PAYG expected to fall by up to 75%, Uswitch research shows.


● The number of pay-monthly contracts will increase by a quarter over the next decade, reaching an average of 82.3 million customers

● Pay As You Go (PAYG) subscriptions are set to fall by three quarters, having only 5.33 million customers by 2032

● In 2023, the number of pay monthly customers is likely to increase by 2.6%, whereas PAYG subscriptions are set to drop by 6% 

The number of mobile customers with pay monthly contracts is set to increase 26% by 2032. In contrast, Pay As You Go subscriptions will fall by 75% in the next decade, according to new research from, the comparison and switching service.

The mobile statistics report predicts that pay monthly contracts will grow by one quarter (26%) by 2032, totalling an average of 82.32 million customers. PAYG subscriptions could continue to fall, decreasing by a further three quarters (75%) by 2032, as customers choose new monthly deals.

It is forecasted that in 2023, the number of pay monthly customers could increase by 2.6% (1.71 million). Over the same period, PAYG subscriptions could drop by 6% (1.29 million).

The increase in pay monthly contracts is expected to be consistent over the next decade, with an average increase of 2.26% (1.7 million customers) per year. In contrast, the average decrease in PAYG subscriptions is 9.3% (1.6 million customers) per year.

Pay monthly contracts are predicted to attract more than 17 million new customers in the next 10 years, an increase of more than a fifth (20.7%).

The mobile statistics report revealed that the majority of consumers are most likely to change their phone when presented with a lower-cost device or plan. This is most highly reported among those aged 35-44 (57.62%). Over a third (36.93%) of 16-24-year-olds also mentioned lower costs as the most likely reason to change their phone.

The age group most likely to change their phone if offered promotional bundles are those aged between 45-54, with a third (33.44%) reporting this as their main reason behind phone changes.

Says Catherine Hiley, mobiles expert at

“Signing up to a contract can sometimes offer a more manageable price per month, whereas you may have to pay for a phone outright if opting for Pay As You Go.

“As top-of-the-range handsets can cost in excess of £1,000 to buy if teaming with a PAYG deal, lower upfront costs and monthly payments over a long period can be a great option. Many are likely to find contracts more attractive as they can offer bundled deals and plans that include top smartphones with generous data, calls and texts, sometimes with additional perks and rewards.

“Many people are also in favour of 30-day contracts, which give more flexibility to the user. A month-long contract provides you with the freedom of a PAYG SIM, without tying you down long-term for 12 or 24-month contracts.”

Chris Price
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