A SIM only plan is a useful one to consider because you can keep your existing smartphone or tablet. And, there are many different deals to consider for consumers who wish to keep their plan within budget. Contract customers may discover that following their contract lock-in period, they can obtain a more competitive deal elsewhere when they look around. This can be especially true when you consider the cost of 4G data because it is more pricey than 3G in most cases due to the expected speed boost.
Keep reading for some of the best SIM only plans that come with 4G data.
GiffGaff on 4G
GiffGaff has a no contract offer for 4G LTE data with no credit checks required. A standard SIM card is used.
GiffGaff is known as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator because it is owned by O2 and uses the O2 mobile network to provide its service. They don’t believe in contracts that lock users in and this also gets around the need for credit checks, so the company is popular with consumers who have a previous ding on their credit report and those who just don’t like to get locked into expensive deals.
Their calling plans from the UK to mobile phones include low-cost international calling to India, China or the USA for just 2 pence per minute.
One of their 4G plans includes 3GB of monthly bandwidth, 500 minutes of standard talk-time and unlimited SMS texts. The cost of the plan is currently just £15.00 a month. GiffGaff also has a 1GB 4G plan for just £12.00 a month.
Fastest 4G LTE with EE
As the “4GEE” 4G LTE network coverage continues to expand with mobile provider EE, their SIM only 4G deals come under scrutiny. EE actually combines the EE, Orange and T-Mobile brands under a single roof. Previous Orange and T-Mobile 3G customers now use the EE 3G-branded network. The company has both pay monthly and pay as you go deals for its 4G data plans. These include data, voice and SMS messaging. EE have won awards like the RootMetrics RootScore award which gives prizes for the best UK mobile network performance, and the range of 4G LTE plans for SIM only is quite wide.
For users who literally only need to stay in touch via email and the occasional website look-up, then the £9.99 monthly cost for just 250MB of data, 250 minutes of call times and unlimited SMS texts will be ideal. For those people who just need a little bit more, then 3 quid extra doubles the bandwidth and call minutes included.
More serious internet users will want to consider the 2GB, 4GB, 6GB and 10GB data plans. All but the 2GB data plan include both unlimited call minutes and SMS texts; the 2GB plan offers 2,000 call minutes. The prices for the 2GB, 4GB, 6GB and 10GB plans are £16.99, £19.99, £22.99 and £28.99 respectively. Essentially it costs just £3 more for each 2GB of added data allowance.
The question with EE is whether there is 4G reception for their network in your area? They started out small, but their network continues to expand. They are also adding 4G+ doubled speed (up to 90 mbps) in Central London within Zone 1 of the Underground network for smartphones and tablets that can support it.
The People’s Operator
The People’s Operator (TPO) is another Mobile Virtual Network Operator which actually uses the EE network under the hood. The intention behind this phone network brand is to offer a more ethical telephone company. This is a tricky stand to take because they do not control the ethics or actions of EE, only their own policies therefore one has to ask how ethical they can truly be? Where they do come into their own is a policy to donate 10% of the cost of some plans to a charitable cause of the customer’s choosing.
The company offers Standard SIMs on a 30 day rolling contract. This doesn’t lock the customer in for very long. TPO runs various promotions over time. In the summer they usually have a summer promotion and there are a number of great deals offered to out-price the competition.
Currently their UK’s Best Deal (no modesty needed) includes 6GB of data, with unlimited SMS texts and call minutes for the modest sum of £3.99 which does rise after the initial two month period. Their Super Saver plan doesn’t include free rail tickets, but it does have 1,000 call minutes, unlimited texts and 4GB of data for £11.99 a month.
For the data hungry, their Invincible plan includes a whopping 31GB of data, unlimited texts and call minutes for just £19.99 per month. There is also a more modest Tablet plan with 1GB of data for less than a fiver.
There are other operators with 4G plans, but most tie customers into long contracts or provide discounts for existing customers like with BT. The operators above have a purer offering with SIM only deals.
The GiffGaff plans with absolutely no contract will suit people who can access the O2 network it uses. The bandwidth in the 4G plans tends to be less generous for the price, but for those without EE 4G network reception, GiffGaff could well be the best option when avoiding contract deals.
When inside the EE 4G network coverage, both EE and TPO offer interesting options. The highly ethical may prefer the TPO offering with large mobile data users shooting for the 31 GB Invincible plan at £19.99 a month. However, going through EE directly would seem to suggest more control of the service received rather than going through effectively a third party to use the same network. They do have a nice range of plans, but the price per GB is considerably higher than buying via TPO. TPO therefore beats out EE on both price and data allowance, plus the buyer gets the ethical side of things as a bonus.