3 launches £0 a month contract - how does that work, exactly?
A £0 a month contract may seem like an oxymoron, but that's not stopping our favourite mobile service provider 3 giving it a go. 3 SIM Zero will be the UK’s first £0 a month contract, with a minimum contract of just one month.
So what do you get for this headline-busting deal? Nothing, in a word. There's no free handset to choose from, no inclusive minutes, no free texts and no data bolted on the side. Instead what you get is unlimited Skype-to-Skype calls, free instant messaging and free voicemail. The deal is available from 3 on Wednesday.
Of course, the cynic in us would suggest that 3 are being far from altruistic with their offer. While it might be worth the hassle of taking this deal for a second phone - assuming you've both a spare handset and the majority of your contacts available on Skype - it's clearly not a deal for every day use. That's where 3 will rake in the money - normal mobile calls cost 20p a minute and texts cost 10p each. And because you'll need a 3G handset, you're going to be more than tempted to use data services, which will cost 30 pence per MB.
Plenty of people will be lured in by the zero monthly fee, but it's in no way a replacement for a standard contract with inclusive minutes, texts and data. This is a deal that'll only be useful to a tiny minority of customers, but you can bet it won't be marketed in that way.