February 12, 2015

4G SIM Only

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4G SIM Only Contracts

Best deals

We’ve hand-picked the best SIM Only deals with 4G on the market right now.

Expand + for full plan details.

SALE! 50% off all Three SIM plans for 6 months. See deals.

OperatorMonthly CostView DealDataMinutesTextsDurationPlan Extras
Three-SIM-compressor£9View Deal4GBUnlimitedUnlimited12 monthsFree 0800 Calls, Tethering and Free Roaming Abroad
Three-SIM-compressor£24View Deal30GB
UnlimitedUnlimited12 monthsFree 0800 Calls, Tethering and Free Roaming Abroad
ID-SIM-compressor£10View Deal4GB
50050001 monthNone
GiffGaff-SIM-2-compressor£10View Deal1GB
500Unlimited1 monthNo credit check
Vodafone-SIM-compressor£24View Deal20GBUnlimitedUnlimited12 months12 months free Spotify, Now TV or Sky Sports Mobile

Compare Plans

Compare 4G SIM Only plans from all UK operators, including their cheapest deals, tethering restrictions, maximum data allowances and much more.

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OperatorMonthly costView DealsMax Data AllowanceTethering12 Month Plans1 Month PlansPlan Extras
View DealsUnlimitedYes**YesYesFree 0800 Calls and Free Roaming Abroad
View Deals12GBYesYesYesFree O2 WiFi
View Deals20GBYesYesYesChoose from: Spotify, Sky Sports, Now TV or Netflix and get Free EU Roaming***
EE IconFrom
View Deals16GBYesYesYesFree EU Roaming***
iD MobileFrom
View Deals10GBNoYesYesFree roaming abroad***
View DealsUnlimited*NoNoYesNo credit check and Unlimited Giffgaff to Giffgaff calls
View Deals6GBYesYesYesNone
BT MobileFrom
View Deals20GBNoYesNoBT Sport Lite

* 6GB of UK data at full 4G speeds and then an unlimited data allowance at a reduced speed (256kbps) from 8am to midnight. From midnight to 7.59am you have an unlimited data allowance at full speed. ** Maximum 30GB tethering per month *** On select plans only

Pay As You Go 4G SIM Cards

We’ve compared all the 4G Pay As You Go SIM cards below. Please note that per min, per text and data charges only when you don’t take out a bundle or when your bundle has expired (or your allowances have been used up).

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Operator£10 Top Up BundleOrder SIMBundle ExpirationAutomatic RenewalPer MinPer textData costTethering allowedPlan Extras
Three-Icon-compressor100 mins, 3000 texts and 1GB dataOrder SIM30 DaysNo3p2p1p (per MB)NoFree Roaming Abroad**
O2-Icon-compressor250 mins, 1000 texts and 500MB data
Order SIM30 DaysYes*35p12p£1 per day (50MB max)NoFree O2 WiFi
Vodafone150 mins, unlimited texts and 500MB dataOrder SIM30 DaysYes*35p14p£2 per day (50MB max)YesNone
EE Icon150 mins, unlimited texts and 500MB dataOrder SIM30 DaysYes*30p12pBundle requiredYesNone
GiffGaff-Icons-compressor500 mins, unlimited texts and 1GB dataOrder SIM30 DaysYes*10p6p20p per day (20MB max)YesFree Giffgaff to Giffgaff calls
Tesco-Mobile-Icon-compressor250 mins, 1000 texts and 500MB dataOrder SIM30 DaysYes*25p10p10p (per MB)YesNone

* Bundle will automatically renew if you have credit ** Free roaming abroad when you take out a bundle

SIM Only Award Winners

Best for internet and tethering

Award-Three-compressorThree’s SIM Only plans are the clear winner in this category being the only network that offers truly unlimited data without any speed capping. They also offer a generous maximum tethering allowance of 12GB per month and every customer gets the maximum 4G speed on all their tariffs, unlike the likes of EE and BT Mobile who only give the fastest possible speeds on their most expensive plans.

Best Network for frequent travellers

Award-Three-compressorThree also take home this category because with all their SIM Only plans, including Pay As You Go, you can use your data, minutes and texts abroad in 19 countries at no extra cost with Feel At Home. That includes popular destinations like Spain, USA, Australia, France, Republic of Ireland and many more. The only thing to bear in mind is you can only use up 12GB data per month, send 5000 texts and use 3000 minutes when abroad.

Best Network for rural areas

Award-EE-BTEE’s network, which is also used by BT Mobile, has the widest coverage in the UK and is the best network for those in more rural areas who struggle to get signal. They also deliver the fastest average 4G speeds across the UK. However, it’s always worth checking 4G Coverage in your area on all the UK networks first.

Best Value Pay Monthly SIM Plans

Award-iD-compressoriD Mobile offer the best value Pay Monthly plans and you also get the increased flexibility of their 1 month rolling plans. However, one thing to bear in mind is that they don’t allow tethering and their unlimited data plans are speed capped at peak times after using 6GB per month.

Best Value Pay As You Go

Award-Three-compressorThree may not offer the best value bundle, but their rates put other operators in the shade at just 3p per min, 2p per text and 1p per min. They are also the only operator who don’t automatically renew their bundles if you have credit at the end of the month and should you take out a bundle you’ll also get free roaming abroad with Feel At Home.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is 4G SIM only?

4G SIM only is literally a mobile contract where you’re only paying for a SIM card, or more specifically the allowances on the SIM card, rather than paying for a phone as well. There are any number of reasons why you might want to do this and a few reasons why you might not and those are all covered below, along with the other information you should know before plumping for a 4G SIM only tariff.

Why choose 4G SIM only?

Perhaps the biggest reason to opt for a SIM only tariff is that it’s typically quite a lot cheaper than a contract which includes a phone, as on those contracts the cost of the phone is added to the monthly charge.

Not only is it cheaper but it also tends to be more flexible, as 12 month and even 30 day contracts are common, whereas when you add a phone to the mix you’re normally looking at a 24 month contract. The shorter contract term means you can more frequently change your tariff or your network if a better deal comes along or you just find that the one you’re on isn’t a good fit.

The main downside of going 4G SIM only is of course that you don’t get a new phone, so you’re either stuck with what you already have or you’ll have to buy a new phone outright, in which case you might not end up saving any money after all. If you’re sticking with your old phone you’ll also have to make sure it’s actually 4G compatible, or you’ll be paying for speeds which you can’t get.

What different 4G SIM’s are there?

what types of sim only card

Three types of SIM cards exist. There’s standard, which is the largest of the three and works in the majority of older smartphones, as well as feature and dumb phones, but is rarely supported in recent smartphones.

Then there’s micro SIMs, which are smaller and work in some more recent handsets. Finally there’s nano SIMs, which are the smallest of all and are gradually becoming the norm.

You may also come across a combi SIM (or multi SIM), which is a SIM card which comes with all three types (Standard, Micro and Nano). All you have to do is simply pop out the size of your choice from the perforated design.

  • Martin Brown

    Why are 4g data bundles time limited ?

    • Fat

      Because its fat 4G

  • Big 4G4 life

    Finally at last 4G is going to be available for Virginmobile soon it’s going happen in October can’t wait till then I’m so excited.