Five things to look for in a SIM only contract 1

Five things to look for in a SIM only contract

Most visitors to our website will appreciate the benefits of a SIM only contract.

Costs are lower than for monthly handset rental contracts, and there’s no expectation that your perfectly serviceable handset will need replacing in 18 months or two years’ time.

It’s also possible to tailor a contract around specific requirements or preferences.

But how can you ensure a particular deal advertised on our website is the right one?

To some degree, this depends on personal circumstances. Nonetheless, the following five points should also help to identify the most suitable SIM only contract…

1. Study network coverage. It’s easy to be seduced by headline prices attached to a particular deal, but the choice of network operator is also crucial.

External network coverage is usually not an issue in urban areas, but it might be in rural regions. Even around town, indoor signals might be weaker on certain networks.

Every network will offer a coverage checking utility on its website, usually combining satellite mapping with a postcode search tool for indoor and outdoor signal strength.

2. Check previous monthly statements for data usage. The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour, so consider how much data you’ve historically consumed.

If the figure fluctuates according to work patterns or social events, a modest monthly allowance with the ability to roll over unused data to the next month might be optimal.

Equally, if you always get through at least 3GB of monthly mobile data, a 1GB limit would require some fairly significant changes to phone usage.

3. Consider contract length. Shorter 30-day SIM only contracts tend to command a premium price, but they provide the flexibility to change network at short notice.

Longer contracts represent a predictable financial expenditure, though staying on the same contract might not be ideal long-term.

For instance, 5G coverage will be arriving later this year. Committing to a two-year 4G contract today would mean missing out on the 5G revolution until mid-2021.

4. Investigate roaming costs. The deals on our website have an aeroplane symbol below the headline prices, and clicking this icon displays roaming policies.

Regular international travellers should opt for a contract where the cost of calls back home isn’t extortionate, and where a megabyte of mobile data won’t cost a fiver.

Without turning off data roaming, even a brief overseas excursion could become expensive.

5. Research customer service. Switching to a new network operator can be a significant change, especially after several years with one firm.

You might prefer the customer service or add-ons provided by a particular network, or want to avoid dealing with a brand you’ve previously had issues with.

Study impartial customer reviews and surveys before switching, since poor service will dampen anyone’s appreciation of a company’s offerings.

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