Choosing the right Mobile Network for your new iPhone 4S
So the prices are out on nearly all the networks like Three, Vodafone, 02 etc as well as Apple prices if you wish to buy out right but you will still need a sim card to go in it, whether you will have a sim only or simplicity plan, that’s entirely up to you. I give you the Apple iPhone 4S buying guide.
When it comes to choosing the right place to pre order your iPhone 4S from, it’s important that you compare iPhone 4S contracts, shop around and do some research on what the network has in store for you as you might be signing up with them for the next 24 months or forking out a lot of money upfront just to say you have the iPhone 4S. When I was buying my iPhone 4 I just went with a network that was the biggest, they were the pioneer in 3G phone signal and the pricing was right back then, but now I struggle to get 3G signal in places I spend most of my time and it gets frustrating when I can’t even upload a picture to twitter because I have no 3G signal. I’m now thinking of getting the Apple iPhone 4S even though it’s been the most disappointing iPhone yet for me, as many others who were looking forward to a better screen size and maybe some changes in design to make me stand out from iPhone 4 users, because now I would have to go into settings to prove I have the 4S and not the standard iPhone 4.
Anyway, before I pick where to buy from, I am taking it very seriously and since I’m in the UK I shopped around Vodafone, 02, Three, Orange and T-Mobile with the following in mind:
I went on their websites and used the available coverage checker and phoned to check for any masts down near me and future work to be carried out in my area. There’s absolutely no point getting a phone with no network coverage which no calls and no texts, you might as well get an iPod. I checked post codes for locations I spend most of my time and in general:
Checks were carried out using their coverage checker which you can find on their websites.
3G Signal strength
Now if i’m going to do some tethering, download apps on the go, check my emails, upload images to twitter, check my dropbox etc, I need to have 3G signal and before I forget, iPhone 4S HSPA+ capabilities also means checking which network will be rolling out HSPA+.
Again most of them are great, I don’t have much to worry about there, however to get maximum iPhone 4S experience, only Three and Vodafone are rolling out HSPA+ which is capable of up to 21.6 Mbps download speeds. If you know of other networks please let me know, but for now I think it’s going to be between Vodafone and Three for me.
Not everyone is bothered with customer service when it comes to purchases, but for me, the after sales is as important if not more important than the purchase itself. Reason why is when I have issues with my phone, network I want to be able to get precise and quick answers, I don’t want to be transferred to different departments, giving different answers from untrained and misinformed staff, and things like repair processes must be good. Where the networks have their call centres is their choice as long as they are capable of excellent communication, so I need to be able to understand them and they need to be able to understand me and keep/fulfil promises.
02: Good on the phone but none in store.
T-Mobile: Good in stores, however can be rude over the phone with no urgency when problems occur.
Vodafone: Good in stores but different information from different staff over the phone. Call centres in Egypt seems to be untrained and doesn’t know much about what’s going on.
Orange: Good in stores with sympathetic staff who are ready to help but over the phone they seem to manufacture information and can take a long time to fulfil promises.
Three: Good in stores, but over the phone communication is very difficult and can end up with something you didn’t ask for.
If you pay so much money for any gadget or electronics it only makes sense to insure it against accidental damage, loss and theft and try not to confuse manufacturers warranty with insurance as warranty will only cover manufacturer’s defect but fear not, Apple has the best customer service I’ve ever experienced, every time I have had problems they sorted it out same day no questions asked, even when I had a jail broken handset I was told what to do before they can deal with it.
Rather than rate the networks, I found they all insure iPhone for about same price, starting from £9 with excess starting from £25 on first claim, but check with services like protect my bubble and check your bank for mobile phone insurance.
Most people will not find this important but for someone one the go like me, it could save me lots of money because I have a MiFi device which I pay extra for but having tethering pack will mean I no longer need my MiFi and will be saving money.
02: Tethering included free with data Bolton ranging from £3 to £10 but data allowance is limited
Vodafone: £15 a month, For £15 a month you get 2GB of UK data. You can use this for voice calls (Skype, Google, Talk, etc) as well as tethering. If you go over, it’s £15 for each 1GB extra.
Orange: 500MB £4.25 1.7p per MB if you go over, 1.5GB for £8.51, unlimited data with 5GB fair usage policy for £15.
Three: With Three’s one plan you get all you can eat data which includes unlimited usage for tethering
Value for money
I’m choosing Three network for value for money for me because they offer the one plan at £35 per month for 24 months with £99 upfront for the handset, giving me option for tethering without charge, HSPA+ and coverage where I mainly stay and my commuting routes, although their customer service is not the best over the phone, I can always pop into their stores or as it’s an Apple product I would just go into Apple and see a genius. Please note this is my opinion of value for money, but the whole point of this post is for you to have an idea of what to look for when choosing the right places to purchase or preorder your iPhone 4S from.
What network have you pre-ordered your iPhone 4S from and why? leave me a comment, if you find this post useful, please share it thank you.
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- iPhone 4S