Talkmobile, a new mobile network from Carphone Warehouse, will focus on short-term contract deals and a very tasty looking pay as you go tariff. We like to pronounce it all as one word, rather than 'talk mobile', and imagine it's what Oprah calls her car, like the Batmobile.
But anyway -- Talkmobile's Essentials tariff charges 8p a minute for calls and 4p for texts to any network, as well as so-called 'unlimited' broadband. It's actually very limited, with a fair usage policy of 25MB a day, but at least it's reasonably priced at 30p, which works out at around £9 a month for 750MB.
This does look like a pretty good deal if you just want a cheap and simple no-frills connection. Talkmobile is what's known as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), piggybacking on the Vodafone network, so you'll get the same coverage as a Vodafone customer. You'll just need an unlocked phone -- buying a Talkmobile SIM card will give you £10 of credit.
SIM-only deals have boomed ever since they were introduced by networks, allowing people to keep their old phone and not be tied in to another costly contract with a phone the network deems you should be upgraded to. They're often much cheaper, particularly for those who don't use all the hundreds of minutes and texts contract deals usually offer.
For people looking for a contract phone there's the availability of 12-month Talkmobile contracts, a conscious effort to pull in punters looking for a phone that doesn't tie them up for a long spell.
Phones very quickly go out of date, so these shorter contracts look fairer and less frustrating to be on. Prices are quoted at £15 or £20 a month depending on usage.
Talkmobile is not be confused with TalkTalk's own Vodafone MVNO, which was announced this week to give the home phone provider a foothold in the mobile phone market. It's easy to mix them up as TalkTalk and Carphone Warehouse used to be part of the same company and have the same boss, but TalkTalk users are going to have to wait further into the year to get their own cheap mobile deals.