New "SMARTY" Phone Network Cuts The Smoke & Mirrors Bullshit From Its Price Plans

By James O Malley on at

We all love getting a new phone - but we also hate the rigmarole that goes with changing a phone contract. To make it even more annoying, comparing deals is tricky business: How can we weigh one network throwing in free Spotify against the other network offering slightly more data? Is it worth increasing the upfront payment to pay less per month? It's absolutely maddening.

So perhaps we should be pleased that a new network has launched today, the hook being that it massively simplifies the business of figuring out your plan. Piggybacking off of the Three network's physical network of 4G transmitters, it's called "SMARTY" (and the PR people keep writing it in full caps for some reason), it appears straightforward even for thickos: It's a SIM-only network (so you'll need to buy your phone elsewhere), and all you do is pay a £5 base service charge - which includes unlimited calls and texts. And then every gigabyte of data you use costs £1.25 on top.

To sell this to you, there are three launch plans:

  • Small (£7.50 for 2GB UK data)
  • Medium (£10 for 4GB UK data)
  • Large (£15 for 8GB UK data)

Better still, if you go over your allowance, all data over the top is just £1.25/gb too, and if you use less data than you're paying for, you'll get refunded for the unused gigabytes. Nice.

The only downside at the moment is that according to the company's website, at the moment you're unable to call abroad and that roaming won't work, because the company haven't managed to figure that out in time for today's launch.

Here's hoping that the new network encourages the traditional networks to make their pricing more straightforward too - then us consumers might finally be able to figure out if we're getting ripped off or not.