Cheapest sim only deals with unlimited internet

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SIM Only: The Good and the Bad

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Full plan details. Go to compare. Add to basket Check Eligibility. Upfront cost. If you're happy with the phone you've currently got, or have inherited one from a friend or relative, then you should get a SIM-only plan. Contract SIM-only deals are often the most cost-effective plans available. Most networks would prefer you stick with them for as long as possible, so in return for your loyalty they offer better rates. SIM-only contracts typically last 12 months, though some providers also offer longer terms.

The beauty of a 30 day SIM-only plan is how flexible it is. That means you can add or remove data depending on your needs, switch providers whenever the fancy takes you, and take advantage of any special offers that catch your eye. Take a look at the table above for some current deals or check our full guide to see more. The more you do online, the more mobile data you'll need in your plan. Video is particularly data-hungry, so if you want to watch the likes of iPlayer and Netflix on the go, you'll need an unlimited or big data plan.

The biggest allowances tend to come from the big networks: Three one of the only operators to do full unlimited plans , EE , O2 and Vodafone.

How do SIM only deals work?

Looking for a SIM for your tablet or dongle? Plenty of networks offer data-only SIM plans. Alternatively, if you just use your mobile broadband device occasionally, a cheap plan with a few gigabytes may be all you need. A SIM-only deal is a contract that includes minutes, texts and data - just like a regular mobile phone contract.

As a result, these plans are usually much cheaper. Still not sure if there's a SIM-only deal that's right for you? With a SIM-only deal, you choose the plan that best suits your needs - in terms of minutes, texts and data. The network sends you a new SIM card, which you then pop into your phone. This means you can either use it with your old phone, or you can buy a new phone and use it with that one.

Once you purchase a SIM deal from a network and it is activated, this means this SIM card is permanently locked to that network , though not to your phone. You can easily swap handsets but keep the same SIM card - containing all your personal information, such as contact numbers, photos and messages. The smartest and best way to check you're choosing a SIM only deal with enough data is to open up your network app on your phone. Here, you'll find a month-by-month breakdown of exactly how much data you've been using. Use this as a guide when picking a SIM only deal and you won't go too far wrong.

Unless, of course, you're planning to start using your phone a lot more in future.


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Whether your phone is locked to your network depends on the network you're with and even on which handset you've got and which plan you bought it on. For instance, all phones bought on EE and Vodafone are locked to their networks. So if you want to use another network's SIM, you'll first need to unlock your handset.

Compare SIM Only Deals

Conversely, when it comes to O2 phones sold on pay monthly plans, only some are unlocked. But if you got a pay-as-you-go phone from O2, all models are unlocked. If you're with Three, the good news is that all phones they sell are unlocked. That applies irrespective of the model you own, the plan you bought it on or whether you bought it on pay monthly contract or pay as you go.

All sounds complicated, right? But the good news is that there's a simple to check for sure whether your phone is unlocked.

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You could borrow a friend's or family member's just to test it. In the event that your phone accepts the SIM and you've got a mobile-phone signal, your phone is unlocked and you won't need to get it unlocked. If there's no signal, your phone is locked.

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If that's the case, you'll have to call your network to ask them to unlock your smartphone and may have to pay a charge. That's good news. That means you're good to go. The next step is to find a SIM only deal that suits you. The best way to do is that by using the uSwitch comparison tables above. For some guidance as to which network to choose, take a look at all networks that picked up prizes at the uSwitch awards in the section below. Below, you'll find all the mobile networks that scored highly at the uSwitch Mobiles Awards , whether that's for customer service, coverage or roaming.

Determined by consumer research as well as the decisions of a panel of judges, comprising technology journalists and industry expert, we're confident that the awards represent a seal of quality. The best way to do this to ring your network. Your SIM card should arrive within two days.

If your phone is locked, you'll also need to ask them to unlock your phone. You may find you're encouraged to stay by their customer retentions department. If you are it's important that you're firm with them and insist that you're determined to switch.


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A charge may apply for unlocking your phone. Once the phone is unlocked you can insert your new SIM and you're all set. If you want to keep your number when you change networks, you'll need to ask for a PAC code from your current provider. To get your PAC code you can either phone or email your network or use a PAC code request form that you can fill on your network's website. To begin the number transfter you need to ring or email the network you're joining and supply them with your PAC code.