Mobile contract price rises: can you beat them?

Find out how much your bill will be increasing in March or April

Most major mobile phone companies have confirmed that price increases are coming this spring – with some as high as 8.8%.

Find out who is raising the cost of their contracts and who is keeping a lid on inflation – and if you can do anything about it.

Why are mobile phone bills increasing?

Most mobile networks have it written into contracts that they’ll increase prices in the spring of each year. It’s usually a set percent plus the rate of inflation

They tend to use either the December Consumer Prices Index (CPI), or the January Retail Prices Index (RPI). CPI was 4% and RPI was 4.9%, so this year it means some bills will be going up by between 4% and 8.8%. 

Despite it being well down on increases in 2023, that’s still a lot of money to be added to your bill.

How much could your bill increase?

For every £10 you pay towards your mobile bill, an extra 6% would be another 60p a month, while 8% would be 80p.

So say your bill is currently £15 a month, an 8% increase will mean you pay an extra £14.40 over a year.

Someone on £40 a month, with a 6% increase, will pay £28.80 more over 12 months.

Confirmed price increases from the main mobile providers

Unfortunately, most of the big mobile providers are hiking their prices with O2 increasing prices by 8.8% in April – the highest price increase in percentage terms of all of the major mobile companies. Here’s our table of price increases from the major providers.

Mobile providerPrice increaseDate of increase
ID4.9 to 7.9% depending on contract start date01/04/24
Sky Mobile – out of contract customers3% 14/02/24
Talktalk – out of contract customers4%01/04/24
Tesco Mobile – non-Clubcard deals7.9%01/04/24
Three4.5 to 7.9% depending on contract start date01/04/24

No price hikes in 2024 (so far)

Some mobile companies have announced they will not be raising the price of mid-contract mobile plans. A handful are also not increasing any prices, even for those out of contract. Here are the main providers:

No increases at all

Though this could change, right now the following prices will remain the same.

  • Giffgaff will not increase their mobile plans this year for customers who are mid-contract. (They have not made an announcement about any price hikes for those out of contract).
  • Lebara Mobile – no price increases for your contracts this year with Lebara. In fact, they tweeted at the end of last year “Are we the only ones not plotting to hike prices? No annual price increases for 2024, just like this year and the last, plus no nasty mid contract hikes.”
  • SMARTY is one of the few providers that have committed to never raising prices mid-contract, so you won’t be getting any price increases this spring. SMARTY’s one month rolling plans can be cancelled at any time, so customers do not have to accept any price increases.
  • Tesco Mobile will not increase the price of their mobile plans mid-contract for customers who are signed up to a Clubcard deal. (No announcement about any price hikes for those out of contract).
  • VOXI – although owned by Vodafone, who are hitting their customers with a 7.9% price hike this spring, VOXI are not raising the price of their phone contracts.

No increases for those in contract

As detailed earlier in the article, these providers are hiking prices for those out of contract, but won’t change anything for those still locked in.

  • Sky Mobile users who are in contract will not see a price increase this year. They did not raise prices last year either. 
  • Talkmobile are not raising prices on their monthly plans this year for those tied into a contract. This is in stark contrast to last year when they increased prices by a massive 14%.
  • Talktalk customers with a fixed price plus or pre-pay saver contracts will not see any price increase this year.

What can you do about mid-contract price increases?

If you’re mid-contract, there’s not much that can be done. Most exit fees are so high, they would counteract any saving that could be made by swapping contracts, so unfortunately you’re locked in until the end of your plan. You can find out about your exit fees in the T&Cs of your contract.

It’s a good idea to keep tabs on when your contract ends, so you can swap to a better deal at the earliest, otherwise you’ll continue to pay the increased price.

The good news is that the telecoms regulator Ofcom, proposed plans in December 2023 to ban inflation-linked mid-contract rises. This would make the mobile providers outline any mid-contract increase at the point of sale in pounds and pence so you would know in advance any increases coming your way. It doesn’t get rid of mid-contract rises but it does allow you to compare any price increases with competitors before you sign up to a contract.

Out of contract? How to avoid the hikes

If you are one of the millions of customers who are out of contract, yet have continued paying for a pricier tariff rather than change, then now is the time to swap. 

Shopping around for a different provider will hopefully help you cut prices, but watch out for any of the networks listed above with hikes coming – you’ll want to wait until after their prices change or you’ll get hit with an increase to your bill almost straight away.

We’ve shared some top tips to lower your mobile tariff costs here, including things such as:

  • Going SIM only
  • Reducing your data allowance
  • Ditching the big networks

But if you do want to stay with your current provider, then try our haggling tips to help lower your bill.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.