The number of people who are looking for sim-only deals is rising. Carphone Warehouse saw a 27% rise in customers signing up to sim-only deals during the first half of 2012, and this trend is only increasing with the arrival of technologies such as 4G. So why would you want to sign up to a sim-only deal?
Reasons for signing up to sim-only price plans include:
- Not wanting to commit to a 24 month contract just to get a handset
- Already owning a 4G ready handset but wanting to change network
- Reduction in overall cost compared with a contract that includes a handset
Although buying a smartphone handset outright might be quite expensive in the short term, it can often be cheaper in the long term than signing up to a 24 month contract depending on the volume of data, minutes, or text messages you need. Buying your own handset also gives you more flexibility as you can change between networks, making use of their sim-only plans.
The three networks that currently offer 4G all have sim-only price plans on a 12 month contract. EE also offers a rolling 30 day plan, which can be cancelled with 30 days’ notice. Let’s take a look at the sim-only plans that the three networks are offering.
Sim-Only 4G Plans from EE
All the 12 month sim-only plans from EE include unlimited calls and unlimited texts, the difference between the price plans is simply the amount of data you get. £21 per month will get you 500MB, £26 per month will get you 1GB, £31 per month will get you 3GB, £36 per month will get you 5GB, £41 per month will get you 8GB, and £61 per month will get you 20GB. For the 30 day sim-only option just add £2 to each plan.
Sim-Only 4G Plans from Vodafone
The 12 month sim-only plans from Vodafone also include unlimited UK calls and text messages, and 750MB UK wi-fi, along with access to some entertainment services such as Spotify Premium, and Sky Sports Mobile. For £26 per month you will receive 2GB of data, for £31 per month you will receive 4GB data, and for £36 per month you will receive 8GB data. Although Vodafone has been offering an extra 4GB data on all of its 4G contracts, this will only be available until 31st October.
Sim-Only 4G Plans from O2
02’s 4G sim-only 12 month plans all include unlimited minutes and text messages, and there are three options for data. For £26 per month you can enjoy 1GB data, for £31 per month you get 5GB data, and for £36 per month you benefit from 8GB data.
Overall EE currently has the most flexible approach to sim-only 4G. As well as being able to choose between a 12 month or a 30 day price plan, EE also offers plans that include more data, going up to 20GB while O2 and Vodafone only offer up to 8GB. EE also have greater network coverage at the moment, so more users can benefit from these 4G plans. However, if you do live in an area with O2 or Vodafone 4G coverage, and you only need between 2GB and 8GB data, these networks both offer a lower cost alternative to EE.