Looking to switch pay monthly mobile plans? Here’s how to be smart about it

Do you only pull out your phone to check emails, or do you also use it to binge-watch your favourite TV show? Are you a chatter or texter? What numbers do you call the most often? These are only some of the myriad of points you should consider before changing pay monthly plans. No wonder that even though one in five Hungarian customers are dissatisfied with their contracts, they can hardly bring themselves to take the leap. Here’s BillKiller’s quick guide to make the process less pain, more gain.

Data allowance: a battle of the bytes

Are you sure that only an unlimited data plan can possibly cover your data needs? Ask yourself some hard questions first.

For one, what apps do you reach for most on your phone? If it’s only your mailbox and Facebook newsfeed you check every once in a while, you might fit into a plan with a data allowance as small as 2GB. But add Netflix and high definition streaming to the equation, and that same allowance will last you less than an hour. Here’s a handy guide on where 2GB of data will get you. In a nutshell, it allows you to browse the internet for around 24 hours, stream 400 songs or to watch 4 hours of standard-definition video.

Next, think about how much time you spend connected to Wi-Fi. If you have access to a secure Wi-Fi network for the better part of the day, a smaller data limit might be a better fit. However, if you habitually hotspot your phone to your laptop to do some off-grid remote working, or listen to your favourite podcast on your daily commute, opt for a more generous data allowance. Speaking of travelling, remember that navigation and ride-sharing apps are also “heavy feeders.”

Unlimited data plans: better safe than sorry?

Before you make up your mind about whether or not to go the unlimited route, be sure to check your data consumption on your device or online account with your current mobile service provider. A recent study has shown that the average Hungarian consumer uses no more than 4.4 GB of data per month. That said, remember that a “smarter” smartphone usually bumps up your airtime usage. For example, if you plan to trade in your five-year old Samsung Galaxy to get the newest model, it’s best to go for a bigger data allowance.

Minutes and texts: be realistic

Even if it’s  the data part of your airtime allowance you’re the most worried about, it’s also worth considering how many minutes and texts are included in your chosen pay monthly contract. The majority of mid-range plans allow you to make unlimited calls and texts within the same network. However, more often than not it’s unlimited plans that offer the same terms for international calls and texts within the EU.

Try to be as realistic about your calling and texting habits as possible. Hungarian customers with pay monthly plans, for example, only use 221 minutes and 9 texts on average per month. Remember to check if you’re eligible for any additional plan discounts, too. With most providers, there are big savings to be had if you buy two or more plans at once, including deals on devices and unlimited calls between members of the same contract.

Roaming: no limits, no problem?

Following the decision of the European Commission, roaming charges within the EU were abolished as of 15 June 2017, meaning you can call, message and use mobile data anywhere in the EEA without extra costs. A word to the wise: most unlimited data plans are only unlimited within country borders. For data, service providers can set a roaming allowance cap and an upper limit on how much data you can use abroad compared to your domestic consumption.

Service providers: make sure you’re covered

In case you’re scouting for both a new plan and a new service provider, there are two key things to think about.

First and foremost, network coverage. Find out which networks have decent coverage in the areas where you live and work. It’s a good idea to take a look at service providers’ network coverage maps, which also show the maximum download and upload speed as well as network performance by activity type (think online gaming, video chat, media streaming and so on). Make sure to ask the service provider or locals in your area about indoor coverage, too; excellent outdoor reception doesn’t always mean similar network performance inside buildings.

Secondly, go through the terms and conditions of your current contract. Find out if you have any outstanding debt, for example, due to unpaid bills or device payment plans. If you do, you usually have eight days to settle the bill. In case you decide to transfer your number, your current provider may charge a porting fee to be paid by you (in part or fully), depending on your new provider’s policy. Are you changing providers before the end of your current contract? Expect to pay an early cancellation charge to make up for your old provider’s lost fees.

Want to find the best deal for your needs and budget but have no time to do the legwork? Say no more. Leave it to BillKiller to comb through hundreds of available mobile plans in seconds and find deals that offer the very best value for money in just a few taps. See how it works or download it now and save on average 52,000 HUF per year. 

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