Which is the best mobile phone contract in Germany?

Which is the best mobile phone contract in Germany?
Patrick Ott
Patrick Ott
Expert for insurance and finance
14. July 2022

The smartphone has become an integral part of our lives in Germany and can be used in many situations like paying the bills, investing, buying train tickets, accessing your insurance app or even shopping for groceries or tickets to cultural events. Every day we spend many hours with this compact device. Whether as a camera, as a notebook, or for playing series: the mobile phone is a faithful companion.

But despite all these useful functionalities, the original purpose is still in the foreground: telephony and mobile accessibility.

Consequently, everyone with such a mobile device also has a SIM card with which they receive both incoming and outgoing messages and telephone calls.

Of course, like almost everything in life, this also has its costs. As smart consumers, we are therefore also looking for the best price-performance ratio in this area. This article deals with which mobile phone contract in Germany is the best for you.

Prepaid or contract?

Before we turn to the best mobile phone contract, let's first consider why a contract makes sense at all.

The only required selection is whether to sign up for a prepaid tariff or a mobile phone contract.

Prepaid card

If you don't want to face an unexpectedly high mobile phone bill at the end of the month and only want to make a limited amount of credit available for telephony, a prepaid tariff is more suitable for you. This is useful for children, for example, who should be reachable without breaking the financial framework.

At the same time, you remain largely flexible with prepaid tariffs: If you no longer need the prepaid card, you are not tied to contract terms and can have the credit paid out - so that the prepaid card is considered canceled.

In contrast to fixed-term contracts, usually, there is no basic fee for prepaid models, which is why they are mostly cheaper.

So if it's just a matter of saving as much as possible, you naturally tend to go with the prepaid model first. However, since many discounters now also offer very lucrative mobile phone tariffs, it is worth comparing prices in advance.

But be also cautious with prepaid tariffs: If the credit is used up, the functionalities are correspondingly limited until the next time you refill your credit balance.

Mobile phone contract

A fixed contract, on the other hand, stands out with its convenience, since you only have to conclude it once without being limited in your credit and always checking the status of it.

However, this also means that you always pay the full price, regardless of your calling and Internet surfing behavior. Depending on the situation, this can have both positive and negative effects.

But a look at current tariffs shows that the offers often include top services: discounted smartphones, high-speed Internet, or high data volume for Internet surfing. So you will be able to find a satisfactory offer.

In general, no concrete conclusion can be drawn between prepaid tariffs and mobile phone contracts, since it behaves differently from situation to situation and between different preferences. More important is the comparison between the individual tariffs and the mobile phone providers.

Which is the best mobile operators in Germany?

A contract means commitment. Commitment means longer terms and therefore a risk if you make the wrong decision.

Therefore, when concluding the mobile phone contract, it is important to start directly at the root – the mobile phone provider.

As with any service provider, you should consider the following factors:

  • Variety of tariffs: Many different users also mean many different needs. A mobile phone provider who recognizes these needs and offers various suitable tariffs is a front runner.
  • Customer service: You will often be in touch with your provider – be it due to technical problems, contract changes, or offers. Having an easily contactable provider is extremely valuable.

But probably the most relevant factor would be the mobile phone network, as this determines your reachability.

3G 4G 5G LTE mobile radio broadband transceiver communications tower in Germany
3G 4G 5G LTE mobile radio broadband transceiver communications tower in Germany.

Mobile provider comparison

There are three relevant mobile phone networks in Germany. To be able to find a suitable mobile network provider for you, we have selected some favorites in the best mobile network as of now:

VodafoneTelekomO2
Max. Down & Upload Speed500 / 100 Mbit/s300 / 50 Mbit/s500 / 50 Mbit/s
Max. Data VolumeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Lowest monthly price€29,99€39,95€19,99
Contract Duration2 Years2 Years2 Years
5G availableYesYesYes
Network ProviderVodafoneTelekomTelefónica O2
Roaming in EUYesYesYes
Roaming in UKYesYesNo
Roaming in SwitzerlandNoYesNo

Deutsche Telekom

Deutsche Telekom's network is the best developed and fastest. Especially in rural areas, Telekom stands out from its competitors with its extensive accessibility and is therefore rightly selected as test winner. At the same time, Telekom is working on further expanding the 5G network nationwide - and all this from completely renewable energies.

Telekom's D1 network includes, for example, Telekom itself, Congstar, Klarmobil, and other providers, which, however, are mainly implemented by the first-mentioned providers.

While Telekom stands out with its large availability of LTE + 5G availability and with an extensive selection of tariffs, the monthly prices are increased accordingly.

As a subsidiary of Telekom, on the other hand, Congstar offers high-performance network quality at comparatively lower tariffs. However, the maximum high-speed option from Congstar is only 50 Mbit/s, which is quite low compared to the possible options from Telekom. Therefore, Congstar might seem a little slower.

Vodafone

Vodafone is the second largest network in the German market and is known as the D2 network. It is characterized in particular by the broad supply of 2G and LTE networks, as this has been expanded by Vodafone since 2010.

Since Vodafone also enables trouble-free phone calls in this way, there is no serious difference to the Telekom network.

H3: Telefónica (O2)

Last but not least, Telefónica offers the cheapest cell phone network and is also called the "E-Netz" because it is a combination of the networks from E-Plus and O2.

While this mobile network is mostly cheaper, there is a possibility that rural areas will not have as good coverage as the other providers. In most cities, however, the Telefónica network can already keep up. It is therefore important to use the network coverage map to check in advance whether your place of residence falls within the coverage areas. If this is the case, Telefónica is in no way inferior to the other two providers.

All cell phone providers in Germany use one of these networks. 1&1 is currently still using the Vodafone network but has already announced the future construction of its own 5G network.

What do I have to consider with a mobile phone contract?

If you have now decided on a suitable mobile phone provider in Germany, you are on the right track. Now it's time to find the right cell phone contract with your favorite cell phone provider.

In this section there are also key factors that you should pay attention to when making your decision in order not to fall into a cost trap:

Own requirements

It is essential to know your own needs and requirements before accidentally deciding on an unsuitable plan. Therefore, first make yourself aware of what your priorities are and what your usage behavior is like.

Contract Term / Flexibility

And the fear of commitment greets you every day. A 24-month commitment isn't for everyone.

If you have decided on an unsuitable tariff or provider or find a better tariff, you are now stuck with a long-term contract for a while.

To avoid this, many prefer the option of canceling on a monthly basis. However, if you do not want to deal with the mobile phone contract question for a longer period, something long-term is the right thing to do. But stay aware of automatic contract extensions!

Data volume / telephony

At this point, it is very important to know your usage behavior. If you make calls for several hours a month, you can already classify yourself as a frequent caller and should consider a flat rate.

If you would also like to stream videos on a train journey, for example, you will need an increased data volume (10GB or more). As a normal user who only wants to check something on the go from time to time or who wants to use WhatsApp, even 3GB should be enough for you.

If, for example, you want to use the mobile Internet to work on several devices, it would make sense to pay attention to the possibility of several mobile phone cards when agreeing on a tariff.

Also, watch out for international calls: This can quickly become expensive. If you travel a lot or want to make a lot of international calls, we recommend that you also pay attention to this aspect when choosing a tariff.

However, you don't have to rack your brains about this: If you later find out after booking your tariff that the booked amount is not enough for you, you have the option of adjusting the volume with most providers afterward.

Mobile phone contract price

Undoubtedly one of the most important aspects. No one wants to be stuck with horrendous expenses. At the same time, it is also known that when you try to save too much, you often have to make some sacrifices in other factors as well.

If you want the cheapest tariff, you may have to make extensive compromises in terms of quality, volume, and other contract conditions. But when comparing the discounter tariffs, it is possible to choose the best in terms of value for money.

If you want the cheapest tariff, you may have to make compromises in terms of quality, volume or coverage
If you want the cheapest tariff, you may have to make compromises in terms of quality, volume or coverage.

Mobile phone contracts that come when purchasing a new smartphone

Many providers lure customers with an unbeatable offer: a mobile phone tariff and the latest smartphone for just one euro. Too good to be true? Almost - it is an interesting deal to pay off a new smartphone over a longer period with small fess.

But with the surcharge for the new mobile phone, which is then included in the monthly fee, the customer usually pays more than he would have paid for the phone if he had bought it immediately from a retailer.

Therefore, it is generally recommended to purchase the tariff separately from the smartphone in order to be able to determine the costs separately and thus compare them. Don't let yourself be blinded.

Always read the fine print when purchasing a phone with a contract
Always read the fine print when purchasing a phone with a contract.

Best Mobile phone contract comparison

Countless tariffs are being offered at this moment. All-Net flat rate, high-speed internet, and unlimited data volume are just a few of the much-demanded features.

As soon as you have determined your own needs and your requirements for a mobile phone contract, it is time to choose the right tariff for you.

Best Mobile phone contract in Germany
Source: Connect

To help you, we've highlighted the best mobile rate plans for you from our perspective:

1) Do you call and text a lot? Then you should purchase a flat rate for telephony and text messages on all German networks. The Congstar Allnet Flat M tariff with a basic fee of €20 per month is particularly advantageous.

2) Are you on the go and don't want to miss the current soccer game? Then get the best LTE tariff from Deutsche Telekom with 18GB data volume and up to 300 Mbit/s. You also pay a basic fee of around €20 per month, but you are bound to a longer minimum term of 2 years.

3) If cost control is still most important to you, the Congstar prepaid tariff is suitable for only €3.26 per month. You will also receive a starting credit of €10.00, which will quickly pay off.

When are the cheapest mobile phone contracts available?

Don't forget: A mobile phone contract is a product. And there are discounts, promotions, and vouchers on most products.

If you are not in a hurry, you should therefore wait for the right time. Black Friday (November 25, 2022) or Cyber ​​Monday (November 28, 2022) might surprise you with some pleasant offers.

If you don't want to wait that long, you can also check on the weekend. The best tariffs are always available at that time since the providers often set weekend promotions that expire on Mondays. In this way, providers lure customers without lowering their general price level too low.

However, you must take the time to compare the conditions in advance without making a hasty decision.

Canceling your cell phone contract

If you have now finally decided on a different tariff, it is now the time to cancel your previous contract. The mobile phone contract can usually be canceled simply by e-mail.

However, please note your notice period. Especially for mobile phone tariffs with a term of 24 months, you have to be quick before the contract is extended automatically.

Contracts without a term, on the other hand, should usually be able to be canceled within one month. In this case, you should consider in advance which tariff you want as an alternative, so that you don't end up without any telephony afterwards.

cancel the current mobile phone contract in germany
If you want to cancel your current mobile phone tariff, your provider will actively try to keep you as a customer.

However, the game is not completely over with that, because your previous mobile phone provider naturally does not want to lose any customers.

Have you ever quit your job and your boss gave you a better offer to persuade you to stay? That's how it works here too.

If you cancel your current mobile phone tariff, your provider will actively try to keep you as a customer. This usually leads to extremely discounted mobile phone tariffs that are not offered directly.

As before, the motto now is: compare! You may now have much better terms that make you happy. Then you can save yourself further effort and confidently stay with your current provider.

But don't forget to always stay up to date and to look around for new tariffs and compare them after a certain period so that you can always save and take them with you.

Conclusion

The best mobile phone contract is undoubtedly the one that suits you best and meets your expectations. You should pay attention to aspects such as prepaid or contract, a mobile phone contract with or without a smartphone, the size of the data volume, the contract period, and the resulting flexibility. Of course, all these features must be evaluated from the price point of view – it doesn't always have to be the most expensive tariff.

The cell phone network also plays a major role in the choice of contract and consequently also in your availability, so the D1 network is generally recommended. If you are someone who makes a lot of calls and texts, you should opt for a flat rate.

Nevertheless, the mobile phone providers are always making new offers possible, so you should regularly look around for new, cheaper alternatives.

After canceling your original cell phone contract, your provider will want to lure you – so compare again.

And even if you have already taken out a new cell phone contract but are not completely satisfied with it: read the contract, look at the notice period and repeat the whole process of comparing.

This way you are always up to date and will get the cheapest rates!

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