Tesco Mobile Rocket Packs: PAYG Bundles with 4G Internet from £5/month
July 13th, 2016
Tesco Mobile offers Rocket Packs on Pay As You Go where you can convert your Pay As You Go credit into a one-month allowance.
Tesco Mobile has just launched a range of new one-month bundles on Pay As You Go. Called Rocket Packs, the new bundles allow you to convert your Pay As You Go credit into a one-month allowance of calls, texts and internet.
Rocket Packs are available to buy from £5/month and include 4G internet at no extra charge. The most popular Rocket Pack is the £10/month pack which gives you 500 minutes, 5000 texts and 500MB of internet.
In this article, we review the new Rocket Packs from Tesco Mobile. We’ll look at the Rocket Packs available and how they compare to bundles on other networks. We’ll also look at the handsets and the level of coverage available on Tesco Pay As You Go. Finally, we’ll look at how you can keep your existing phone number when moving to Tesco Mobile.
- 1 Pricing & Tariffs
- 2 Comparison To Alternatives
- 3 Handsets
- 4 Coverage
- 5 Keeping Your Phone Number
- 6 More Information
Pricing & Tariffs
As of July 2016, Tesco Mobile has launched a new Rocket Packs tariff on Pay As You Go. This is now the default tariff on Tesco Pay As You Go, but it’s also still possible to get the older Triple Credit and Tesco Lite tariffs.
Rocket Packs are the new Pay As You Go bundles from Tesco Mobile. Designed for smartphone owners and for regular mobile users, they convert your Pay As You Go credit into a one-month allowance of calls, texts and internet.
At present, Tesco is offering a choice of six Rocket Pack bundles:
To buy a Rocket Pack, you’ll need to text the relevant short-code to 28949 (either ROCKET5, ROCKET750, ROCKET10, ROCKET 1250, ROCKET 15 or ROCKET20 depending on the Rocket Pack you’d like to buy).
Each Rocket Pack will last for one calendar month, with any unused allowances expiring at the same time as your Rocket Pack. If there’s a sufficient amount of credit on your account, Tesco Mobile will try to renew your Rocket Pack automatically. If you don’t want this to happen automatically, you should opt-out by texting STOPROCKET to 28948.
You’ll get Tesco Clubcard points every time you top-up your phone at the normal rate of 1 Clubcard point for every £1 spent. On a £10 Rocket Pack, you’ll get 10 Clubcard points (this is worth up to 40p when you use Clubcard Boost).
Out Of Bundle Charges
If you use up all of the inclusive allowances in your Rocket Pack, you’ll pay Tesco Mobile’s standard Pay As You Go rates for all further usage:
|Voice Calls||25p/minute (any network, any time)|
|Calls to Voicemail||15p/minute|
|Calls to Special Rate Numbers||25p/minute access charge
+ service charge from the company you’re calling
|Text Message (SMS)||10p|
|Picture Message (MMS)||25p|
You’ll also pay these rates if you opt-out of buying a Rocket Pack bundle.
In general, Tesco Mobile’s Pay As You Go rates are fairly expensive compared to other mobile networks. For instance, ASDA Mobile is a lot cheaper at just 8p/minute, 4p/text and 5p/MB. For more information, please see our full comparison of Pay As You Go rates in the UK.
Triple Credit & Tesco Lite
If you’re a light mobile user, you might be better off choosing one of Tesco Mobile’s older Pay As You Go tariffs:
- Triple Credit: You’ll get bonus free credit every time you top-up your phone. For instance, a £10 top-up will give you £20 of bonus free credit. The bonus credit will expire after one month and can only be used for UK calls, texts and mobile internet. Pay As You Go rates are the same as on the Rocket Packs tariff.
- Tesco Lite: Tesco Mobile’s Pay As You Go Lite tariff gives you a discounted rate of 8p/minute, 4p/text and 10p/MB. There is no bonus free credit and it isn’t possible to buy a Rocket Pack bundle.
If you’re a Tesco Mobile Pay As You Go customer, you can switch your tariff at any time by calling 282.
Comparison To Alternatives
£5 per month bundles
For £5/month, Tesco Mobile is offering a Rocket Pack with 100 minutes, 100 texts and 100MB of internet.
For the same monthly price, both giffgaff and ASDA Mobile will offer you slightly better deals. On giffgaff, you’ll get 125 minutes and 500 text messages with the same amount of data (like Tesco Mobile, giffgaff also uses coverage from O2). ASDA Mobile is another great alternative with coverage from EE. You’ll get 100 minutes, 2000 texts and 100MB of data per month.
£7 per month bundles
For £7.50/month, Tesco Mobile has a Rocket Pack bundle with 250 minutes, 500 text messages and 250MB of data.
A better value deal can be found on ASDA Mobile. For just £7/month, you’ll get twice as many minutes, unlimited text messages and double the amount of data (ASDA’s £7 bundle comes with 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of internet):
£10 per month bundles
Tesco Mobile is offering a £10/month bundle with 500 minutes, 5000 texts and 500MB of internet.
For a better value deal, we recommend ordering a free SIM card from ASDA Mobile. For £10/month, you’ll get 100 extra minutes and three times as much data as you’d get on Tesco Mobile (1.5GB rather than 500MB). You’ll also get 3G coverage from the EE network (you can check the coverage in your area here).
If you need to choose a mobile network offering coverage from O2, giffgaff’s £10 goodybag is a good alternative to Tesco’s Rocket Pack bundle. You’ll get unlimited text messages and twice as much data (1GB instead of 500MB).
£15 per month bundles
At £15/month, Tesco Mobile is offering a Rocket Pack with 1000 minutes, 5000 texts and 2GB of internet.
A better value alternative is giffgaff’s £15 goodybag. You’ll get 1000 minutes, unlimited texts and 4GB of data (this is twice as much data as you’d get on Tesco’s £15 Rocket Pack). giffgaff also uses signal from O2 so the level of coverage you get will be identical to that on Tesco Mobile.
£20 per month bundles
On Tesco Mobile’s £20 Rocket Pack bundle, you’ll get 2000 minutes, 5000 texts and 4GB of internet.
Better value deals can be found on giffgaff, Three and ASDA Mobile. For £20/month, giffgaff has unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and Always On data (unlimited downloads with 4G speeds on the first 6GB/month). Three has an All-in-One 20 bundle with 12GB of data, whilst ASDA has a £20 bundle with 6GB of data on EE.
For more information, please see our full comparison of Pay As You Go bundles.
Tesco Mobile currently offers a range of 46 handsets on Pay As You Go. Some of the most popular choices include:
- Apple iPhone 5s (£265)
- Apple iPhone 6s (£552)
- HTC Desire 530 (£129)
- LG Nexus 5X (£360)
- Samsung Galaxy A3 2016 (£255)
- Samsung Galaxy S7 (£588)
You can see a full list of available handsets on the Tesco Mobile website.
If you’d like to keep your current handset, it’s also possible to order a free Tesco Mobile SIM card. If you do this, you should make sure your handset is unlocked for use on any mobile network. You may find it useful to read our guides on unlocking an iPhone and unlocking a Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
2G, 3G & 4G Coverage from O2
Tesco Mobile is a 50:50 joint venture between O2 and Tesco. As such, Tesco Mobile uses O2 as its network coverage provider and customers will receive the same level of coverage as customers on O2.
At the time of writing, Tesco Mobile has 99% population coverage. There’s about 98% population coverage for 3G internet and about 78% population coverage on the faster 4G mobile network.
To check the coverage in your area, you should enter your postcode on the Tesco Mobile coverage map:
For more information, please see our in-depth guide on mobile phone coverage in the UK.
Tethering or personal hotspot refers to the process of sharing your smartphone’s internet connection with other devices (e.g. with a laptop or tablet).
Tethering is permitted on all of Tesco Mobile’s Rocket Pack tariffs. This is a key selling point of the service as many other low-cost mobile networks will not allow you to tether you on Pay As You Go.
Keeping Your Phone Number
If you’re joining Tesco Mobile from another mobile network, it’s a straightforward process to keep your current phone number.
To begin the process of moving your number to Tesco Mobile, you should contact your old mobile network and ask for a PAC Code. A PAC Code will authorise the transfer of your phone number to Tesco Mobile. It’s a legal requirement for your current network to provide you with one within two hours of your request.
Once you have the PAC Code from your old network, you should order your new phone or SIM card from the Tesco Mobile website. Once the new phone or SIM card arrives, you can submit your PAC Code through this online form. You’ll be able to choose a date for your phone number to be transferred (the next working day will normally be the earliest available option).
For step-by-step instructions on moving your number to Tesco Mobile, please select your current mobile network from the drop-down menu below:
|PAC Code Finder: Transfer Your Phone Number to Tesco Mobile|
You won’t be able to transfer Pay As You Go credit from your current network over to Tesco Mobile. For this reason, you should try to use up remaining credit on your old network before transferring your number to Tesco Mobile.
For more information about the Rocket Packs tariff, please see the official Tesco Mobile website. For a full comparison of Rocket Packs against other UK bundles, please see our guide to the UK’s best value Pay As You Go bundles.
My passion is helping people to get the most out of their mobile phone. I've been blogging at Ken's Tech Tips since 2005.
Aside from writing about mobile technology, my interests are in software development, digital marketing and physics. Outside of the blog, I work with numerous technology companies helping them to explain their product and helping them to market it to consumers. Please get in touch for more information.