The UK is home to a large population of Indian immigrants who have been residing there for generations, while new ones continue to arrive in search of better education and jobs. There was a time when global communication would revolve around the handwritten letters. With the advent of technology communication has improved over time with the emergence of the Internet and emails.
Nevertheless, there is no better form of communication that telephones for no feeling in the world can compare to that of hearing the voice of your loved one. The once expensive International calls have undergone significant reductions in net costs with cheap calling cards.
Without further ado, let us take a look at the telecom services that offer the best and cheapest calling cards that NRIs can make use of for calling back home.
A virtual network operated by LycaTel, LycaMobile specializes in providing cheap international calls from mobiles. It is still pretty competitive in the domestic market, charging UK mobile calls at 10p per minute and texts at 9p each. They also offer free voicemail and landline calls in UK at 3p per minute. However, the service is most sought after for the 1p/minute rate to countries such as India, China, Pakistan, Egypt, Australia, and many more. LycaMobile makes use of the O2 network infrastructure and offers decent coverage. Sadly they do not have any MMS service and rates on their 0800 and 0870 numbers are fairly astronomical. The most shocking aspect is their misleading offers and hidden charges. They also have a very complex tariff plan in place that can be very hard to decipher.
Overall, their service and rates are pretty useful for most individuals who are able to understand what is written in the fine blueprint that is their offer plan.
ASDA Mobile first made an appearance in the year 2007 and is managed exclusively by the supermarket chain ASDA. A virtual network, it is dependent on Vodafone for the infrastructure and works on a similar low-cost no-frills business model. Though there have been some revisions on the calling rates, they are still one of the cheapest calling cards providers in the UK. The various bundle deals are of great value for those who wish to save as much money as possible on their mobile plans.
You would be mistaken to imagine that the rock bottom prices would result in a poor quality of service. Thanks to their involvement with the Vodafone network, coverage is almost the equivalent of the parent company. They also have one of the best customer services in the industry.
The only issue is that the handsets compatible with the ASDA network are not the cheapest. Also, top-up cards of this service provider are not easily available. However, the pros far outweigh the cons, making ASDA one of the best virtual networks to be available in the UK.
The second-largest telecom network service provider in the UK, O2 was born in 1985 and has grown to support numerous virtual networks today. Though their tariff is at the pricier end of the spectrum, you won’t get much value for money owing to the poor network and data coverage all across the country. Also, as a PAYG (Pay-As-You-Go) customer you will get a poorer deal compared to a contract customer which is usually not the case with its competitors.
For those looking for a cheap option, O2 does not have much to offer. They do have some good SIM-only deals and bundles, but that does not prevent them from being one of the more expensive networks in the UK.
A virtual network operated by the Carphone Warehouse, TalkMobile is reliant on Vodafone for infrastructure support. They offer both PAYG deals as well as low-cost short-term contracts that have various add-on rewards in the form of texts and voice minutes. The contracts often turn out to be more attractive than what their competitors offer.
TalkMobile has decent network coverage and 3G signals, besides a customer service that does not make you wait unnecessarily. Although not one of the cheapest networks in the country, they are within affordable range for most users. And if you are in need of calling home to India, their Globetalker deal will come in handy with free international minutes on offer for various top-ups.
Probably the cheapest calling cards service provider in the UK, Tesco Mobile has received the accolade of being the best telephone service provider on successive occasions in the past decade. Customers are afforded choice, simplicity, and value by associating themselves with
Be it the regular tariffs or PAYG rates, Tesco Mobiles offers the cheapest in both categories for UK customers. Their text and data bundles are also excellent deals while the strong O2 network that supports its infrastructure ensures the service has sufficient coverage.
The 3G coverage is a bit of an issue as O2 is yet to sort out the issue for itself. Nevertheless, Tesco Mobiles has some great offerings for its patrons and is one of the best virtual networks you can get hold of in the UK.