Tesco Mobile now offers a SIM-free monthly rolling contract deal for the same price as just 60 packs of Tesco Value Noodles.
The SIM-only contract is just £6 a month, doesn't require you to sign up to more than a month, and provides unlimited texts and 100 minutes. You also earn Clubcard points.
In essence, this is very similar to O2's Simplicity deal, and uses the same O2 network but with Tesco Mobile branding. The offer is still thriftier than O2's cheapest SIM-only contract deal, which is £15 a month.
The Tesco Mobile deal doesn't include any Internet usage, so there's no use buying an unlocked iPhone or HTC Desire and swapping on to this contract, unless you don't want to browse the Internet at all. But, if you're one of many who don't have a fancy phone and just want to use your current handset for calls and texts, this is a very good deal, especially as there's no text message limit.
It's probably possible to get a cheaper deal if you really shop around, but this is one of the first we've seen from an established brand-name retailer on a fairly reliable network.
"This deal is ideal for a younger market or any text addict out there who doesn't want to have to fork out a large amount each month but still wants to use their mobile to their heart's content," says Tesco Mobile boss Lance Batchelor.
"We've seen a big increase in SIM-only mobile tariffs as savvy spenders hang on to their handsets and shop around for the best tariffs available."
It's true. There's been a rash of pay as you go deals offered recently by networks and retailers. If you only want to pay for the calls and texts you use, Carphone Warehouse offers a Talkmobile Essentials deal that piggybacks on the Vodafone network. And if you're looking for a proper smart phone to go with your pay as you go deal, both the iPhone and several BlackBerrys were recently made available by Vodafone and O2 respectively.
In the case of Tesco Mobile there's a set monthly fee of £6, but if you think you're going to text loads and use less than 100 minutes of talk time, this might be the one to go for.