SIM-Only Contracts More Popular : Ofcom Report

The number of mobile phone users switching their existing contracts to a SIM only deal surged to 20 percent as the recession caused a significant fall in expensive monthly contracts.

Since September 2008, Ofcom noted that as many as one in five users have preferred to keep their existing mobile phones to lower their monthly fees and give them more flexibility when it comes to the length of their contracts.

Many mobile phone networks allow their SIM-only contracts to be as short as one month; indeed, Ofcom's research shows that 25 percent of new mobile phone contracts for the first quarter of 2009 were for 30 days only.

Conversely, a number of consumers are switching to two year contracts in order to get even lower monthly fees with a brand new handset. Around one in every eight new mobile contracts chose to get a two year contract.

Mobile phone operator Orange has even introduced a £5 monthly tariff with a three year contract, the industry's longest by far.

There are far more mobile phone subscriptions than UK citizens - 77 million subscriptions, an increase of 3 million over 2008.

Monthly contracts remains a minority with around 30 million, up 3 million as more people switch from PAYG (47 million users, down 100,000) in search of stability and better deals.

More than 100 billion minutes of calls were made each month, the equivalent of more than 123 minutes per mobile phone with 80 billion texts sent in 2008 or around 100 texts per person per month. This figure is set to explode with the increasing number of unlimited text deals available.

Why not read our "The Ultimate Mobile UK SIM Only Comparison Guide - 58 Offers On 8 Networks!" article or the equally interesting "The Ultimate Mobile Roaming Guide For Europe - 12 Networks"