If you have a question relating to SIM only contracts you have found the right section – our FAQ page.
One of the most popular questions that our readers had asked of us by email was whether it was possible to take your existing phone number with you if you moved from a pay as you go or monthly contracts onto a SIM only contract. So we created an FAQ that we hope will cover the questions and answers that you may have.
If you have a question that we have not covered, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will not only reply back with the answer but also add it to our FAQ to help our other readers.
What are SIM only contracts?
Can I get a SIM only contract for my phone?
Why are SIM only contracts so cheap?
How long is a SIM only contract?
Can I keep my phone number with SIM only?
What are the benefits of a SIM only contract?
A SIM card is a tiny circuit board which is placed in a mobile phone to give call service. There is now a new form of mobile phone contracts called “SIM only”. SIM only contracts are mobile phone contracts very similar to a normal phone contract that you would get though Phones4u or the Carphone Warehouse, etc but no mobile phone is supplied with the contract. You will receive a free SIM card from the network of your choice; Orange, Vodafone, O2, T-Mobile, or 3 and choose the right tariff for you. SIM only contracts are generally rolling 30 day contracts; this means you are not tied into a contract for more than 30 days at a time so if you want to cancel your contract for another deal, you can do so very easily. It will be necessary to pass a credit check to get a SIM only deal but these are nowhere near as stringent a check as it would be to take out a standard phone contract.
Once you have chosen your SIM card plan, your network will post the new SIM card to you and when the SIM card has been activated you will simply need to insert the SIM card into your phone and you will have service.
Yes. Sim cards are used by phones to provide your service so simply put you could replace the existing sim card in your phone with your new sim card. In many cases you can just put the new sim card in the phone and it will begin working, however, in some cases your phone will be locked to the network which you were previously using the phone with. This should not provide any problem as it is possible to “unlock” your phone from the current network to use your chosen network. Networks don’t like to disclose the ease with which you can unlock your phone as obviously it will lose them a customer so often there is a lack of information forthcoming from the mobile phone networks.
Do not be concerned about unlocking your phone. It is not illegal to unlock a phone from its current mobile phone network in the UK. However, if the phone has been barred by the network you should not unlock it. Typically a phone will only be barred if it has been registered as stolen, etc so in the vast majority of cases you are free to unlock your phone if need be.
SIM only contracts often appear to be fantastically cheap for the benefits offered. You may be thinking that there will be a catch, but there isn’t. They simply represent the best value phone plans available today on the market.
SIM only plans are cheap because as part of the deal the network/supplier does not have to provide a phone as part of the package. If you were to take out a standard mobile phone monthly contract you would get a phone and a SIM card. This is also the case if you bought a pay as you go phone. The fact that a mobile phone is not supplied as part of the contract means that you are only paying for the calls, texts or internet services from the phone carrier, you aren’t paying for any expensive phone hardware also. It is a fact that when standard phone contracts are taken out, the phones themselves are very heavily subsidised by the mobile phone retailers. In many cases, the phone retailers will lose money on the price of the phone handsets to only make up the difference by the cost of the phone tariff. However, because the phone retailer is not supplying you with a phone as part of the SIM only offer, they can provide the absolute best value on the tariff. Basically you will struggle to find a better standard mobile phone tariff than a SIM only deal.
A SIM only contract is not like a normal phone contract which can be from 12 months to as long as 24 months, as they are only 30 day rolling contracts. This means if you want to change to another deal you would only need to give a months’ notice on your contract and then you would be able to finish your SIM only contract with no penalties.
SIM only contracts are great for people that require a flexible contract and don’t want to be tied in for long periods of time. Mobile phone technology moves very quickly so if you tie yourself into a 24 month contract, towards the end of the contract your phone will be very dated compared to the rest of the market and you will invariably be on a worse tariff than newer offers. By having a short 30 day contract you can be constantly on the lookout for the best deal. Once you find the right deal, your contract will continue to roll over to the next month for as long as you want it to.
Yes, you can retain your old phone number if you are taking out a sim only contract (even if you are changing to an entirely new network). To keep your old number you would need to contact your old mobile phone network and ask them for the PAC (Port Authorisation Code) number. Once you have this, you need to contact your new provider and give them the PAC code within 30 days. Your mobile phone number will then be transferred onto the new network and you can use it via your sim only contract.
You have the flexibility of a 30 day contract. This is in contrast to a minimum of a 12 month or up to 24 month plan for a standard mobile phone contract. If you aren’t happy with the SIM only tariff or deal that you are currently on, you only need to give a months’ notice to your provider and you can cease the contract with no penalties. If you tried to do this on a standard mobile phone contract after a month you would be liable for 11 months fees upfront as a penalty payment to get you out of the contract!
Entering into a SIM only contract will provide you with the best mobile phone tariffs currently available on the market. Many SIM only deals include unlimited texts, and unlimited internet and you could find SIM only tariffs as cheap as £10 per month which offer very generous text and talk time inclusive.
By utilising a SIM only contract deal you can keep your current mobile phone. There is no need to learn how to use a new phone, or move all your contacts and pictures onto a new handset because all you need to do with “SIM only” is to plug your new SIM card into your phone. That’s it.
SIM only deals are offered by all of the major networks, Orange, Vodafone, O2, T-Mobile, and 3 and there are a massive range of different plans on offer. If you prefer to chat, text or use the Internet you will find a SIM only plan to suit your needs.