a free entertainment pack to go with their tariff. On 24 month contracts with a new 4G handset, choose from either a 6 month subscription to Netflix (perfect for watching movies and TV shows online) or up to 24 months of Spotify Premium or Sky Sports Mobile TV. The offer is also available on 12 month SIM only contracts: you can get up to 12 months 4G Entertainment included on your plan.

In this article, we review Vodafone’s 4G Entertainment packages. We’ll look at the Entertainment included on each tariff and we’ll compare your three options of Netflix, Spotify Premium and Sky Sports Mobile TV. We’ll also look at how you’re able to use each of the packages: data consumption, handset compatibility and limitations associated with your usage.

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T-Mobile Smart Packs: Pay As You Go Bundles With 1GB Data From £10/month

October 16th, 2014

T-Mobile’s Smart Pack bundles start from £10/month on Pay As You Go with 100 minutes, 400 texts and 1GB of 3G internet.

T-MobileCustomers on T-Mobile Pay As You Go can buy a one-month Smart Pack using their Pay As You Go credit. By converting some of your Pay As You Go airtime into a one-month Smart Pack, you’ll get a great value bundle of calls, texts and internet. The allowances will last for up for 30 days with any unused allowances expiring with the bundle. Mobile internet is limited to 2G and 3G speeds (upgrade to an EE Everything Pack if you’d like faster 4G internet).

The Smart Pack bundles start from £10 and each last for 30 days. With the £10 Smart Pack, you’ll get 100 minutes, 400 texts and a generous 1GB of 3G internet (enough for most smartphone users). For heavy users, £15 and £25 Smart Packs are also available. These higher-priced Smart Packs come with more minutes, texts and internet. However, in general, EE’s Everything Packs will provide better value and will also give you 4G connectivity.

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