What network? The iPhone 5

In preparation for the September 28th launch of Apple’s iPhone 5, I’ve been researching the different Billpay options on various networks available in Ireland. I’ve decided I’m going Billpay for this one, having being on PAYG with SIM Free iPhones for the 3G, 3GS and the 4. Because I’m super-sound I thought I’d compile them all in one place and give a bit of analysis on the competitors and their offers. Personally, at the moment I’m spending €50-60 a month on credit, so Billpay is the way for me to go I reckon.

First off O2. Their minimum commitment is €40 with a handset cost of €219. This is the most expensive base rate deal of the lot. 250 mins / 250 texts in this package is about average for the commitment cost, 350MB date is very low by comparison to other networks and the price of the actual handset is a good €60 above average.

Next is Meteor. Meteor’s minimum commitment is €45 with a handset cost of €149. Their texts are 200 with 200 mins of calls with an above average data allowance of 5GB which is very generous. But it’s not the best offer on the market.

Three Ireland seem to weight in at the best value so far. Their minimum commitment is €40 with a handset cost of €139. They have a neat feature of Flex-units. With an iPhone this is quite beneficial. 350 flex units can be either 700 any network texts or 350 minutes, to be distributed as needed. The data is all free to an upper limit of 15GB (which you’ll never reach).

Vodafone haven’t released their plans or unit costs yet. When they do I’ll update this post with the applicable information.

[EDIT: See Below for cheapest Vodafone plan/handset details]

Vodafone’s minimum commitment is €30. This includes Calls and Texts to Vodafone only. NO ONE ELSE (wtf?). And 500MB of data (still more than O2). On this basic package the handset costs you €250. Jaysus. If you’d ever want to phone/text anyone else not on Vodafone (most of the country) it’ll cost you another €9 monthly for 200mins and €6 for unlimited texts. So we’re up to €45 commitment, phone still costs €250 and the contract is the usual 24months.

NOTE: I forgot to mention that all of the contracts that I mention in this post are for 24 months. If you’d like an 18month contract prepare to pay a whopping €330-350 for your handset on top of your monthly commitment.


About @seanearley

Twenty-something wannabe hipster. Head of Creative at New/Slang. Food rambler at Cluch.ie. Keen on Social Media. Advertising geek. Photo taker. Doodle drawer. Optimistic Pessimist. Chocoholic.

10 comments on “What network? The iPhone 5

  1. nice one Sean. i’m on a rolling one month contract with O2 at the mo. so I can jump if/ when / soon as I smash/ lose/ sink my iFon 4. 😉
    good work batman

  2. Well done one putting all if the info together but would say two things. Firstly a 24 month contract is far too much to sign up given you will want to change or upgrade your handset n that time period. Do any f the above companies have a mid contract upgrade policy?

    Also for me the minimum commitment plans always work out n favour of the carrier as most people will go over their allowed minutes. Something to consider is some operators like Vodafone lock down the handsets ability to tether via WiFi unless you pay an additional premium.

    All is not clear cut and it’s rarely the cheapest option works out the best n the long run.

    • All very valid points there Shanners.

      I think all the networks (except Three) only offer 24 month contracts. Three have an 18mth which bumps the cost of the phone up to €330.

      I was not aware that certain operators restrict functionality based on commitments.

      As for mid contract upgrades I’ve been with Meteor PAYG forever and a day so I don’t have enough network loyalty on Bill Pay to have built up anything in the way of upgrades. Plus, I have my iPhone 4 since July 2010 so I’d be ok with having the 5 for two years. I think 2 years is my usual phone lifespan.

  3. Oh nice! Are they all on 18 month contracts?

  4. Hi Sean, currently debating between O2 offering me after haggling a 45euro contact with 350 mins 100 texts and 3gb of data iPhone 5 129 euro platinum upgrade or three offering 40 euro 350 flexi units and unlimited data and at a few local stores in Kildare until 9th December iPhone 5 for 75 euro! Three sounds best but still concerned re coverage, customer service and more importantly which will have 4g network?
    What do you think?

    • Hi Ian, I wend with 3 in the end the coverage is a little unreliable to be honest and being outside Dublin I’d avoid it to be honest. In terms of 4G coverage it’s anyone’s guess as to who’ll get that first but definitely the larger more established networks like O2 will be ones leading the charge!

  5. I’ve been with THREE for 20 months now (out of contract, possibly ready to switch networks!) and the coverage is certainly not the best for internet browsing, unless you’re on wifi. Voice calling coverage is fine, though. I live in Navan and head to West Wicklow every second weekend.
    However, I’m now getting fixed line broadband and won’t be relying on the mobile 3G coverage and my 30 day contact bill would then be €20 per month,(instead of €40!) for the usual 350 flexi units. I’m keeping my Galaxy S2 for now..

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