Is AT T the best mobile operator

Cellular provider comparison

Telekom, Vodafone and O2 against the discounters

Arne Düsterhöft
Telecommunications expert As of January 14, 2021

Arne Düsterhöft

Arne Düsterhöft is an editor for telecommunications and digital. Before that he was a volunteer in the editorial team of Finanztip. He gained his first practical experience in the online editorial team of teltarif.de, where he also wrote about digital technologies and telecommunications. After spending semesters abroad in Dublin and New York, Arne Düsterhöft completed his master's degree in theater studies at the Free University of Berlin.

  • Telekom, Vodafone and O2 rely on premium tariffs and good customer service.
  • Third-party providers score with low tariffs.
  • In everyday life you hardly notice any difference whether you have a mobile phone tariff from a discounter or from a network operator. You can quickly save 10 to 20 euros a month at the discounter.
  • With the network providers you get state-of-the-art smartphones in the contract and can surf the Internet unlimited.
The Finanztip recommendations for ...
  • Frequent phone calls in the O2 network: Allnet L from Blau (8 euros per month).
  • Frequent phone calls in the D network: Flat L from Allmobil (Vodafone network) for around 8 euros per month; Prepaid Smart from Ja! Mobile (Telekom network) for around 8.70 euros per month.
  • Economical mobile phone users in the D-Netz: Prepaid Basic from Ja! Mobil - Rewe (Telekom network) for 5.40 euros per month; Smart XS from Lidl Connect (Vodafone network) for just under 5.40 euros a month.

To the cell phone calculator

Telekom, Vodafone and O2 - most of these cell phone providers have heard of them. The mobile phone shops of the three major network operators are represented in every shopping street.

But do you also know who is behind third-party providers like Winsim, Fyve or Easytel? The smaller discounters are often cheaper than the big mobile phone giants. But is it really safe to switch to a wireless service provider you've never heard of?

Network operators against discounters

The short answer is: If you're just looking for a cell phone tariff that you can use to make phone calls and surf the Internet, then you can confidently choose a cheap third-party provider. In everyday life you hardly notice any difference whether you have a mobile phone tariff from the discounter or from one of the three network operators. Except that you can quickly save 10 to 20 euros a month at the discounter.

Because no matter which small, unknown cell phone brand you end up with, you always surf and call in one of the three cell phone networks from Telekom, Vodafone or Telefónica (O2). Most mobile phone tariffs of the network operators themselves are aimed more at premium customers and are therefore oversized for many mobile phone users or contain unnecessary extras.

From a price point of view, the comparison of mobile phone providers is therefore clearly aimed at the discounters. But of course there can also be deviations in the details. Vodafone sometimes has inexpensive prepaid tariffs on offer. The biggest plus point of the network operators, however, is that they have one better service offer in case a problem occurs.

Most discounters rely heavily on internet marketing. Those who prefer to be helped by a real person in a shop on the shopping street are in better hands with Telekom & Co. Are you dependent on uninterrupted cell phone reception, your chances with the network operators are also better.

You can change your cell phone tariff without personal advice

Finanztip is of the opinion: Changing the cell phone tariff is not rocket science. You can do that yourself. And with our tips, you can easily skip the little stumbling blocks of number portability. Once the new mobile phone contract has started, problems rarely arise.

You can find the cheapest tariff with our mobile phone tariff calculator. We will always point out to you if you have to watch out for automatic data or an increasing basic fee.

Use the tariff calculator to find the right tariff

The Finanztip mobile phone tariff calculator is based on data from the service provider Tariffuxx from Fuchstal (Bavaria), as the service provider performed well in our comparison. We filter this data with our parameters so that you get a consumer-friendly result according to Finanztip criteria.

The selection of the tariffs offered does not claim to be a complete overview of the market. We do not assume any liability for the correctness and topicality of the information provided here. We also assume no liability for damage resulting from incorrect data or the use of the computer.

The Finanztip recommendations for ...

  • Frequent phone calls in the O2 network: Allnet L from Blau (8 euros per month).
  • Frequent phone calls in the D network: Flat L from Allmobil (Vodafone network) for around 8 euros per month; Prepaid Smart from Ja! Mobile (Telekom network) for around 8.70 euros per month.
  • Economical mobile phone users in the D-Netz: Prepaid Basic from Ja! Mobil - Rewe (Telekom network) for 5.40 euros per month; Smart XS from Lidl Connect (Vodafone network) for just under 5.40 euros a month.

For typical mobile phone users, we regularly check the current offers for the cheapest tariffs. If you don't want to search long with our tariff calculator, you can simply use one of our recommendations. Or you can use them as a comparison if you are not sure whether your current tariff is still up to date.

Our tip: Always stay up to date - with our free newsletter!

Our tip: stay on the topic [category] always up to date - with our free newsletter!

What is a cell phone tariff?

When it comes to the mobile phone tariff, you have to pay particular attention to four characteristics:

  1. The cell phone network determines the quality of your internet connection and your phone calls. You can find the cheapest tariffs on the O2 mobile phone network. If you are often out and about in Germany or live in the country, then the Telekom or Vodafone network is right for you.
  2. The contract period determines how long you are committed to your provider. With a one-month term, you can flexibly switch to an even cheaper tariff later. Prepaid tariffs offer you the greatest freedom. You can also suspend this for a month. If, on the other hand, you only want to take care of your mobile phone tariff once and then don't think about it for a while, you can also choose a 24-month tariff.
  3. Your telephone behavior decides whether you should look for a tariff with an all-network flat rate or whether you need a few free minutes a month. With an Allnet-Flat you can call for free. If you take a tariff with a higher data volume, you usually get the Allnet-Flat as a bonus on top.
  4. The data volume indicates how long you can be on the Internet before your connection is throttled. A little tip: If you are unsure how much you surf in a month, it is better to start a little smaller. Most tariffs can easily be upgraded to a larger data flat rate for the next month. Switching to a smaller data flat is a bit more difficult.

What do you only get from the network operators?

If you want the best customer service and would like to dig a little deeper into your pockets, Telekom, Vodafone and O2 offer you some special features that you won't find with the third-party providers.

By the way: the network operators often advertise breathtakingly fast download speeds of 300 Mbit / s and more. However, these relate more to what is technically possible and not to that what actually matters to you. In everyday life, the discounter's download speed is more than sufficient.

Telekom relies on the latest mobile phone networks and entertainment flat rates

With a mobile phone contract with Telekom, you can the latest 5G cell phone network use. Telekom is by far the quickest way to expand its network. However, you also need a state-of-the-art smartphone for this. In everyday life, the 5G network brings you only minimal added value when surfing.

Telekom has one Plus point for entertainment junkies in store. With various StreamOn options, contract customers can listen to unlimited music, watch videos and play mobile games online. A long list of partner services is not counted towards the data volume, including Spotify, Disney +, but also Fortnite.

Vodafone scores with brand new cell phones and unlimited chatting

Similar to Telekom, Vodafone customers can also choose between Video and music flat rate choose. There is also a so-called “chat pass”, in which messenger services such as Whatsapp are excluded from the data volume, or a “social pass” for all Tiktok fans and Instagram starlets.

If your old cell phone is out of date, you can get it from Vodafone latest top models with the mobile phone contract to. And often a little faster than in free trade. By the way, Telekom and Telefónica also regularly offer smartphones at their tariffs.

As a study by us has shown, such a combination of mobile phone and contract rarely makes sense. Besides, in the contract is only difficult to seewhat you actually paid for cell phone and cell phone tariff in the end.

Surf the Internet endlessly with Telefónica

With some O2 contracts, you can surf the Internet with your smartphone without limits, regardless of whether you are chatting, surfing the net or downloading huge files. This is particularly worthwhile for Internet users who do not have a fast Internet connection at home. Small downer: the unlimited flat rate does not apply in other EU countries. When you are on vacation, O2 also cuts your data connection at some point.

Arne Düsterhöft

Arne Düsterhöft

Arne Düsterhöft is an editor for telecommunications and digital. Before that he was a volunteer in the editorial team of Finanztip. He gained his first practical experience in the online editorial team of teltarif.de, where he also wrote about digital technologies and telecommunications. After spending semesters abroad in Dublin and New York, Arne Düsterhöft completed his master's degree in theater studies at the Free University of Berlin.

* What the star means:

With our recommendations, we want to help as many people as possible to do their own finances. This is why our content is available online free of charge. We finance our extensive work with so-called affiliate links. We mark these links with an asterisk (*).

At Finanztip, however, we handle affiliate links differently than other websites. We only link to products that were previously recommended by our independent expert editorial team. Only then can the relevant provider set a link to this offer. We get money if you click on such a link or conclude a contract with the provider.

Whether and to what extent a provider pays us has no influence on our recommendations. What our experts recommend to you depends solely on whether an offer is good for consumers.

You can find more information about how we work on our About Us page.

^

+++ Pssst! Your newsletter full of savings tips +++

  • Lower your expenses for electricity, rent, cell phones, cars, travel and much more.

  • Don't miss any deadlines for filing your tax return or switching insurance.

  • Free in our Newsletter. Register now!