Switching your mobile phone handset, network or tariff - 1/3

To skip directly to the other parts of this guide click on the links below:

Are you fed up with the monthly charges from your mobile phone network? Perhaps you are interested in services that aren't available with your supplier? Whatever your reason for switching mobile phone suppliers it's sadly not as simple as just terminating one contract and starting another.

That is why moneysupermarket.com has compiled a guide to help you make the switch as easily, as quickly and as cost effectively as possible.

Mobile phone basics: why make the switch?

Mobile phone deals are changing all the time and with increased competition between networks new deals are appearing that could drive your costs down. Consequently, as with any aspect of money saving, it makes sense to keep your eyes on the market to see if there is a deal that better suits your needs, possibly at a lower price.

In addition, there are a lot of mobile phone networks that will offer you a free handset when you join them on a monthly contract. If you have a handset you could use, it is often a good idea to get a new one for free or at least at a reduced rate, and if you need a new mobile phone handset then this can produce another saving.

Mobile phone basics: how to find a better deal

The first thing to do when searching for a new mobile phone deal is to consider what your needs are. Here are some questions you could ask yourself:

  • How often do you make calls? At what times?
  • Do you send text messages more than you make calls?
  • Which network do your friends/associates use?
  • How often do you pick up messages from your voicemail?
  • Do you want/need a new handset?
  • What additional features do you want – Bluetooth capability, i-mode, WAP access, etc?
  • If you're on a contract do you use your inclusive texts/minutes each month?
  • If you're using pay-as-you-go how much do you top-up a month and would it be cheaper to move to a contract?

Once you have worked out your caller profile move on to part two and find out how to keep your mobile phone number and whether you can get out of a current contract.