With 59% of mobile users in Ireland using pay as you go (PAYG) or prepay phones, it is important to know which telco networks are offering the best value pricing for your phone top up. It can sometimes be difficult to keep track of exactly how much you are spending as a result of your mobile phone usage, especially if you simply top up whenever necessary.
VoucherPages.ie will take a look at seven current mobile operators in Ireland and analyse their individual benefits in terms of phone calls, SMS text messaging, data costs and international calling rates. Please note that all mobile rates and offers are subject to change. We are all, of course, familiar with the heavyweight mobile networks like Vodafone, Meteor, Three and O2 but we will also analyse the lesser known networks like 48 Months, Tesco Mobile and Postfone. There are pros and cons of each network whether you are topping up your mobile by €10 or €20.
What You Get with €10 Mobile Top Up:
Some of the best prepay deals on offer are from 48 Months. They are a relatively new mobile network who use O2’s network, consequently their mobile coverage is excellent. They are aimed at 18 to 22 year olds but strangely they do not request any proof of age or identification. People of any age could therefore potentially use the 48 Months network. For a €10 membership top up you get 300 minutes to any mobile network, free any network text messages, 1 GB of data and 60 minutes to landlines. This is a great deal but unfortunately the “credit” will run out after one month even if you do not use the phone.
Vodafone offer free Vodafone to Vodafone texts for 30 days when you top up. The €10 credit is uneaten meaning it does not expire after 30 days. The phone credit can be used in any way you like. It will get you about 25 minutes of calls to mobiles. Vodafone charge a 9 cents connection fee, then 35cents per minute to any other mobile network or landline. If not signed up for top up offer, it costs 45 cents per minute on peak and 25 cents per minute off peak. SMS text messages cost 15 cents per text message or 13 cents per text if not signed up for a top up offer. Voicemail costs 9 cents connection fee then 15 cents per minute, or voicemail is free if not signed up to top up offer. Data costs 99 cents per day for 50MB, then €1 per MB thereafter. Peak times are 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. Off peak is all other times.
If your PAYG phone is with the Meteor network then you can get free Meteor calls or text messages for 30 days, free 60MB data and €10 credit to spend. The call rates are very similar to Vodafone with a 9 cents connection fee and calls cost 35cents per minute, SMS text messages 15 cents, internet 99cent per day up to 50MB. Voicemail 15c per call. The €10 credit is uneaten and meteor coverage is very good throughout Ireland.
O2 charge a 9 cents connection fee and 35 cents per minute to any other mobile network or landline. SMS text messages cost 15 cents per text message. Voicemail costs 15 cents per minute. Data costs 99 cents per day for 50MB, then €1 per MB thereafter.
Three offer 200 MB of data, 50 any network texts and 50 minutes of calls to other 3 phones for 30 days. Three charge 9 cents connection fee and 35 cents per minute to any other mobile network or landline and 15 cents per SMS text message. Three also have patchy 3G and 4G coverage in rural areas.
The Tesco Mobile offer free Tesco Mobile to Tesco Mobile calls and texts for 30 days and 250 free web texts, and their calls are 25 cents per minute to any mobile network.
Postfone are the provider with the lowest call charges. Their calls are only 20 cents per minute to any other mobile network which is about 50 minutes of calls for €10. If you are not a heavy PAYG mobile user, then this network is the most appropriate option for you.
What You Get with €20 Mobile Top Up:
48 Months: Free calls to any network, free texts to any network, 5GB internet and 60 landline minutes.
O2: Free calls to any network with €10 uneaten or unlimited data and 350 texts with €10 uneaten or free O2 to O2 Calls and texts with €20 uneaten.
Vodafone: Free calls and texts to Vodafone mobiles, 250MB of data with €20 uneaten.
Meteor: Unlimited data and free calls to any network or unlimited data and free texts to any network or free calls and free texts to any network.
Three: All you can eat data, free 4G unlimited data, free texts to any network, free Three to Three Calls and free weekend calls to any network with your €20 uneaten. This offer represents great value and is perhaps the best offer on the market.
Tesco Mobile: Free calls to any network and all landlines, free Tesco Mobile to Tesco Mobile texts. and 250 free web texts for €15 top up and €5 used for 1 GB data. This offer is suitable for a PAYG phone in a business capacity where you will be spending a lot of time making calls.
International Call Charges on Pay as Your Go Mobile Phones
International call charges can be an important factor when deciding what network provider to go with. Whether you use your mobile to contact relatives abroad or make work related calls to foreign countries it can cost you significantly more depending on the network provider. If you have a smartphone or iPhone then make international calls using WiFi and Skype to save money. If this is not an option then we have compared the international rates of the Irish mobile providers.
48 Months: 23 cents per minute calls to the UK and Europe. €1.99 per minute to the USA
O2: 35 cents per minute calls to the UK and Europe. €1.77 per minute to the USA. €2.78 per minute to rest of world
Vodafone: 30 cents per minute calls to the UK and Europe. 15 cents per minute to the USA
Meteor: 15 cents per minute calls to the USA and Europe. 10 cents per minute to the UK
Three: 35 cents per minute calls to the UK and Europe. €1.78/min to the USA. €2.49/min to rest of world
Tesco Mobile: 20c/min to the UK. 15c/min to Europe. 2c/min to the USA
Postfone: 50c/min to the UK, Europe and the USA
Meteor offer excellent overall rates on international calls and Tesco Mobile offer fantastic rates for calling the US. This article should help you to decide the network provider that is best for you whatever perks you are looking to get from your top up.
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