Best small business mobile phone contracts 2024

Looking for the best business mobile phone contracts and suppliers? Compare the best plans, handsets, and prices available.

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Written and reviewed by:
Helena Young
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VoIP desk phone systems might have pride of place when it comes to in-office phone calls. But in today’s remote-first working world, mobile phones are a critical part of how modern businesses operate, whether for messaging on-the-go, meeting clients, or networking with fellow business owners.

Phone bills went up across every network in April, to keep pace with the rate of inflation. However, business phone contracts are still cheaper than consumer phone equivalents, as they offer bulk packages for data and minutes. Providers always offer their best deals to new customers, so there are still savings to be made by switching to a new plan – even with prices increasing.

Best business mobile contracts at a glance

1. Vodafone: best overall with excellent customer service and plenty of employee benefits
2. O2: best for fair payment plans, with outstanding security features
3. EE: best for reliable coverage 
for firms based outside UK cities

Don’t overspend – you can click any of the links above to compare fees on business mobile contracts for your own business’s size and needs.

To help make the buying process simpler for small businesses like yours, we compared the top phones and contracts from UK networks based on their value for money, coverage speed, and customer service.

For those who are in a rush, our custom-built tool will let you quickly compare plans. Or, keep reading for an in-depth look at the top UK phone companies.

What’s the best business mobile phone in 2024?

Business mobiles are a popular employee perk for a reason. Rather than forcing your staff to use their personal phones for work matters, they’ll get a sleek new model that’s paid for as a business expense. Some of the best business mobile phones in 2024 are:

  • Apple iPhone 15 Pro – the best business phone from Apple; offers all-day battery, durable handset, and powerful processing
  • Apple iPhone 14 Pro – essentially the Pro Max’s younger brother; its more compact, lightweight design is great for doing business on the go
  • Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra – top chipset, powerful camera and a super high-res screen make this a great choice for running your business on the go
  • Google Pixel 8 Pro – fantastic integrations with (you guessed it) Google drive, this is the search giant’s first attempt at an ultra-high-tech phone and it’s certainly a success
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 – this ‘phablet’ (phone/tablet) is the future of smartphones. Its dual display is excellent for messaging, multitasking, and video calling

The above list is a good place to start if you’re after a reliable, effective business mobile. Here’s what they’ll cost you in 2024 based on the best plans from our top three phone networks:

Swipe right to see more
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Apple iPhone 15 Pro

Apple iPhone 14 Pro

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4

Google Pixel 8 Pro

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Best handset deal
  • Vodafone £45 per month (+ £50 upfront)
  • EE £51.20 per month (+ £30 upfront)
  • O2 £52.10 per month (+ £30 upfront)
Best handset deal
  • Vodafone £56 per month (+ £50 upfront)
  • EE £42 per month (+ £8.33 upfront)
  • O2 £63.24 per month (+ £30 upfront)
Best handset deal
  • Vodafone £58 per month (+ £50 upfront)
  • O2 £67.74 per month (+ £30 upfront)
Best handset deal
  • Vodafone £34 per month (+ £50 upfront)
  • EE £53.21 per month (+ £30 upfront)
  • O2 £48.03 per month (+ £30 upfront)
Best handset deal
  • Vodafone £39 per month (+ £50 upfront)
  • EE £61.67 per month (+ £30 upfront)
  • O2 £65.93 per month (+ £30 upfront)
How did we find the best business mobile phone providers?

Our list of the top providers is based on what Startups’ readers told us are the three most important factors for small business mobiles. These are:

  1. Value for money eg. upfront costs, contract length, data allowances, and seasonal deals and discounts.
  2. Coverage and speed – SMEs don’t have time to hang around for slow download speeds, or risk a client call not getting through. The 2023 Ofcom customer service report informed our analysis of each provider’s data speeds.
  3. Customer support – we also used the Ofcom report to appraise each provider on the help and support options it offers users, as well as average response time for tech tickets and contract queries. 

Vodafone: Best contracts for employee perks and add-ons


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We rate Vodafone highly as the top network provider for employee benefits. That makes it the ideal option for firms struggling with staff shortages, such as call centres. Every package in its huge range of contract types comes with an enticing perk to boost worker morale and provide that extra incentive to job seekers. That includes a 6-month, 12-month, or 24-month subscription for:

  • Spotify
  • Amazon Prime
  • YouTube Premium
  • Sky Sports

Vodafone business mobile phone plans

Vodafone has a wide mix of pay-monthly options for business users. It  also offers tons of trials and discounts so you can try before you buy, reducing the risk of spending money on the wrong product. The most popular plans are:

  • Vodafone Business Evolve – a flexible option that will let you change your mind about data allowances or devices whenever, so you can alter your plan based on the growth of your business.
  • Vodafone Business Advance – a generous option offering unlimited data, texts, and calls. This plan is the best choice if you have a growing team and need access to a large number of resources.
  • Vodafone Business Optimiser – a pay-per-use plan that means you are only charged for the amount of data or calls you carry out, so you’ll never pay more than you can afford.
  • Vodafone Business Freedom – for SMEs making international calls or doing business abroad, this plan lets you manage usage so you won’t incur any hidden fees when you travel or call abroad.

You can also personalise your plan with add-ons including Device Support (for priority access to Vodafone tech support) and Rapid Insurance (if your business phone is lost, stolen or broken, Vodafone will issue a replacement to you within 4 hours).

Best SIM-only business phone contracts from Vodafone

  • £17.50 a month for Vodafone Red 50GB plan (for a basic phone allowance of unlimited minutes and texts + 50GB of data)
  • £34.17 a month for Vodafone Unlimited Max + Entertainment (includes 12-months free of Spotify or Amazon Prime)
  • £35.83 per month for Vodafone Unlimited Max Xtra Global Roam (comes with inclusive roaming in 83 worldwide destinations)

As of April 2024, Vodafone is currently offering a 50% discount on the first six months of any SIM-only business mobile phone plan.

What is Vodafone’s coverage and speed like?

In the USwitch ranking of the top providers for mobile coverage in the UK, Vodafone came second behind EE. 97% of the population can be serviced by Vodafone coverage.

5G service is available in 46 towns and cities throughout the UK, and a further 70 locations around Europe for roaming.

Is Vodafone good for customer support?

In Ofcom’s 2023 consumer report, Vodafone scored 56% for complaints handling; an increase from its previous satisfaction rating of 53%.

Vodafone is also one of the easiest phone companies to get help from as it has 500 shops across the UK.

If business users are not impressed with Vodafone’s coverage and service, they can get a full refund within 30 days (well above the typical 14 days offered by O2).

  • Business owners can easily get in-person help from Vodafone’s mobile experts thanks to the provider’s 500 UK stores
  • The Unlimited Max Xtra Global Roam lets you use your data abroad in over 83 countries including the US and entire EU
  • SIM-only plans are much more expensive than EE, with prices starting from £17.50 per month at a minimum
  • Vodafone has a slightly lower Ofcom complaints resolution rating, and it appears to be slower to resolve issues than EE and O2
Compare business mobile phone plans

Want to find out more about how our top rated business mobile plan provider stands up against its rivals? Use our online tool to compare business mobile deals today.

O2: Best for businesses with heightened security needs

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O2 is the ideal mobile phone network for businesses in heavily-regulated industries such as accounting or healthcare. This is due to its robust security features that allow account holders to apply different types of bars to phone numbers, giving them more control over how the phone is used, and if a device is lost or stolen. Account holders can:

  • Turn a device off if it is lost or stolen
  • Stop a device calling abroad from the UK
  • Block calls to premium rate numbers 
  • Block incoming calls from outside of the UK
  • Stop an employee from accessing the internet or using data

O2 business mobile phone plans

Ofcom’s 2023 report shows that 79% of customers are happy with O2’s value for money (compared with just 74% of EE’s customers). It boasts three mobile phone plans that suit a range of budgets and business sizes, including:

  • Small Biz tariffs offer simplicity and flexibility. Data allowances span 1GB to 50GB, and all provide inclusive minutes and texts
  • Sharer tariffs offer the option to share a pool of data among your employees. This can be a cost-effective option if you are a medium-sized team with 10 or more employees 
  • Business tariffs offer a wider range of options, including business mobile broadband and international calling packages. 

Users can also add bolt-ons to their plans, such as additional data allowances and minutes, if they run out of their allowance each month.

Best SIM-only business phone contracts from O2

  • £16 a month for 20GB of data plus unlimited calls and texts (and 500 minutes to EU numbers)
  • £18 a month for 50GB of data plus unlimited calls and texts (and 500 minutes to EU numbers)
  • £24 a month for unlimited data, minutes, and texts plus 2,000 minutes to EU numbers and the International Call Saver Pass (allows you to make calls from the UK to all destinations in all countries worldwide at a charge of 5p per minute)

What is O2’s coverage and speed like?

O2 currently provides 192 UK towns and cities with 5G. It also (unlike Vodafone and EE) allows business customers to create their own private 5G network to ensure reliable connectivity and enhanced security. 

If you run a SME that works with advanced technologies such as robotics, you can enquire about a private 5G network online.

Is O2 good for customer support?

As one of the UK’s largest mobile phone providers, customers can reach the network at one of its hundreds of high street stores, where you’ll benefit from the expertise of the company’s ‘O2 Gurus’.

Mobile helplines are less responsive, however. According to Ofcom’s annual mobile phone customer survey, O2 customer satisfaction fell to 85% in 2023, which is marginally below Vodafone (86%) and EE (87%). 

On average, business customers will spend 2 minutes 33 seconds waiting for an O2 service representative to respond to their call, which is exactly half a minute slower than Vodafone (although one minute faster than EE).

  • O2 Priority gives employees access to special perks like pre-sale tickets on all O2 gigs
  • European roaming charges are cheaper than rivals like EE; useful for those who work with European partners or customers
  • Because deals tend to be longer (typically 24 months), O2's upfront costs are lower
  • Helpline waiting times are around half a minute longer than Vodafone
  • There has been a small increase in the number of O2 customer complaints between 2021 and 2022
  • Plans tend to be less flexible and tie users in for longer (especially for SIM-only plans)

EE: Best for rural businesses needing reliable coverage and download speeds


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EE has excellent network coverage in London and the UK’s other major cities. But, we’d also recommend EE to businesses based outside the UK’s towns and cities. In these locations, poor coverage can lead to slower download speeds and clunky Zoom calls, which has a big impact on day-to-day operations – particularly if your staff are working remotely.

In January 2024, EE reported that its 4G network provides coverage across 88% of the UK’s entire landmass, putting it far ahead of rivals. Additionally, more than 60% of the population now has access to 5G services in over 1,000 locations around the country, including over 500 rural and semi-rural areas.

EE’s ‘Stay Connected‘ guarantee is a big benefit to business owners struggling with slow downloads who are concerned they may go over their data allowance. Should this happen, EE will make sure you can still access business-critical apps like email and WhatsApp.

EE business mobile phone plans

EE has a smaller range of business packages. Its plans are known as Business Essential and Business Full Works.

1. Business Essential Plans include:

  • Data allowances ranging from 2GB to 100GB
  • Extended warranties and annual health check-up on devices
  • Option to add a ‘Data Boost’ if you run out of data mid-month

2. Business Full Works Plans are more customisable. They are the ideal option for sole traders who have the freedom to design a contract that matches their unique business needs. Users can add up to three add-ons to their tariff, including:

  • Apple Music subscriptions
  • Microsoft 365 Personal subscriptions
  • Roam abroad passes for using your data allowance in certain countries
  • Additional minutes to call Europe and the EE Business Zone

Best SIM-only business phone contracts from EE

Small business owners can choose from either a data-only SIM or a phone SIM with EE. As the name suggests, data-only SIMs can only be used to access the internet and do not support SMSs and regular calls, while phone SIMs can perform all of these functions.

  • Phone SIMs range from £13-£25 a month. There are six plans available, all of which include unlimited calls and texts, Stay Connected data, and an annual check-up
  • Data SIMs range from £15-£25 a month. There are four plans available with data allowances spanning 10GB to unlimited.

Does EE have good coverage and speed?

EE pioneered 4G (super-fast wireless internet) and it still offers the best download speeds and coverage. It came top in Connect’s 2024 UK Mobile Network Test study, ahead of both Vodafone and O2. The findings show that EE currently services 92% of UK towns and 90% of cities, making it the most reliable network for business users.

EE also offers 5G for customers in 162 towns and cities across the UK. It’s currently the best provider on the market for 5G in terms of coverage users had the fastest overall speed on EE, with scores of 109.5 megabyte per second for Download Speed Experience. You can check if your area is covered using the EE online tool.

Is EE good for customer support?

EE doesn’t have a leading reputation for top customer service. However, the 2023 Ofcom customer service report for mobile phone providers shows it achieves a satisfaction score of 86%, which puts it on par with Vodafone and O2.

With more than 500 stores up and down the country, EE is one of the biggest phone providers, so it will be there should your small business need them. It even offers free phone replacements if anything goes wrong within the first year. 

Nonetheless, the call waiting time for EE’s customer support team lets it down. As we’ve noted above, users will be waiting almost a full minute longer to speak to an EE representative, on average, than with O2, and 1.5 minutes longer than Vodafone.

  • My EE Bill Analyser helps employees stay on top of their phone bills
  • Wide-ranging 4G and 5G coverage with the fastest download speeds in the UK
  • Free replacement for 24 months in case of breakage or damage
  • Lower money satisfaction score with customers than Vodafone
  • Roaming charges on calls made to the EU returned in January 2022 - not good for firms with employees based abroad

How should you choose a business mobile phone contract?

Take calls, send emails – what more could you need from a business mobile? Well, quite a bit, as it happens. When choosing a business mobile contract, there are some key factors to watch out for before you sign up:

SIM-only or phone contract?

The first decision you’ll need to make when purchasing a business mobile phone contract is whether to buy just tariff, or invest in new phone handsets for your staff as well.

Phone contracts are good if you want a brand new phone and to spread the cost out over monthly payments. However, they often lock you into a contract for a few years, and you might end up paying more overall for the phone than if you bought it outright.

SIM-only plans are great for sole traders who may already have a phone they like, or if they’re happy to buy one separately. You’ll just pay for the minutes, texts, and data you use each month, which can be much cheaper than a phone contract. This option may be less appealing if you’re offering a business mobile to your staff, as there’s the expectation they have to use their personal phones for work – just with the SIM swapped out. That said, employees might want a more up-to-date model (ie their own) than the device you can provide, in which case, a business SIM is a good solution.

Data allowance

If you need to check spreadsheets on the go or stream video calls, you’ll need a larger data allowance. 10GB to 50GB is usually enough to get by, but if it’s going to slow down your operations, it’s worth looking for a business phone tariff with unlimited data (or a shared contract for employees, like Vodafone has). Check how this affects costs, as you may need to sign up multiple staff members to plans.

Network coverage

No one wants an important call to drop out due to poor reception – be sure to check on network coverage including for 5G data. Coverage maps shift and improvements are being invested in, but there’s another cost saver here, potentially: don’t spend on a pricier 5G contract if you won’t benefit from it where your business is based.

Insurance, repair and maintenance costs

Business mobile contracts will typically offer repairs and maintenance for any damage or malfunctioning software as part of the contract rather than as an add-on. Check if this does add costs, and how that then changes the overall value of the plan you’re considering, versus alternatives that may offer add-ons including insurance.

New phone upgrades

You don’t want all of your staff looking ruefully at the latest iPhone, knowing that they’re locked into an older one for another two years on the contract you’ve chosen. Check what your upgrade clauses may look like before you sign up – some plans offer more flexibility to change handsets during the course of the contract.

Break clauses and early termination costs

No longer need as many business mobile contracts for your team? Or want to get rid of the perk altogether? Be sure that this won’t add penalty costs for an early contract termination. Some contracts may offer a break clause if you need fewer handsets for a period of time (for instance, if you’ve downsized your team but wish to keep some of the mobile contracts in place for remaining staff).

Invoicing and account management

Business phone handsets and contracts can be claimed as a business expense, letting you recover the VAT. All of this is made easier by centralised account management and invoicing that’s sent direct to the business account manager (eg the IT team or CTO). Be clear on what kind of invoicing you’ll receive as you agree to the contract, and how you’re able to access bills and invoices.

Benefits of business mobile phone contracts

Business mobile contracts have a lot of benefits over expecting your staff to use their personal phones for work, and they’re certainly a less bureaucratic benefit than allowing your staff to claim expenses for mobile phone use for work purposes.

Contracts managed by the business

With a business mobile contract, you don’t need to leave it up to staff to choose a device or plan – a business account manager or IT manager handles all of this. This is helpful for centralising the costs, invoicing and renewal process, and keeps the tax claims simple, too. Speaking of which…

Business expenses

Company phones qualify as a business expense, so you can offset the cost of your phones by claiming them against your annual tax return and recovering the VAT.

No itemised billing required

With a business mobile, it’s assumed that all of the use is for work purposes, so staff don’t have to submit itemised expense claims. This is something they would need to do if they were using a personal phone for work, then claiming back business use costs for calls and data.

Insurance and breakdown protection

If a staff member loses a business mobile phone, or if the device breaks or is damaged, then insurance cover is typically offered as part of the contract package. This keeps things relatively easy if you need to get a device repaired or replaced.

Good value plans

Upfront, business mobile phone contracts are considerably cheaper than personal ones. This is a deliberate decision on the part of the provider because these are generally bought in bulk and distributed across a business. This means the phone company can afford to lower the price of its contracts.

Security and data protection

With a business mobile, you can put in additional security or data protection systems – for instance, requiring face ID or fingerprint ID to access the device (these can be switched off on a personal phone; installing a VPN app to allow for secure encrypted access to business data, or blocking apps from being installed that aren’t approved by your business or IT team. This may sound paternalistic, but these are essential steps to prevent data breaches that could cost your business a fortune. is reader-supported. If you make a purchase through the links on our site, we may earn a commission from the retailers of the products we have reviewed. This helps to provide free reviews for our readers. It has no additional cost to you, and never affects the editorial independence of our reviews.

Written by:
Helena Young
Helena is Lead Writer at Startups. As resident people and premises expert, she's an authority on topics such as business energy, office and coworking spaces, and project management software. With a background in PR and marketing, Helena also manages the Startups 100 Index and is passionate about giving early-stage startups a platform to boost their brands. From interviewing Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin to spotting data-led working from home trends, her insight has been featured by major trade publications including the ICAEW, and news outlets like the BBC, ITV News, Daily Express, and HuffPost UK.
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