If there’s one thing that absolutely separates a small business from its competitors, it is communication. You will struggle in this competitive world without the ability to get in touch with your clients.
It becomes especially difficult when you travel, meaning you have to invest in a mobile phone contract of some description. With so many options, how can you decide which mobile phone plan is best for your small business?
We have created a list of 5 of the best mobile phone plans for a small business in the UK. Read our guide to help you choose the perfect plan for your growing business.
5 Best Business Mobile Phone Plans in the UK
- Vodafone – Overall Best Mobile Phone Provider
- EE – Best Provider for Speed and Coverage
- O2 – Best for Fair Payment Plans
- BT Mobile – Best Range of Business Plans
- Virgin Mobile – Best Customisation Service
1. Vodafone – Overall Best Mobile Phone Provider
The UK’s first mobile network operator to be given the BS 25999 business continuity certification, Vodafone is dedicated to delivering the best possible telecommunication experience at all times.
4g.co.uk’s 2021 ranking of the top providers for mobile coverage in the UK rated Vodafone as one of the most reliable networks in terms of 4G coverage and speed. Vodafone offers 2G, 3G, and 4G coverage. Its 4G network is available to 99% of the population across the UK.
Vodafone offers access to the 5G service across 124 towns and cities. There are more locations at launch, and you’ll be able to receive the 5G signal in over 50 cities and towns in the UK.
As one of the world’s leading telecom network providers, Vodafone offers several business mobile plans to suit your needs. Four of the most popular ones include Business Evolve, Business Advance, Business Optimiser, and Business Freedom.
Choose Vodafone Business Evolve for a flexible plan with great value. With no commitments and the ability to change your plan (devices, data allowance, etc.) whenever you need to, you can ensure that you’re getting the best coverage for your business.
Vodafone Business Advance will give your small team the most comprehensive mobile phone experience. With unlimited texts, calls, and data, you can focus on growing your business rather than worrying about bills.
With Vodafone Business Optimiser, you can get the best value plan for your business. It protects you against nasty bill surprises by automatically adapting to the amount of data and calls you use.
For global businesses, Vodafone Business Freedom lets you make international calls or travel without worrying about hidden charges. This plan allows you to manage usage to set a cap on your international calling plan.
- Generous rewards scheme
- Great customer help from Vodafone’s 500 UK outlets
- 5G coverage
- 12 or 24-month contract
- Starting from £11
- 30-day refund policy
- Slightly lower Ofcom customer satisfaction rating
- Overwhelming plan options
2. EE – Best Provider for Speed and Coverage
EE’s coverage is the best on the market, with strong all-around performance and plenty of 4G to keep your mobile devices running. Still, you will need to look elsewhere if you are looking for a budget-friendly option, as EE starts at £15 a month for SIM-only, giving you access to their top products in most cases.
The EE’s Essential and Max plans are ideal for small business owners. The Essential plan gives you all the benefits of EE – like its award-winning 4G network, unlimited internet, unlimited minutes, and texts. In contrast, the Max plan gives you even more data to browse, download and stream with. Both start at just £15 a month and offer access to 5G data roaming services.
Besides, EE offers the fastest 4G (super-fast wireless internet) coverage and speeds, according to OpenSignal’s September 2021 report. With download speeds up to 73 Mbps, EE can give you fast mobile internet wherever you go.
What is the best thing about an EE mobile plan for the business? They’re so simple; you can switch your mobiles to them in seconds. Their My EE Bill Analyser helps you stay on top of your bills – and you’re guaranteed free replacement on phones if anything goes wrong in the first 12 months!
- Free replacement for one year
- UK-specific customer support
- Great 4G speed
- Starting from £15
- Relatively costly bundles
- Mediocre customer support
3. O2 – Best for Fair Payment Plans
O2’s Small Business Plan is a competitively priced mobile plan for small businesses. The SIM-only, SIM+ phone, and pay-as-you-go deals provide great data allowances and competitive pricing.
Besides, you can access innovative tools designed to help your small business thrive. Whether you want a phone and deal or SIM only, there’s something for everyone.
There are some great bargains on O2 network plans. For a little over £18 a month, you can access 20GB of data and unlimited calls and texts, which is more than enough for most small business owners.
O2 is one of the UK’s biggest mobile networks, alongside EE and Vodafone. Its reputation for reliable service and speed is well-deserved, with O2 customers enjoying a 4G signal 83.6% of the time in OpenSignal’s 2021 report.
O2 Business 5G is now available to customers in 192 UK towns and cities. Their network provides reliable connectivity, enhanced security and increased capacity. If you’re a business that works with advanced technologies like robotics, O2 offers a private 5G network.
- Affordable payment options
- Offer business apps
- 12-month contract
- £11 starting price
- Helpline is often busy
- Slow compared to other options
4. BT Mobile – Best Range of Business Plans
BT Mobile is one of the biggest providers of business phone plans, and with good reason. They have excellent coverage, an easy-to-use app, and award-winning customer service.
However, there is one way you can save money: if you bundle a variety of services with them – including internet, mobile and fixed-line telephone – you might be eligible for discounts on all your accounts.
BT Mobile offers SIM-only deals as well as some smartphone contracts. Most of these are contracts with price plans with a certain amount of data. You can also pay extra for more data once your allowance has expired. And if you have BT Halo, you can add data to your plan to suit your needs.
BT offers a range of SIM-only plans starting at just £8 per month. Business owners can also build flexible plans. You can choose from their Mobile Sharer and BT One Phone Professional plans for more than five employees and enjoy their 4G and 5G coverage.
- Unlimited WiFi access
- Wide range of business plans
- Offer shared employee plans
- Walk-in stores not available
- Quite expensive
5. Virgin Mobile – Best Customisation Service
Virgin Mobile’s small business mobile plans are about offering you more choices, but still at an affordable price. This means you can select an unlimited 5G plan or opt for a mobile sharer plan to reduce costs if you have multiple employees using your device or need something that caters to your specific needs.
Their business mobile SIM plans come with standard 5G features. Whether you’re a small team of a few people or a larger organisation needing multiple phones, customisable data-only options and text only plans are available. All of them start for just $4 per month.
Virgin Mobile UK teamed up with Vodafone to provide a great mobile network for customers. With this partnership, Virgin Mobile users can access excellent 4G coverage and full access to 250,000 Virgin Media WiFi spots.
Virgin Mobile also offers excellent customer service, which means you can feel confident knowing that you have one of the best networks at your fingertips with these plans.
- Virgin Media WiFi hotspot
- Wide coverage
- Great flexibility with the Mobile Sharer plan
- Limited plans variety
- Not many outlets
Features to Look for in Mobile Phone Plans for a Small Business
If you’re a small business owner, you know how important it is to have a mobile phone plan that can work with your business. But there are so many options out there! How do you choose?
Look for the following features in a business plan to decide if they will suit your small business.
One of the first things to consider is whether or not the plan offers hotspot functionality.
Hotspot capability means sharing your mobile data connection with other devices. This can be useful if you want to use your phone’s internet connection but don’t have access to WiFi—for example, if you’re out in the field or don’t have time to stop at a coffee shop or other public place with WiFi available.
Using a hotspot allows your employees to share the connection from their phone with any other device connected via Bluetooth or USB cable. This includes laptops and tablets as well as smartphones and other mobile devices. Hotspots are particularly useful for business employees who frequently travel or conduct fieldwork on their company’s behalf.
Email and Surfing
A business phone plan should be able to provide you with email and surfing capabilities.
Email is an essential part of any business, and having access to your email on the go can help you stay organised and respond to messages quickly.
Similarly, browsing the web on your phone is a great way to keep up with social media and other important information about your business. So you don’t have to wait until you get home or back at the office.
Number of Lines
The number of lines is important because it tells you how many employees will use the phone plan. The more lines you have, the more employees can use the same phone plan.
If you have only one line, then only one employee can use the phone plan. This may not be a problem for some businesses since they may not have many employees or if their employees work from home or remotely.
If you have multiple lines, there are several options for managing them. One option is to have all employees share one account with unlimited minutes and texts across all devices (phone numbers). Another option is to give each employee their own line to make calls from any device they choose.
A multi line phone plan offers increased flexibility for a growing business. So ensure that your business phone plan includes multiple lines for peace of mind.
A business phone plan that includes international calling could be worth the investment. It would pay off if your business deals with clients located outside of your country or if you regularly collaborate with people overseas.
Look for international calling packages that include free minutes, calls to certain countries, and low per-minute rates on the more popular call destinations.
One feature that might be particularly useful for a small business is WiFi calling. This feature allows you to make calls using a WiFi connection instead of through cellular service.
This means that even if there’s no cell signal in the area where your employees are working, they’ll still be able to stay connected with each other and call out through their cell phones.
Another feature you should consider is unlimited calls and talk time. You’ll want this option if some of your employees spend much of their day talking on their phones with clients or other team members.
Unlimited talk time means there will never be any limit on how long they can call during a single billing cycle. So no surprises when it comes time to pay your bill!
Data usage is variable from month to month, and the last thing you want is to run out of data storage space at a critical moment.
You may need to send large files or use video conferencing tools like Skype or Google Hangouts, which can quickly eat up your data allowance.
Unlimited plans also mean you won’t be surprised by an unexpected bill or have to pay overages when your usage exceeds your plan limits.
Hence, ensure that your plan has unlimited data allowance, so you don’t run out halfway through the month!
Nowadays, mobile phones have gone beyond being a fashion or luxury item. They’re as important a tool to run your small business as your website or PC.
This guide features 5 of the best mobile phone plans for a small business in the UK. We hope it will help you find the best mobile phone service for the best deal possible.