Navigating the shift – Mobile phone expenditure of Britons from 2019-2023
October 4th, 2023, Kineree Shah

Navigating the shift – Mobile phone expenditure of Britons from 2019-2023

In the rapidly evolving landscape of mobile phone expenditure, have Britons' spending habits changed?

From 2019 to 2023, around one-third of Britons consistently spent between £10-£19.99 each month, indicating that this range remains a favored budget for many. The £5-£9.99 category exhibited growth, moving from 17% in 2019 to 21% in 2023. This 4pp increase over the years signals that Brits are progressively attempting to reduce their spend. This trend is largely attributable to the competitive nature of the British telecom markets and a noticeable shift of consumers towards SIM only tariffs. Furthermore, the prolonged lifespan of handsets might also be a contributing factor. Interestingly, the expenditure at both ends of the spectrum – under £5 and over £50 – remained largely stable during this period.

For the segment using SIM only plans with a 30-day rolling contract, the below £5 range experienced significant growth, doubling from 4% in 2019 to 8% in 2023. Conversely, the £10-£19.99 category saw a decline, dropping from 44% in 2019 to 37% in 2023. This suggests that more Britons are looking for better deals.

When examining the 12-month SIM only plans, the £10-£19.99 range remained the most popular. Notably, its share decreased from 53% in 2019 to 45% in 2021, before moderately recovering to 48% in 2023.

The £5-£9.99 expenditure bracket peaked at 27% in 2021, later stabilizing at 24% in 2023. Meanwhile, the £20-£29.99 range consistently attracted 18% of users, highlighting a steady consumer base in this segment.

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for Britain is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.