In most countries, if you buy a new mobile subscription the mobile phone company has an attractive offer for you. If you would just subscribe for a 2 year contract and commit to a monthly minimum spend, they will have a nice phone for you.
Just how nice is this offer? Should you go for it, or just buy the phone yourself?
I got a new subscription recently, and went through this comparison. What was my conclusion?
For a number of reasons I looked at T-mobile as a provider. Their rate plans are as follows. For a 20 Euro monthly ‘bundle’ you will get minutes at €0.13 with the phone (about 150 minutes), but it will be only €0.07 if you take a SIM only plan and provide the phone yourself. So, depending on your contract, your per minute price for all your minutes differs. Futhermore, you commit to a minimum monthly payment if you get the phone.
With the €20 bundle and a two year commitment, you will get a phone for free that would otherwise set you back around €350. If you call 150 minutes per month, the total cost over the 2 years of the contract is €480 if you get the phone ‘for free’, and approximately €650 if you buy the phone separately and take a SIM only plan. So go for the deal with the phone then.
However, what happens if you happen to be calling a lot more than you originally thought you were going to? In that case the SIM only plan gives you much cheaper minutes. In fact at 400 minutes a month the total 2 year cost will be around €960 for both plans. If you call even more than 400 minutes a month, which is what I do, this is another reason for buying the phone yourself.
You do need to have the cash to buy the phone, but on the other hand, it is sim-lock free from day one.
Mail me if you want the full spreadsheet with analysis.