Frequently asked questions about sim only
What does Sim Only mean and it benefits?
If you are happy with your handset but would like a new tariff then a Sim Only deal can provide a more flexible and cheaper option. The bulk of your expense with a contract is usually the cost of the handset which is paid back to the network within the tariff over the contract term, with no handset required you could significantly lower your monthly cost.
- Keep your current number - You can keep you current mobile number, if you are staying with your current network this is a fairly simple request just call them on receipt of your new sim to push your number across. If you are moving network simply contact your network and request your PAC code and provide this code to your new network provider.
- Choice - Once free from any contractual commitment you are free to explore the Sim Only deals, but you will need to check if your handset is "locked" to your current network, if it is "locked" to (for example Vodafone), that handset will only work with a Vodafone sim only deal. If you want to explore other network deals you will need to unlock your device, if the handset is unlocked already you are free to choose any sim only deal from any network.
- Flexibility - Often the downside to contracts is the commitment, with Sim Only you can choose from 30 day rolling plans or 3,6, 12 and 24 month plans, giving you complete control, if you are not happy with reception, customer service or are waiting for a new handset to be released, these plans allow you to manage your account with a commitment that works for you.
- Price - As you do not require a handset this removes the handset subsidy you would normally pay your network for the handset, allowing you to select from a wide range of sim only options that suit your usage requirements, simply work out your minutes, text messages and data requirements and tailor a package to suit. Note it may be wise to add a little more than your standard usage to avoid paying extra for minutes, text messages and data. Sim only deals can start from as low as £2.50 per month (rolling 30 days).
Checklist of helpful questions to consider before comparing deals and completing your Sim Only order
- When/are you free from any contractual commitment?
- What type of Sim card do you need?
- Is your phone unlocked or locked to a network?
- Do you have any network preference?
- What commitment term are you comfortable with - 30 days, 3, 6, 12, 24 months?
- What usage allowance so you need for minutes, texts and data allowance?
- Compare sim only rental prices using comparison tools to find the right deal and save online.
- On receipt of your new sim card request your PAC code to transfer your mobile number and complete the process. Please note that your new sim card will be dispatched with a new mobile number. This will be replaced with your current number (it you wish to keep it) once the PAC code has been supplied to your new network. Some networks will request your current PAC code 'as you apply' for the your new sim only deal meaning it is worthwhile to have contacted your current network provider in advance to request this. It takes no time at all for your current provider to provide one.
What is a Sim Card?
The sim card (Subscriber Identity Module) is the microchip that sits in your device, it is essential to connect any device to a mobile network. It stores settings, account, tariff, billing details and connects you to the outside world.
What are the different types of Sim card?
In the past decade sim cards have evolved from credit card size to the size of a five pence coin, below are the different types of sim card's currently available.
Currently this is the standard size compatible with hundreds of devices, if you have not got one of the handsets below its likely you'll need this regular/standard version.
This slightly smaller design is for use with devices such as the iPhone4, 4S and Nokia Lumia 800.
The Nano Sim is the most recent and smallest sim card to date, compatible with the Apple iPhone 5.
As handsets evolve, more and more manufacturers will adopt the Micro Sim as standard, before we see the Nano Sim more widely adopted in the UK marketplace.
Sim card cutting
There are numerous videos and tutorials online about "cutting your sim card" to fit your handset. These can work depending on your cutting and sanding down skills as many provide a downloadable template but beware, your network or handset manufacturer will see this as a modification and it may mean your warranty is voided. It is not the most difficult of jobs to do but some people may not see it as worth the risk.