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Telecoms providers: Business mobile phone contract options

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One of the principal decisions you will have to make when looking for a business mobile phone contract is the length of the agreement. Telecommunications regulator Ofcom highlights the current trend toward long-term business mobile agreements due largely to reduced costs and better phones.

business telephone

Now whilst on the surface it would seem beneficial to have the stability of a long-term mobile phone contract for your business, research has shown that businesses don’t always want to be tied to lengthy contracts. After all, what may be the best business mobile phone deal on the market now may not be so attractive two years out (the standard duration of a long-term contract) or your needs may change dramatically. However, longer business mobile contracts usually offer lower monthly fees and free top-of-the-range handsets.

Measuring business mobile contracts

Business mobile phone contracts range from 30 days to 36 months. A typical contract is 12-24 months.

Short-term contract

Long-term contract



Regular phone upgrades.

Always have the newest business phones.

Great option if don’t need new handset.

Get all the features you need, when you want.

Phones for business trips or temporary staff

Lower monthly premium.

Handsets are often free with contract.

Benefit from network loyalty schemes.

Simple billing system.

Good deal on minutes, data and texts.

Possibility of an early upgrade.

Large range of the best handsets.


Higher monthly premium.

Can be harder to find a good deal.

May have to buy handset separately.

Monthly bill may rise during contract.

Tied to a contract for a long time.

Possible buyout will be expensive.

Miss out on new technology.

Standard mobile phone tariffs

  • Pay As You Go: top up credit in advance and use your phone until credit runs low and you need to top up again. This is a cost-effective mobile phone tariff option for small businesses, especially if a phone is shared amongst employees or your calls, texts or Internet use are modest. With this type of business mobile phone deal you can keep track of exactly what you are spending and top-up methods are now quick and easy to activate online.
  • Monthly contract: sets a monthly fee for a limited amount of calls, texts, messages, Internet use and downloads. You pay extra if you exceed your limit.
  • SIM-only tariffs: an attractive option to businesses with temporary staff, or those who wish to try out a phone or network, or that do not need new handsets. SIM-only plans offer standard packages of minutes, texts and Internet data but without the business phone. They can be as little as a few pounds per month.
  • Bundle deals: offer a single tariff to include your mobile phone as well as your landline and Internet access.

When comparing business mobile phone contracts

Keep the following points in mind when comparing business mobile phone contracts:

  • Allowance of call minutes and texts
  • Free calls to pre-determined numbers, landlines or other users on the same network
  • Monthly data allowances for Internet access, including services such as video calls
  • Free or cheap international calls
  • Capacity to add on bundles or top up packages if necessary
  • Clearly stated rate that kicks in if you exceed your call limit
  • Minimum business mobile contract length