MobilePhoneChecker's Contract Upgrade Guide

Typical mobile contracts last 12 or 24 months. Networks tend to be forget to tell you that your contract is finishing. The reason for this is simple, most contracts have a handset price included, so after the contract has finished and you've effectively paid off the handset cost, networks start to receive a healthy chunk of profit in your monthly payment.

O2 have bucked this trend by offering their "Refresh" tariffs, where your monthly price is split into handset and airtime costs. You simply carry on paying the airtime cost after you've paid off the handset, which is what most people expect to happen (see our O2 Refresh Deals tool). Tesco also offer a similar concept too.

As you become close to the end of the contract, you have a few options open to you. If you're looking for a new handset you'll want to ensure you get a good deal. If you are not wanting to switch handset you'll want to make sure that you are paying the lowest amount for your normal use.

Want a new handset?

If you want to stay on your current network and keep your number, your best bet is to phone up your network directly and see what they offer you. Use our contracts comparison tool to give you a baseline of the type of deal you could get and use that in your negotiating. Don't be afraid to express your thoughts of moving to a new network as their retentions departments typically have better options available to them to retain customers.

If you are looking to move to a new network, first of all phone up your current network and request your PAC (Porting Authorisation) code which enables you to take your mobile number to a new network. Sometimes this prompts them to try and keep you - if the offer a stonking deal then great! Find the best deal for you using our contracts comparison tool and when prompted (normally during the online order process, or in some cases when the handset and SIM arrives) supply your PAC code and existing mobile number to move it to the new network. It typically takes around 2 working days for your number to be ported to the new network once the SIM is active.

If you want to stay on your current network but they won't give you the same deal as a new customer, one option is to port your number to a Pay As You Go SIM on a different network. After the number has been ported, you can immediately request a PAC code from them and use it to port back to your previous network. You can take advantage of new customer deals that way.

New contract, old phone

If you're not looking for a new handset you have various choices available to you:

1) Keep on your current contract - no actino required, but it'll likely cost you a fair amount of money

2) Speak to your current network to see what deal they can do for you to stay with them

3) Use our Pay As You Go or SIM Only comparison tools to see if it's cheaper to move to a new network

If you're moving network you'll need to make sure that your handset is unlocked and will work. You can do this easily by ordering a free PAYG SIM card on the network you're looking to join and trying it in your phone.

If your handset is locked, you'll need to speak to your current network to ask them to help you to unlock your handset. Most networks will do this free of charge if you've completed the contract with them. It's best to do this before moving networks as you don't want to be without service - and some networks may then charge you to unlock your handset if you no longer have a contract with them.

Don't want a contract any more?

You can easily move to a Pay As You Go option. Most networks let you "downgrade" from a contract to one of their Pay As You Go offerings. You'll normally not have to do anything apart from topping up your credit at the appropriate time. If you use our Pay As You Go SIM card comparison you can compare offers across all the networks to work out what deal works out best for you. There are some great deals out there especially for light use.

If you're moving to a new network, you'll need to request your PAC (Porting Authorisation) code to enable you to keep your number. Again, it's wise to check that your handset is unlocked and will work on the new network. Just pop the new SIM in when it arrives and test before porting your number over.

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Some contracts are reduced in price if you already have services with the supplier.

For example, if you have BT Broadband, you save £5 per month on a BT Mobile SIM, or if you add an additional EE SIM to your account you can save money too.

Select any of the products you already have below to ensure that you find the best deals available.
The UK has four licenced network operators: EE, Telefonica UK (O2), Three and Vodafone providing services using a variety of mobile technologies.

There are a number of other companies that provide mobile network services such as Tesco, giffgaff and Virgin. These are known as MVNO (mobile virtual network operators) which lease network capability from one of the four licenced operators.

These are all listed below so you can determine which of the four network operators provides service.

EE O2 Three Vodafone
ASDA giffgaff ID Mobile Lebara
BT Mobile Lycamobile Three Sainsburys
co-op O2 Talkmobile
EE Tesco Mobile Vodafone
Family mobile
Orange
T-Mobile
The People's Operator
Utility Warehouse
Vectone
Virgin Mobile
100MB of data a month gives you roughly 3MB each day.

To give you an appreciation of what that actually means, you could do all the following each day:

• visit 4 webpages
• read 20 emails
• share 5 photos
10GB of data a month gives you roughly 330MB each day.

To give you an appreciation of what that actually means, you could do all the following each day:

• visit 100 webpages
• read 100 emails
• share 150 photos on facebook
• watch 90 minutes of video
13GB of data a month gives you roughly 430MB each day.

To give you an appreciation of what that actually means, you could do all the following each day:

• visit 100 webpages
• read 100 emails
• share 250 photos on facebook
• watch 120 minutes of video
150MB of data a month gives you roughly 5MB each day.

To give you an appreciation of what that actually means, you could do all the following each day:

• visit 6 webpages
• read 30 emails
• share 10 photos
1GB of data a month gives you roughly 30MB each day.

To give you an appreciation of what that actually means, you could do all the following each day:

• visit 20 webpages
• read 50 emails
• share 50 photos on facebook
• watch 5 minutes of video
2.5GB of data a month gives you roughly 85MB each day.

To give you an appreciation of what that actually means, you could do all the following each day:

• visit 20 webpages
• read 50 emails
• share 150 photos on facebook
• watch 15 minutes of video
200MB of data a month gives you roughly 6MB each day.

To give you an appreciation of what that actually means, you could do all the following each day:

• visit 8 webpages
• read 30 emails
• share 15 photos
20GB of data a month gives you roughly 650MB each day.

To give you an appreciation of what that actually means, you could do all the following each day:

• visit 100 webpages
• read 100 emails
• share 500 photos on facebook
• watch 180 minutes of video
250MB of data a month gives you roughly 8MB each day.

To give you an appreciation of what that actually means, you could do all the following each day:

• visit 10 webpages
• read 30 emails
• share 20 photos
2GB of data a month gives you roughly 65MB each day.

To give you an appreciation of what that actually means, you could do all the following each day:

• visit 20 webpages
• read 50 emails
• share 100 photos on facebook
• watch 12 minutes of video
300MB of data a month gives you roughly 10MB each day.

To give you an appreciation of what that actually means, you could do all the following each day:

• visit 12 webpages
• read 40 emails
• share 25 photos
350MB of data a month gives you roughly 12MB each day.

To give you an appreciation of what that actually means, you could do all the following each day:

• visit 14 webpages
• read 50 emails
• share 25 photos
3GB of data a month gives you roughly 100MB each day.

To give you an appreciation of what that actually means, you could do all the following each day:

• visit 20 webpages
• read 100 emails
• share 150 photos on facebook
• watch 20 minutes of video
4GB of data a month gives you roughly 130MB each day.

To give you an appreciation of what that actually means, you could do all the following each day:

• visit 20 webpages
• read 100 emails
• share 150 photos on facebook
• watch 30 minutes of video
500MB of data a month gives you roughly 16MB each day.

To give you an appreciation of what that actually means, you could do all the following each day:

• visit 20 webpages
• read 50 emails
• share 30 photos on facebook
• watch 1 minute of video
50GB of data a month gives you roughly 1600MB each day.

To give you an appreciation of what that actually means, you could do all the following each day:

• visit 1500 webpages
• read 500 emails
• share 4000 photos on facebook
• watch 180 minutes of video
50MB of data a month gives you roughly 2MB each day.

To give you an appreciation of what that actually means, you could do all the following each day:

• visit 2 webpages
• read 10 emails
• share 0 photos
5GB of data a month gives you roughly 160MB each day.

To give you an appreciation of what that actually means, you could do all the following each day:

• visit 30 webpages
• read 100 emails
• share 150 photos on facebook
• watch 40 minutes of video
600MB of data a month gives you roughly 20MB each day.

To give you an appreciation of what that actually means, you could do all the following each day:

• visit 20 webpages
• read 50 emails
• share 30 photos on facebook
• watch 2 minutes of video
6GB of data a month gives you roughly 200MB each day.

To give you an appreciation of what that actually means, you could do all the following each day:

• visit 30 webpages
• read 100 emails
• share 150 photos on facebook
• watch 50 minutes of video
750MB of data a month gives you roughly 25MB each day.

To give you an appreciation of what that actually means, you could do all the following each day:

• visit 20 webpages
• read 50 emails
• share 50 photos on facebook
• watch 2 minutes of video
7GB of data a month gives you roughly 230MB each day.

To give you an appreciation of what that actually means, you could do all the following each day:

• visit 30 webpages
• read 100 emails
• share 150 photos on facebook
• watch 60 minutes of video
8GB of data a month gives you roughly 260MB each day.

To give you an appreciation of what that actually means, you could do all the following each day:

• visit 50 webpages
• read 100 emails
• share 150 photos on facebook
• watch 60 minutes of video
Unlimited of data a month gives you roughly 99999MB each day.

To give you an appreciation of what that actually means, you could do all the following each day:

• visit 99999 webpages
• read 99999 emails
• share 99999 photos on facebook
• watch 99999 minutes of video