The more savvy amongst the mobile phone and iPad user population have known about the advantages of sim only deals for several years; some of the rest of us have taken time to catch up! GiffGaff were the pioneers of the sim only offering in the UK, using the 02 network, but other network providers were quick to jump on the bandwagon, so there’s now healthy competition between the main operators. You will find that when you are researching the best sim only deals GiffGaff remain leaders in the field, their per minute price of 10p comparing very favorably with the competition.
So what are the advantages of sim only deals? Simplicity, for a start – buying just a sim card without a handset releases you from being tied in to a long-term contract, and most sim only contracts run for a minimum term of 30 days.
Cost-saving is another big advantage offered by the sim only deal. Because the network operator is not subsidising the cost of handsets to its customers, it can afford to make significant reductions to its tariffs.
The flexibility that a sim only contract offers allows you to change the tariff regime that you are on from one month to the next, depending on your circumstances; and if you are dissatisfied with the coverage offered by your network operator in your area – it’s easy to switch! You may also be wanting to snap up the next iPhone or iPad when it comes on the market, and a sim only deal gives you the flexibility to keep your monthly contracts ticking over whilst waiting for its arrival.
A greater choice of handset can also be available to you from retailers, as some network operators have a more limited menu to offer their contract customers. However, this might also be the point at which you discover one of the potential drawbacks of sim only deals. For buying handsets on their own can be expensive, and you are likely to have to do quite a bit of shopping around to find a deal that anywhere near matches what you would be offered if were on a longer-term contract with a network operator.
If you prefer not to have to give either time or thought to your mobile phone bill, but just to pay it when it comes in, then sim only deals are probably not for you. They do require you to be proactive in researching the best offers, month by month, and to keep track of your usage so that you ensure you are on the most suitable tariff. You may need to monitor you text, voice and internet minutes carefully to make sure that you don’t go over your allocation, as this can get very expensive.