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BlackBerry in the UK: Pay As You Go vs Contract

BlackBerry PAYG UK
By James Richardson on 18 May 2012 09:20 am EDT

With the BlackBerry Smartphone being so popular here in the UK, one predicament that many parents may well have when buying a lower end device for their children is do they go down the contract route or Pay As You Go (PAYG). I thought I would have a look at the options and compare the costs over a two year period, as this is how you get the best deal on a contract.

For my little experiment I have only used one carrier and that is T-Mobile UK. The reason I have chosen them is due to them offering the best option when is comes to BIS (BlackBerry Internet Service) on PAYG.

The device I have used for the comparison is the new BlackBerry Curve 9320 as I strongly believe this will be the most successful handset with the younger generation over the next year or so.

So let's start off with the cheapest 24 month contract.

That will cost you £15.50 per month and for that price you will be entitled to the handset for free as well as the following each month:

  • 100 minutes
  • 500 sms
  • 250mb of internet
  • An unlimited booster
  • Unlimited BlackBerry email

Over the two year period this will cost £372.00.

Now on to the PAYG option.

The Curve 9320 on T-Mobile will cost you £149.99 up front plus a £10 top up.

When it comes to adding the BlackBerry Services, T-Mobile offer a couple of options although these are not offered on the same page where you purchase so I had to do some digging around to find them.

The options are:

  • £5 per month for BIS
  • £20 for six months of BIS

These options clearly do not include any phone calls or sms: just BBM, email and web, so either you pay for calls and sms as you use them, or T-Mobile offer a deal where if you top £10 a month you get 100 minutes and unlimited sms.

So price wise a PAYG BlackBerry Curve 9320 will cost £239.00 over the two year period, (excluding phone calls and sms) if you take advantage of the £20 for six months BIS.

Now it comes to the point of which option is the best deal. There are two ways to look at it. If you are happy with just BBM, email and web then the PAYG option if going to work out much cheaper over the two years. But, if phone calls and text messaging are a must then it will be the contract that wins the battle.

On a personal note I know loads of teenagers that are not bothered about making phone calls. As long as they can BBM their friends they are happy.

Maybe these low cost options are why the BlackBerry is still a huge success here in the UK?

I hope this little article has been informative if you are in the process of deciding which is the best option for your child or indeed yourself. It all comes down to which services you need from your BlackBerry.

You can find the T-Mobile PAYG BlackBerry BIS Booster here.

Reader comments

BlackBerry in the UK: Pay As You Go vs Contract


Man I wish plans were this cheap here in the states.

Good comparison though. I have a friend in scotland that pays 5 for bis monthly and has a flip phone for phone calls.

I pay 219 a month for 3 berrys here in the good ole US of A

I have a BlackBerry Curve 9360 on PAYG here in the UK on O2. Personally I paid £210 for the phone itself then £10.50 for BIS and unlimited text. As thats all I use on the Phone (I very rearly use it as a telephone now I am self employed BlackBerry Dev) its ideal price point for me.

It also gives me the freedom to change carrier or phone when ever I want.

Also O2 also saves 20p per £5 I think of when you top up towards a new phone so not missing out on that really.

All in all, the PAYG option is better than a contract for me.

I just got a 9900 at £230 new and am paying £20 per month on my contract - giving me 600 texts, 600 minutes, BIS and unlimited data (old customer) all on T-Mobile. Perfect!

I am a long time customer or Three and I get 500 minutes + 100 texts + BIS + unlimited data for £10/month. This is a lifetime deal so I just buy a new phone when I want/need. Pretty happy with that.