Following  EU legislation contract providers are now offering more 12-month deals than seen for a very long time, which although has the up-side of greater flexibility does mean that monthly costs will be that bit higher.

The EU ruling, which came into force at the beginning of May, not only forces the mobile providers to offer 12-month contracts, but has also put a stop to lengthy 36-month deals.

The figures speak for themselves as the rise in 12-month contracts from February to May has lept from 279 to 4,765. Clearly this means a price hike, and that's shown by the change in the cheapest monthly charge moving from £5 to £9.

This change could also make it harder for you to get hold of some of the higher-end devices as it was often the 36-month contracts that providers used to reclaim the costs of the top-specced smartphones.

Still, it will mean that the problem of being left out in the cold with an out-of-date phone, or waiting for a promised Android update to your handset that never materialises could be less of an issue. Looks like if you want flexibility you'll end up paying for it, but good news all the same.

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