Which UK Network Providers Offer SIM Only Deals?

Virgin Media

The UK’s first network to provide all four media services – broadband, home phone, television and mobile – Virgin Media provides almost half the homes in the UK with superfast fibre optic broadband with speeds of up to 152MB, and were the first company to offer HD TV and TV On Demand to millions of households all over the UK. However, you don’t currently need to be a Virgin Media customer to take advantage of their great SIM only mobile deals, so whoever it is you have your broadband and TV with, you can still get a bargain on your mobile phone contract.

Virgin Media use EE, the UK’s largest network – meaning that you’ll get excellent 4G mobile coverage almost anywhere, thanks to its 99% reliability. Virgin Media work hard to make switching over to them as easy as possible, so even if you’re using another network at the current time, it’s simple to move over to Virgin and you can even take your existing number with you. To do this, you’ll need to request a PAC code from your current provider, then contact Virgin Media on 789 from your new Virgin SIM and give them the code to transfer your number – simple!


Vodafone is a leading provider of mobile communications worldwide, and has shops in 26 countries across the world. It also works in partnership with a range of other mobile networks worldwide. Vodafone were the ones to make the first ever mobile phone call on January 1ST, 1985 from London to their HQ in Newbury. Now the company has around 444 million customers across the world, with almost 20 million of those customers being in the UK. When it comes to mobile phones and communications, Vodafone has definitely got the experience.


Running on the O2 network, GiffGaff has become pretty popular in recent years with mobile phone users wanting to get the most for their money. And since they run off O2, users also have access to great coverage and 4G browsing speeds up to 5x faster than regular 3G, providing they’ve got a 4G enabled smartphone. GiffGaff are different in that they like to keep things simple, which is why they offer deals that don’t require you to sign a contract, and you can change your plan every month if you like – there really is no limits. GiffGaff likes to keep its members at the heart of everything they do, and if you choose to join GiffGaff you’ll become a valued member of their community. And with free GiffGaff to GiffGaff calls available on all deals, we wouldn’t be surprised if your family and friends switched to GiffGaff too!


O2 is the commercial brand of Telefonica UK Limited, and is one of the UK’s leading mobile communications companies. O2 has over 23 million customers, and runs 2G, 3G, and 4G networks across the UK, as well as running O2 Wi-Fi and owning half of Tesco Mobile. There are over 450 O2 retail stores, and O2 sponsors the England football team and The O2 and O2 Academy venues across the UK. According to Ofcom, O2 is the mobile network in the UK that provides the most customer satisfaction.


Three is the UK’S fastest growing mobile phone network, and covers 97% of the UK’s population. They offer Pay Monthly, SIM only and Pay as You Go deals, and have something to suit just about everybody. According to smartphone users surveyed by YouGov, Three has been rated the most reliable mobile network provider in the UK, so if you’ve heard anything negative about Three’s reliability, you can rest assured that it’s not true – and if you’re still unsure, their website has a free coverage checker where you can enter your postcode and make sure that you’ll get good coverage on Three where you are.

You might be surprised to hear that Three is actually the most recommended network in the UK – so it’s fair to say that their customers are definitely happy with the service that they receive! Their motto is to ‘find things that suck and make them right’ and they’re definitely doing just that! They are the first mobile phone network to offer free 0800 calls to customers, a service that is usually free from a landline but can be pretty costly from a mobile. They were also the first network to offer unlimited data – so if you want to be with a network that will listen to any concerns that you have and do whatever they can to fix it, Three is the one for you!


EE is the UK’s biggest, fastest and most reliable network, and was the pioneer of superfast 4G mobile data back in October 2012, when Orange and T-Mobile merged to create EE, which stands for Everything Everywhere. Today EE’S 4G coverage reaches 80% of the population of the UK, and its 2G and 3G coverage reaches almost 100% – meaning that you’re bound to get a signal on EE almost anywhere. It’s Britain’s largest and most advanced mobile communications network, and has around 30 million UK customers. EE has also won a number of awards, including Fastest Network, the UK’s Best Overall Network, and the Best Network for Business award.

Tesco Mobile

Tesco Mobile is part of the UK supermarket chain Tesco, and they’re teamed up with O2 – meaning that all four million of their customers get to enjoy 99% UK coverage. There are 320 Tesco supermarkets in the UK that have a mobile phone shop, so it’s pretty easy to find a Tesco Mobile store. Customer experience experts Satmetrix carried out a survey in 2015 that revealed Tesco Mobile as having higher levels of customer satisfaction than any other networks, and also got the highest score over all the other networks when customers were asked if they’d recommend Tesco Mobile to others. Tesco have also won a variety of awards from Which?, uSwitch, Mobile Industry Awards and more.

BT Mobile

BT Mobile is part of the large UK phone, television and broadband company British Telecom. You can get a mobile contract deal with BT whether you are a customer with them already or not, and it’s the only network that gives you unlimited 4G internet access on the UK’s largest Wi-Fi network.

The People’s Operator

TPO have been offering their unique mobile service in the UK since 2012, and they are all about making mobile matter. The company was founded with the vision to use mobile to change lives around the world for the better from the outset, and was established by a team who’ve been really successful in fundraising for charities and other good causes. They’re proud to be a different kind of mobile company – one that’s committed to using mobile to raise millions for great causes.

TPO is also an excellent choice of network for people who’ve got poor credit or don’t want anything else on their credit file. TPO doesn’t carry out a credit check, so anybody can join as long as you’ve got a UK bank account with a debit card. Signing up is a simple, easy process that can be done over the phone, and you’ll never need to worry about being declined for a deal.

TalkTalk Mobile

TalkTak Mobile is part of the TalkTalk Group, a company which provides households in the UK with home phone, broadband and paid television. TalkTalk was originally founded as a subsidiary of The Carphone Warehouse, however it became a standalone company in 2010, when TalkTalk Mobile was founded.

Currently, TalkTalk Mobile use the Vodafone network, a robust network which is one of the largest telecommunications providers in the world and operates in 22 different countries worldwide. Vodafone has great signal coverage and reaches around 99% of the population, so if you opt for a SIM only deal with TalkTalk Mobile you won’t have to worry about signal issues. However, TalkTalk Mobile doesn’t currently use Vodafone’s 4G signal, so even if you have a 4G enabled handset you’ll only be able to get 2G or 3G with a TalkTalk Mobile SIM only deal.

If you’re thinking of switching to TalkTalk Mobile and are wondering about coverage, use the handy coverage checker tool on their website to see if your area is covered by Vodafone’s signal.

If you’re not currently a TalkTalk customer then we’re sorry – unfortunately you’ll need to have a TalkTalk home phone or broadband package in order to take advantage of the great SIM only mobile phone deals listed below.

Mobile by Sainsbury’s

Mobile by Sainsbury’s was set up a few years ago, and is aimed at people who don’t want to waste time checking and comparing phone contracts. They aim to offer the best deals at competitive prices, and have a range of Pay and Go and Pay Monthly options available. They aim to make their price plans simple and easy to understand, great for first time mobile phone users or those who just like to keep things simple and easy.

No Comments

Leave a reply