SOAS University of London

SOAS Mobile Phones

SOAS does not normally supply mobile phones to staff for a number of reasons:

  • many staff have their own mobile phone which they are willing to use for SOAS business as they don't want to carry multiple mobile phones;
  • many staff carry portable devices which can get Wireless LAN (WiFi) connections for e-mail, calendar and web, using our excellent EduRoam service;
  • in many cases, skype or similar voice applications can be used over WiFi and this will soon be extended so that SOAS landline numbers can be picked up on a hand-held device or a PC by staff who are away from their desks (e.g. when working from home);
  • once that new system is working, we will be able to discontinue a number of the mobiles we already have, or downgrade them to a data-only service (with a considerable cost-saving).

SOAS does have a contract for supply of mobiles where there is a business case for their use.  A typical case which needs to be made includes:

  • the staff member's job requires her to be contactable when away from her desk;
  • the staff member does not want to use her personal mobile for SOAS business;
  • there is a budget-holder who is able to cover the full cost of the mobile phone.

Before you contact I&T to ask for a SOAS mobile, please make sure that you are in this category and have the support of a budget-holder (normally your head of department, Dean or Director of a Professional Service).

Things you need to know:

  1. if you use your own mobile for SOAS business you can (with the consent of your budget-holder), put in an expenses claim if you run up significant additional charges (e.g. by traveling outside the UK);
  2. the cheapest option for a mobile is "pay as you go" (PAYG).  If you make very few calls, use very little mobile (3G) data, a PAYG mobile can cost £10/month or less (you don't need much credit on a PAYG if you only need to receive calls) and you can arrange this yourself, putting in an occasional expenses claim for the top-ups (with the consent of your budget-holder);
  3. if you opt for a contract phone, we charge back to the budget-holder £20/month for a voice-only mobile and £25/month for voice+data (500Mbytes/month);
  4. our contract has inclusive calls for national and local numbers, also other O2 numbers;
  5. additional charges apply in the case of international calls, phones to non-O2 mobiles and international roaming;
  6. we pay the full-cost of new mobile handsets which is re-charged to the budget-holder;
  7. prices range from £25 for voice-only to more than £500 for high-end "smartphones" such as Galaxy S5 or iPhone;
  8. this means you have to budget for the up-front cost of the handset and at least £240 per annum for the recurring charges.

If you have discussed the need for a phone with your line-manager, supported by an appropriate budget-holder who will cover all of the costs, you can e-mail the Service Desk at using the subject line "request a SOAS mobile phone" and someone will contact you to review your requirements.