Vectone Mobile: 5p/minute calls on Pay As You Go, free credit for recieving calls

June 26th, 2011

Discount network Vectone Mobile offers calls for 5p/minute and texts for 5p each on Pay As You Go. You’ll also get free airtime for receiving 500 minutes of calls or recommending friends.

If you’ve recently been hit by the Pay As You Go price hikes from Orange and ASDA Mobile, discount mobile tariffs from networks such as Vectone Mobile could be of interest. Vectone charges 5p/minute for calls (about one-fifth the cost charged by a mainstream network such as Orange or O2) and 5p per text message (about half the cost charged by a mainstream network). Note that you need to top-up through the Vectone website to qualify for the discounted rates: if you top-up using a voucher, calls are 10p/minute and texts are 9p each.

How does Vectone Mobile’s call rates compare to other networks?

Network Calls Texts Internet Voicemail
ASDA Mobile 10p/min 6p 50p/MB 10p/minute
Giffgaff 8p/min 4p 20p/day for 20MB then 20p/MB 8p/call
O2 25p/min* 12p £1/day (500MB free with £10 top-up) 15p/call
Orange 25p/min 12p £2/day (100MB free with £10 top-up) 25p/minute
Three 26p/min 11p 11p/MB (150MB free with £10 top-up) 16p/minute
T-Mobile 20p/min 12p £1/day 12p/minute
Vectone Mobile 5p/min** 5p** 5p/MB (10MB/day free with top-up) 10p/minute
Vodafone 21p/min 10p £1/day (500MB free with £10 top-up) 21p/minute

* On O2 Pay As You Go, the cost of calls to landlines and other O2 mobiles drops to 5p/minute after the first 3 minutes.

** Vectone’s discounted rates apply only if you top-up through their website. For customers who top-up using a voucher, charges are 10p/minute for calls and 9p per text message. Vectone currently offers 10MB/day free internet for 30 days with each top-up. However, it is unclear whether this will continue past the end of June 2011.

How do I get “free credit” on Vectone Mobile?

Vectone have some interesting “PAYG Bonuses” whereby you can earn free credit:

  • Bonus for receiving 500 minutes of calls: Vectone Mobile offers £5 of free credit to customers who receive 500 minutes of calls in any 30-day period. The calls cannot originate from other Vectone Mobile customers. This offer works on a similar basis to Giffgaff’s Hokey Cokey goodybag – Vectone Mobile charge termination rates to the calling network from which they make around 2.6p/minute. This funds your £5 free credit.
  • Recommend-a-friend bonus: For any friends you refer to Vectone, you’ll earn 10% of all of their future top-ups. Whilst other networks such as Three and Giffgaff have schemes where you can earn money by referring friends to the service (Free Agent and Payback), this is the first scheme we’re aware where you can continue to earn even months after the referral.
  • Switching bonus: 2 months of Vectone’s £5/month bundle included for transferring your phone number (200 minutes, 200 texts and 200MB internet).

What is coverage like on Vectone Mobile?

Vectone Mobile is a virtual network operator which uses the T-Mobile network. This means coverage on Vectone will be identical to coverage on T-Mobile (T-Mobile provide the physical infrastructure such as masts for Vectone). You should use the T-Mobile coverage checker to ensure you can receive coverage from Vectone Mobile.

What are the alternatives?

We’ve got a comparison of the main Pay As You Go tariffs in the UK as well as a Pay As You Go price comparison tool. The closest rival in terms of price is Giffgaff (which uses the O2 network). Giffgaff charge 8p/minute for calls and 4p per text. Giffgaff also have a “Hokey Cokey” goodybag which offers free airtime when you pick up the phone. “Hokey Cokey” is much more generous as you’ll receive one free minute for every minute of calls you receive – whereas Vectone only £5 credit (the equivalent of 100 minutes) when you receive 500 minutes of calls in one month.

What’s the verdict on Vectone Mobile?

For calls, we think it’s pretty hard to beat Vectone at 5p/minute on Pay As You Go. If you’re a fairly light user (<100 minutes per month) and you rarely use the internet on your phone, Vectone offers a great deal. If you text significantly more than you call, Giffgaff could be better value (texts are 1p cheaper but calls are 3p/min more expensive). For smartphone users, chances are you’ll still get a much better deal on Pay Monthly SIM Only deals.

I’m switching to Vectone Mobile. Can I keep my existing phone number?

Yes. You’ll need to ask your existing network for a PAC Code. This can be obtained by calling the Customer Services department of your current network. Provide this to Vectone who will handle the transfer of your phone number. The entire process shouldn’t take any more than 24 hours. See our detailed guide to transferring your mobile phone number for more information.

How do I join Vectone Mobile?

Vectone Mobile are currently offering up to 2 free SIM cards through their website.

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About Ken

Ken Lo

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.

Your Comments

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 4 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  1. Khwaja said:

    Reasons I am leaving Vectone Network , I bought £10 credit from local shop when I trey to enter Answer Mac…sayings that credit already used so I go to back shop , shopkeeper saying I sell you two voucher one of other networks voucher is ok so mean it’s not my fault I call Vectone customer service as well they saying it’s already used but I didn’t used that’s why

  2. David said:

    Vectone ought to be shut down by Ofcom. They operate on the fringes of the law, with a call centre staffed by people who are barely able to communicate in English and providing customer service that is both incompetent and rude. The phone service itself is barely fit for purpose, with calls being randomly blocked and texts often taking days to be delivered.
    When I asked for a PAC code I was asked for a credit card number. Many calls to customer services were disconnected – in some cases after being on hold for 25 minutes. No emails were ever answered.
    Vectone cannot be considered a UK mobile company in the same way as the other virtual networks. It is not compliant with either with regulations or with any rational concept of customer service. They may be cheap, but you get what you pay for, and in the case of Vetone that’s very little indeed.

  3. Vinnie said:

    I used vectone mobile for international calls (most countries just cost 1p per minute); but I am seriously considering moving primary number to them as hassle of maintaining two mobiles with two different numbers is too much.
    Vectone got UK bundle which provides 1000 mins, 1000 texts and 1GB internet for £10 per month which is much better than any mainstream network. So far I never had issue tethering internet which is important bit for me as mainstream providers do not provide that option unless on high end contract.

    I am not clear though how long such deal would last and whether T-Mobile will start crippling internet speed for vectone's customers.

  4. jamesdn said:

    I gave Vectone a very brief try, popped £5 credit onto one of their PAYG SIM cards and found the whole experience a bit of a hassle. I had to order 2 SIM cards – 1 eventually arrived 3 weeks later (whatever happened to the other is anyone's guess). After fighting through a series of envelopes, leaflets, packaging and various other bits of marketing material I eventually found the SIM card and topped it up and popped it into an Android phone.

    I was left very confused at first, since Vectone users in the UK are apparently classed as roaming. This creates a hassle when trying to use data, having to turn data roaming on etc. You also have to register your intent to use their data on their website, for a promise of a text message with APN settings (which never arrived)

    After a week long struggle with their online customer service, I was finally able to obtain their APN settings from them which, for whatever reason, they choose not to publish on their website.

    I found my trial experience of Vectone to be very disappointing and I certainly don't intend on moving my primary number to them anytime soon.

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