O2 offers Big Bundle packages from £10/month on Pay As You Go. The bundles come with a one-month allowance of 4G internet, minutes and texts.
In the UK, customers on O2 Pay As You Go can convert their Pay As You Go credit into a Big Bundle package. This gives you a one-month allowance of calls, texts and mobile internet, with bundles ranging in price from £10 to £30 per month.
The most popular Big Bundle packages cost £10/month. For £10/month, O2’s Data Big Bundle comes with 100 minutes, 100 texts and 1GB of 4G internet. Alternatively, customers wanting more minutes and texts can get the regular £10 Big Bundle with 250 minutes, 1000 texts and 500MB of data.
In this article, we’ll review O2’s Big Bundles tariff. We’ll look at the bundles available on O2 and how they compare to the bundles available on rival mobile networks. We’ll also look at the level of coverage you can expect on O2 and how to keep your existing phone number when moving to the network.
Stop Press: giffgaff is a low-cost sub-brand of O2, offering much larger allowances for a lower monthly price (e.g. 500 minutes, unlimited texts and 3GB of data for £10/month). If you’re a customer of O2 Pay As You Go, you can save money switching to giffgaff whilst getting the exact same coverage.
- 1 Bundles & Pricing
- 2 A Cheaper Alternative
- 3 Comparison to Alternatives
- 4 Coverage
- 5 Joining Big Bundles
- 6 Keeping Your Phone Number
- 7 More Information
Bundles & Pricing
In the UK, O2 is one of the largest mainstream Pay As You Go mobile networks. They currently offer a choice of three different Pay As You Go tariffs:
- Big Bundles: With Big Bundles, your top-up will be converted automatically into a one-month allowance of calls, texts and mobile internet. Any unused allowances will expire at the end of the month.
- Classic Pay As You Go: With Classic Pay As You Go, you’ll pay for your usage on a per-minute, per-text and per-megabyte basis. Your credit won’t expire providing your SIM card remains active, and there’s no need to top-up every month.
- International: This is O2’s specialist SIM card for international calling. With International SIM, you can call abroad from 1p/minute.
By default, new customers will be enrolled on the Big Bundles tariff (this is unless you specifically choose a Classic Pay As You Go or International SIM card during the order process).
For regular mobile users and for customers with a smartphone, the Big Bundles tariff will typically work out to be better value. This is because you’ll get a set allowance for a fixed monthly price (e.g. 100 minutes, 100 texts and 1GB of data for £10).
For lighter mobile users who don’t have a smartphone, Classic Pay As You Go may work out to be better value as it doesn’t have a minimum monthly top-up requirement.
On O2’s Big Bundles tariff, your Pay As You Go credit will be converted automatically into a one-month allowance of calls, texts and mobile internet.
At present, there are seven Big Bundle packages you’re able to choose from:
Please note: some of the above bundles may not be available when you order your SIM card online. However, you’ll be able to change to that bundle once the SIM card has arrived by texting the relevant bundle code from below.
All Big Bundle packages will last for one calendar month with any unused allowances expiring along with the bundle.
Upon the expiry of your bundle, O2 will try to renew the same bundle automatically on your account (this is providing you have enough Pay As You Go credit remaining on your account). If you don’t have enough credit for the automatic renewal, the Big Bundle will be added when you next top-up your account.
Out of Bundle Charges
Customers who exceed the inclusive allowance on their Big Bundle package will pay O2’s out-of-bundle rates. These are 35p/minute, 15p/text and £1/day for up to 50MB of data (this will buy you O2’s Web Daily bolt-on). If you use more than 50MB of data during one day, you’ll be charged another £1/day for up to 50MB of additional data.
The following table shows out-of-bundle rates on O2’s Big Bundles tariff:
|Voice Calls||35p/minute (any network, any time)|
|Calls to Voicemail||30p/call (when outside of allowances)|
|Calls to Special Rate Numbers||55p/minute access charge
+ service charge from the company you’re calling
|Text Message (SMS)||15p|
|Picture Message (MMS)||45p|
|Mobile Internet||£1/day (up to 50MB/day)|
Outgoing phone calls are charged for on a per-minute basis. This means the length of all phone calls will be rounded up to a full minute before the charge is calculated and deducted from your account. For example, a 61-second phone call will be charged as 2 complete minutes (2 minutes x 35p/minute = 70p). There is also a minimum call charge equivalent to 1 minute (so you’ll pay a minimum of 35p per call).
The charges for calling abroad are typically much higher than for calling inside the UK (normally £1.50/minute and 20p/text). If you buy a Big Bundle costing £20/month or more, O2 will offer you the same discounted rates as available on their International SIM card.
Classic Pay As You Go
Customers who only use their phone on a very occasional basis will potentially be better off choosing Classic Pay As You Go.
On Classic Pay As You Go, there’s no need to convert your credit into a one-month allowance of calls, texts and internet. Instead, it operates on a traditional Pay As You Go basis: you top-up your phone and your credit remains until the time when you actually use it.
Customers on Classic Pay As You Go will pay a discounted rate of 5p/minute, 5p/text and 5p/MB. It isn’t possible to buy a Big Bundle package when on the Classic Pay As You Go tariff.
A Cheaper Alternative
For a better value alternative to O2’s Big Bundles, we recommend joining giffgaff and getting one of their goodybag bundles.
giffgaff is a low-cost sub-brand of O2, using the same O2 network to provide the underlying coverage. You’ll therefore get the same underlying service as on O2, with the benefit of lower prices and larger allowances.
giffgaff currently offers a choice of seven goodybag bundles:
To give an example, giffgaff has a £10 goodybag with 500 minutes, unlimited texts and 3GB of 4G internet. This is five times as many minutes and three times as much data as you’d get on O2’s £10 Data Big Bundle. Alternatively, giffgaff has a £7.50 goodybag with 250 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB of data.
Customers without a goodybag bundle will pay 15p/minute, 5p/text and 5p/MB. You’ll get free giffgaff-to-giffgaff calls and texts providing you’ve topped up at least once in the past 3 months.
For more information, please see our full review of giffgaff. Alternatively, you can order a free SIM card from the giffgaff website.
Comparison to Alternatives
In the following section, we’ll compare O2’s Big Bundles to rival offerings from other mobile networks.
£5 per month bundles
On O2, the cheapest Big Bundle package currently starts from £10/month. In contrast, some rival mobile networks have deals available from just £5/month.
If you’re happy having coverage from EE rather than O2, we’d recommend ordering a free SIM card from ASDA Mobile. For just £7/month, you’ll get 300 minutes, 2000 texts and 1GB of 4G internet. This will save you £3 per month compared to O2’s £10 Data Big Bundle whilst giving you three times as many minutes and the same amount of data. You can check the coverage on ASDA Mobile in your area here.
The following bundles are available for £5/month:
The following bundles are available for £7/month:
£10 per month bundles
At the £10/month price point, O2 is offering a choice of two Big Bundles:
- £10 Data Big Bundle: 100 minutes, 100 texts and 1GB of internet
- £10 Big Bundle: 250 minutes, 1000 texts and 500MB of internet
When ordering a SIM card online, you’ll only be able to choose the £10 Data Big Bundle. However, if you’d like the regular £10 Big Bundle, you can switch to this by texting 10BUNDLE to 21300 after receiving your SIM card.
A better value deal compared to both of the above options can be found on giffgaff. For the same £10 monthly top-up, giffgaff can give you 3GB of data (that’s 3 times as much data as on O2’s £10 Data Big Bundle). You’ll also get more minutes and unlimited texting (500 minutes and unlimited texts on the £10 goodybag).
£15 per month bundles
O2 offers a choice of two bundles costing £15 per month:
- £15 Data Big Bundle: 250 minutes, 250 texts and 4GB of internet
- £15 Big Bundle: 750 minutes, 2000 texts and 2GB of internet
As before, you’ll only be able to choose the £15 Data Big Bundle when ordering your SIM card online. However, you can easily change to the regular £15 Big Bundle by texting 15BUNDLE to 21300 once your SIM card arrives.
For a better value alternative, giffgaff offers 1000 minutes, unlimited texts and 6GB of internet (this is four times as many minutes and an extra 2GB of data compared to O2’s £15 Data Big Bundle).
£20 per month bundles
For £20/month, O2 offers a Data Big Bundle with 250 minutes, 250 texts and 6GB of internet.
For a better value alternative, choose giffgaff’s £18 goodybag with 2000 minutes, unlimited texts and 9GB of internet. Alternatively, giffgaff’s £20 goodybag comes with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and Always-On data (unlimited downloads with 4G on the first 9GB per month).
For more information, please see our full comparison of the UK’s best value Pay As You Go bundles.
2G, 3G and 4G Coverage
O2 offers 99% population coverage across the UK. At the time of writing, this includes 99% coverage on 2G, 98% coverage on 3G and 78% coverage on 4G. O2 has made a public commitment to increasing this so they reach 98% coverage on 4G by the end of 2017.
On the Big Bundles tariff, customers will have access to all types of coverage including 2G, 3G and 4G.
Before signing up to the Big Bundles tariff, we strongly recommended checking the O2 coverage in your area. You can do this by entering your postcode on O2’s online coverage map:
We’d typically recommend joining O2 only if you’re able to get at least 3G or 4G coverage.
Before signing up to the O2 network, it may also be worth checking your coverage on ASDA Mobile (a cheaper alternative using the EE network). Alternatively, if you’re only able to receive a signal from O2, a free SIM card from giffgaff may offer you better value than O2.
Tethering or personal hotspot refers to the process of sharing your smartphone’s internet connection with other devices (e.g. with your laptop or tablet).
It’s possible to tether on all O2 Pay As You Go tariffs, including when using one of the Big Bundles tariffs. If you’re using an older version of the iPhone, you may experience problems with this if your handset isn’t running iOS 10.1 or newer, with version 26.1 or later of the O2 carrier settings.
For more information, please see our in-depth article about tethering on UK mobile networks.
Joining Big Bundles
If you already have a handset that you’d like to use on O2, you should check to make sure your handset is unlocked. For more information, see our step-by-step guides to unlocking an iPhone and unlocking a Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
Existing O2 Customers
If you already have an O2 Pay & Go SIM card, you can switch to the Big Bundles tariff at any time. You can also change the Big Bundle on your account by sending a text message as follows to 21300:
|Bundle Required||Bundle Code for Opting In|
|£10/month Data Big Bundle (with 1GB data)||Text 10DATABB to 21300|
|£10/month Big Bundle (with 500MB data)||Text 10BUNDLE to 21300|
|£15/month Data Big Bundle (with 4GB data)||Text 15DATABB to 21300|
|£15/month Big Bundle (with 2GB data)||Text 15BUNDLE to 21300|
|£20/month Data Big Bundle (with 6GB data)||Text 20DATABB to 21300|
|£25/month Data Big Bundle (with 8GB data)||Text 25DATABB to 21300|
|£30/month Data Big Bundle (with 20GB data)||Text 30DATABB to 21300|
Keeping Your Phone Number
If you’re switching from another network to O2, it’s a straightforward process to keep your existing phone number.
To do so, you’ll need to ask your current mobile network to provide you with a PAC Code. By law, they’ll need to provide this to you free of charge within two hours of your request.
Once you have that, you can order your new Pay As You Go handset or SIM card from O2’s website. After your new phone or SIM arrives, you can provide your PAC Code to O2 through this online form. Once you’ve done that, your phone number transfer will be scheduled by O2, normally for the next working day.
For a step-by-step guide on moving your phone number to O2, please select your current mobile network from the drop down menu below:
It isn’t possible to transfer Pay As You Go credit from your old mobile network to O2. You should therefore try to use it up before moving your phone number to O2 (your account on your old mobile network will be closed when you use the PAC Code).