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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08, 09 and 118 Phone Numbers: The Cost Of Calling From Your Mobile

July 1st, 2015

Find out how much it’ll cost to call special phone numbers from your UK mobile. Includes 08, 09 and 118 phone numbers.

UK Calling LogoFrom July 1st 2015, the cost of calling special phone numbers is changing in the UK. Special phone numbers, which beginning with 08, 09 and 118, are often used by companies in the UK. They’re also used for premium rate services, for TV show voting and for directory enquiries.

On all UK mobile networks, it’s now totally free of charge to call an 0800 or 0808 phone number.

For 084, 087, 09 and 118 phone numbers, the cost of your phone call is now divided into two parts. There’s an access charge from your mobile network operator (this varies from 8p/minute to 45p/minute). There’s also a separate service charge which goes to the company or organisation running the phone number.

Calls to an 084, 087, 09 or 118 phone number are not normally included in your monthly allowances. Pay Monthly customers will see a charge for the phone call appearing on their next bill. Meanwhile, Pay As You Go customers will see credit being taken from their account. Customers with a Pay As You Go monthly bundle will need to top-up extra money to pay for 084, 087, 09 and 118 phone calls.

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PAC Codes: How to transfer your mobile number when switching networks

June 21st, 2015

How to transfer your existing phone number from one mobile network to another: a step-by-step guide to using a PAC code.

If you’re changing mobile networks, it’s not necessary to also change your phone number. In the UK, it’s a straightforward process to bring your phone number with you to a new mobile network. It means you eliminate the hassle of changing your phone number: there’s no need to tell anyone a brand new number and you can be sure not to miss any vital incoming calls.

To transfer your phone number from one network to another, you need to use something called a PAC Code. It’s free to transfer your phone number between networks and the whole process should only take one working day.

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ASDA Mobile Review: Low Cost Pay As You Go Network With Coverage From EE

June 16th, 2015

ASDA Mobile is a low-cost Pay As You Go network from ASDA, the UK’s second largest supermarket. It runs on the 2G & 3G networks from EE.

ASDA Mobile LogoIn the UK, ASDA Mobile is a low-cost Pay As You Go network with competitive rates for calling and texting. A key competitor of Tesco Mobile and Mobile By Sainsbury’s, the network has a range of 30-day bundles starting from £5/month for 100 minutes, 2000 texts and 100MB of internet. For occasional users, a traditional Pay As You Go service is available on ASDA Mobile for 8p/minute, 4p/text and for 5p/MB of data.

ASDA Mobile is a SIM-only mobile network where you need to provide your own unlocked handset. The network has 99% 2G and 3G coverage across the UK. The coverage on ASDA Mobile is provided by EE but you won’t get access to EE’s 4G network.

In this article, we take an in-depth look at the ASDA Mobile service. We’ll look at the price plans available on ASDA Mobile and we’ll see how they compare to those on rival networks. We’ll also look at how to use your existing handset on ASDA Mobile, the level of coverage to expect and how to keep your existing phone number.

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The Popularity Of UK Mobile Networks: Raw Data & Trends Over Time

June 10th, 2015

For the past four and a half years, we’ve been tracking the popularity of UK mobile networks and how consumers are switching between them.

UKThe UK has one of the most competitive marketplaces in the world for mobile telephony. There are more than 83 million active mobile subscriptions for a population of only 64 million. Given this, many customers taking out a new mobile phone plan will be switching their service over from another network.

At present, there are 4 network operators in the UK: EE, O2, Three and Vodafone. There are also more than 20 virtual network operators (MVNOs) that use one of the big four networks as a coverage provider. Current MVNOs include BT Mobile, giffgaff, iD Mobile, TalkTalk, Tesco and Virgin. MVNOs target a wide range of verticals including ethical, low-cost, international, supermarket and quad-play providers.

When switching from one mobile network to another, many consumers choose to keep their existing phone number. The UK has offered mobile number portability (MNP) since the 4th January 1999. To transfer an existing phone number from one network to another, customers need to obtain a PAC Code from their old network. The PAC Code is then provided to their new network operator.

Here, at Ken’s Tech Tips, we provide an online tool which can help consumers to get a PAC Code from their old network. We’ve been operating the PAC Code Finder tool since October 2010 with an average of 4,000 people using the tool every month. By monitoring usage of the tool, we can track in great detail how British consumers are moving between different mobile networks in response to different product offerings.

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Vodafone’s Big Value Bundles: Pay As You Go From £10/month

June 3rd, 2015

Vodafone offers a choice of ‘Big Value Bundles’ from £10/month on Pay As You Go. 4G internet is available on bundles from £20/month and 4G Entertainment on bundles from £30/month.

vodafoneVodafone’s most popular tariff on Pay As You Go is their Big Value Bundles which start from £10 per month. Previously known as ‘Freedom Freebees’, a Big Value Bundle will convert your Pay As You Go credit into a 30-day allowance of calls, texts and internet.

The £10/month entry-level bundle gives you 150 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of 3G internet. For 4G connectivity, you’ll need a bundle of £20/month or more. From £30/month, there’s 4G Entertainment included in your bundle. With 4G Entertainment, there’s a choice between a NOW TV Entertainment Pass, a Spotify Premium subscription or access to Sky Sports Mobile TV.

Vodafone’s Big Value Bundles are in direct competition against giffgaff’s goodybags, EE’s Everything Packs and O2’s Big Bundles.

In this article, we review Vodafone’s Big Value Bundles. We’ll look at how to buy a Big Value Bundle and how Vodafone’s Pay As You Go tariff compares to rival networks. We’ll also look at the Vodafone Rewards scheme and the products you can earn by collecting Rewards Points. Finally, we’ll look at the handsets available on Vodafone Pay As You Go, the level of coverage available and how to keep an existing phone number when moving to Vodafone.

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EE Coverage & Network: Everything You Need To Know

May 28th, 2015

EE currently brands itself as “the UK’s biggest mobile network”. Find out how their mobile phone coverage compares to rival networks.

EEOver the past few years, EE has made a name for itself by pioneering 4G technology in the UK. Having been the UK’s first network to launch a 4G service, EE has continued to stay ahead of the curve. For even faster downloads, EE has double-speed 4G coverage in two-thirds of the country (it’s the only UK network to offer such a service). EE has also started rolling out 4G+ (LTE-Advanced) coverage to customers in London. Recently, EE launched Wi-Fi Calling for greater reliability when making a phone call indoors.

In this article, we take an in-depth look at the coverage on EE. We’ll look at EE’s network: where it came from, the types of coverage offered and how speeds on EE compare to rival networks. We’ll also look at the list of MVNOs using coverage from EE, at the traffic management policy on EE’s mobile network and at the level of coverage you can expect when going abroad.

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Tethering on UK Networks: Which Mobile Networks Allow You To Tether?

May 19th, 2015

In the UK, only some mobile networks allow you to tether. We explore the mobile tethering policies for each UK network.

Tethering

With tethering or personal hotspot, you can share your mobile internet connection with another device (e.g. a laptop or a tablet).

Tethering or personal hotspot refers to the process of sharing your smartphone’s internet connection with another device. It’s often used as a convenient way to get your laptop or tablet connected to the internet on-the-go.

Most smartphones now have tethering functionality (this includes the iPhone, Android and Windows Phone devices). However, only certain mobile networks will allow you to tether (it’ll sometimes be restricted in your network’s terms and conditions). There may also be a limit on how much data you can use through tethering.

In this article, we review and compare the tethering policies on each UK network. We’ll also highlight some of the best value deals with support for tethering.

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TalkTalk Mobile: Review of the Exclusive Mobile Network for TalkTalk Customers

May 17th, 2015

TalkTalk offers low-cost mobile phone and SIM-only deals. The service is exclusive to customers who have TalkTalk home broadband.

TalkTalkIf you’re currently a customer of TalkTalk home broadband, you can now take advantage of low-cost mobile deals on TalkTalk Mobile, the exclusive mobile network for TalkTalk customers.

TalkTalk currently offers 24-month contracts with a new handset included free of charge. They also have a number of SIM-only deals: an airtime-only package for customers wanting to keep their current handset. Of particular note, the All-in SIM card has unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited internet for only £12/month. TalkTalk Mobile uses 2G and 3G coverage from the Vodafone network.

In this article, we review the TalkTalk Mobile service. We’ll look at the offerings from TalkTalk Mobile and the requirement to have TalkTalk Broadband at your home. We’ll also look at the coverage on TalkTalk and how you can keep an existing mobile number when moving to the network.

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iD Mobile Review: The Low Cost Network From The Carphone Warehouse

May 12th, 2015

iD Mobile from the Carphone Warehouse offers Pay Monthly contracts with the GoTo, TakeAway and ShockProof price plans.

iD Mobile LogoThe Carphone Warehouse has just launched its latest own-brand mobile network: iD Mobile. Designed for the “generation that’s obsessed with the mobile internet”, iD Mobile offers 3G & 4G internet with underlying coverage provided from Three.

The new mobile network offers three types of tariff: GoTo, ShockProof and TakeAway. Each type of tariff caters for a different audience: GoTo for mainstream users, ShockProof for better spend control and TakeAway for travellers who frequently go abroad.

iD Mobile replaces Talkmobile, the 3G-only network previously run by the Carphone Warehouse. It’s no longer possible to get a Talkmobile price plan from the Carphone Warehouse.

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O2’s Big Bundles Reviewed: Pay As You Go Packages from £10/month

May 7th, 2015

O2 currently offers “Big Bundle” packages from £10/month on Pay As You Go with 4G internet included.

O2 Big BundlesCustomers on O2 Pay As You Go can buy a monthly “Big Bundles” package for a one-month allowance of calls, texts and internet. The Big Bundle packages start from £10/month: you convert £10 of your normal Pay As You Go credit into a one-month allowance of 250 minutes, 1000 texts and 500MB of 4G internet. On higher-priced bundles from £15/month, there’s more minutes, texts and internet included.

In this article, we review the O2 Big Bundles tariff. We’ll compare the Big Bundles offering to key alternatives such as giffgaff’s goodybags, EE’s Everything Packs and Vodafone’s Big Value Bundles. We’ll also discuss how to buy a Big Bundle and how you can join O2 as a new customer on the Big Bundles tariff.

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