Last night I was thinking about something. How much it has cost me per day since I got my phone, almost exactly a year ago. The initial figure was quite shocking. £1.80(ish) per day since I got it.
How did I work this number out? Well for starters I ordered my phone directly from Apple (it is an iPhone 4) in time for launch day at a cost of £499 for the 16GB black version. At this time I also swapped pay as you go tariff on O2 from the one I had with my old iPhone 3G which cost between £10 and £20 a month to an O2 Simplicity Pay as you Go Tariff for £15 a month which gave me 100 minutes, 500MB internet, and unlimited texts. I tried to find out how much I had topped up over the year and couldn’t find an exact number so this first year was only an estimation of £15 a month multiplied by 12 months to give £180. That much in just topping up per year. Then to work out how much that was per day, the total cost (the cost of the phone plus the cost of the top ups) which came to £679 was divided by 365, and this comes to £1.80(ish).
That is a lot of money to be spending on a phone that, admittedly, I don’t use anywhere near my allowances per month so it is wasted. Hence the reason why I am on Pay as You Go rather than on a contract.
I continued working out costs for how much this phone would cost me over an estimated 10 year period, a little ambitious for a phone, and the cost per day still only worked out at about 63p a day. That is still quite expensive if I was using the same tariff, though not as expensive if I were to change phone every odd year, needing to buy it myself since I am on pay as you go. It would take 3 years for it to dip underneath the £1 mark per day.
What about change tariff I hear you say! The cheapest O2 tariff for PAYG from what I could see was a minimum of £7.50 a month to get unlimited texts, normal texts are 10p, I would have to spend a further £3 to get mobile internet on it which is quite essential since it is a smartphone. At £10.50 a day, it would still end up being 85p after 3 years and 50p per day after 10 years.
Still not good enough in my opinion. I have been with O2 for almost 3 years now and it could be better. Yes, by the looks of things I got a better deal with them than what I did with Vodafone before but they are still taking more money than they need to (in my opinion). I checked other network websites. Vodafone: I couldn’t figure out how much it would cost me so I gave up. Orange: our internet service provider at home, but the tariffs were still a bit much for what they gave you. Then I remembered a network that I had heard of before but not really considered; Giffgaff.
Giffgaff essentially is a crowd sourced network taking a piggyback ride on the O2 network. In otherwords, people have created the network and it uses the O2 masts and network to operate. Apparently, because of their lack of advertising, or phone support, they can make huge savings and pass them on to their customers. Their prices show it. It is a PAYG only network and texts cost about 4p and calls only 8p per minute with internet (from what I could establish) only a maximum of 20p per day. For £5 a month you get unlimited texts and for £10 you get 250 minutes, and unlimited texts and internet.
I shoved these numbers into my spreadsheet I had made up and, if I used an average of £5 per month, after 10 years total cost for this phone would only be 33p per day. It might not seem much less than the O2 one but it all adds up! In the screenshot below, you can see I was a bit liberal with the amount and put £7 per month, just in case and it still only came to 39p per day.
I had a look at some review sites and people seem quite happy with it, so I ordered a free sim card and I am going to try it out, and if it is good, I’m going to switch to them completely and get my number changed across too. All I have to do then is convince others to join too then there are free calls and texts between Giffgaff users…