What is a SIM only deal?
Our cheap SIM only plans come with a certain amount of data, calls, and texts included every month. There’s no phone included – just a SIM card and your allowances.
If you’ve already got a phone you’re happy with, you might want to choose a SIM only deal. That way, you can stick with the phone you love and get a cheap SIM deal that better suits your needs, rather than pay more to get a new phone, like a typical monthly phone contract.
Why should I get a Talkmobile SIM only deal?
Talkmobile specialises in cheap SIM deals but we want to make your experience good too. We partner with Vodafone to give you great signal across 99.9% of the population.
More than that, we offer inclusive roaming in 41 destinations across Europe so you can use the data and calls in your SIM only plan wherever you are in that region.
We also offer spend caps so your bill will never be more than the amount you set in advance. It means you can use your phone in the way you want without fear of receiving a hefty bill.
How do I unlock my phone?
If your phone’s locked to another network, it means you can’t use it on the Talkmobile network. You’ll need to unlock it so you can access our cheap SIM deals.
One easy way to test whether your phone is unlocked is by inserting a SIM card from another network. If it works and you can get a signal, it means your phone is unlocked.
You can always unlock your phone. Either take it to an independent shop, who may charge you, or call your network and ask them to unlock it. Each network has its own policy, so it’s better to ask directly.
Are the cheapest SIM only deals low-quality?
Getting a cheap SIM only deal doesn’t mean you get a low quality service.
We run on Vodafone’s network, which means steady signal across 99.9% of the UK population. All our plans come with unlimited calls and texts too, as standard. That means you just pick how much data you want, then enjoy our great signal.
We’ve got some of the cheapest sim deals on the market, but they’re also high-quality.
Is it easy to switch networks to join Talkmobile?
We’ve made the process really straightforward. All you need to do is give us is a PAC code from your old provider and we’ll automatically move your phone number across.
What are the different contract lengths on offer?
Our SIM Only deals come as either 30-day rolling for flexibility or 12 months for extra value.
How much data do I need in my SIM only plan?
That depends. It’s all based on how much data you think you need (or how much some providers want to sell you), and how much data you use every month. Research from Citizens Advice in January 2019 found that 71% of people on SIM only deals didn’t use all their data. Findings showed that on average consumers had 2GB data allowance left every month. That means that all SIM only users in the UK overspend by a combined £800 million every year. Being on the right deal means you could save around £63 a year, just by switching contract.
How do I work out how much data I need?
You can work out how much data you need by answering a few questions:
- How often are you using mobile data (i.e., not connected to WiFi)?
- Do you stream a lot of videos and music?
- Do you mainly read your emails and check the news?
Think about how you use your data, and then check out the examples of how much data different activities consume:
An hour browsing the web: 10 – 25MB
An hour browsing Facebook: 20MB
Streaming YouTube for 30 minutes: 175MB
Streaming an hour of music or radio: 150MB
Streaming an hour of HD video: 2GB
Downloading a song: 4MB
Download a film: 700MB – 1GB
Downloading an HD film: 4GB
Remember that a lot of streaming services (like Apple Music, Netflix, Spotify, and YouTube Premium) will let you download content straight to your phone. That means you could save your mobile data by downloading content before you disconnect from your home’s WiFi.
How do I check how much data I’ve used in the past?
You can check how much data you use every month on your phone.
If you’ve got an Android phone, go into Settings. Then, find Data Usage. Here you’ll see a graph that shows you how much data you’ve used over the last few months, as well as which apps use the most data.
If you have an iPhone, go into Settings. Then, find Mobile Data. Scroll down past the settings and you’ll see which apps use the most data, and how much data they used. While you’re in Mobile Data, scroll all the way to the bottom.
What your iPhone counts as the “Current Period” varies per person – that’s why the number might seem a bit high at first. Under Reset Statistics you’ll see “Last Reset:” and then a date. This is when your “Current Period” is calculated from.
The average person uses 2 – 5GB data every month. Use that as a benchmark when you’re thinking about your next plan.
Is Talkmobile’s signal good?
We think so – in fact, we know so.
We’ve partnered with Vodafone and operate on their network. Their signal covers 99.9% of the UK population – which means you’ll get a steady signal across the country. We also use Vodafone for our roaming services, which means your Talkmobile SIM will work across most of the world too.
Do I need a credit check to get a Talkmobile SIM only deal?
No. When you apply directly to Talkmobile for one of our SIM only deals, we won’t credit check you but do carry out an ID check. We just need to know you are who you say you are. There are no credit score requirements to meet to get our cheap SIM only plans and we don’t mark your credit file in any way.
Can I use my cheap SIM-only deal for tethering?
Yes, tethering is included in all Talkmobile plans. That means you can set up a Wi-Fi hotspot using your phone and provide internet access to different devices around your home, not just your phone.
Will a SIM-only deal work with my tablet?
If it has a SIM card slot, yes. We will send you bill reminders by text message so the optimal experience for a Talkmobile SIM only deal is in a phone. However, you can manage everything about your account online through our My Account pages if you want to use the SIM card in a different device.
What’s the difference between 5G, 4G, 3G, and 2G SIM cards?
There’s no such thing as a “2G SIM only deal”, or a “3G SIM only deal”, or even a “4G SIM only deal” – as standard we’ll give you access to the best signal in your neighbourhood that we can offer.
At every moment of the day, a Talkmobile SIM card will give you access to the best signal we offer in the location you are at, be it 2G, 3G or 4G.
The “G” stands for “Generation”. With each new generation, faster speeds are possible. This also means that more data can be transferred across the signal.
The first generation of mobile technology (1G) arrived just after midnight on January 1st 1985, when Vodafone’s chairman called his father from Parliament Square. It was a voice-only, analogue service.
The 2G network introduced speeds of 64Kbps and digital, rather than analogue, signals. This allowed devices to send SMS and MMS and increased the quality of phone conversations.
The first commercial 3G networks arrived in 2001. With them came speeds of up to 2Mbps. The bigger bandwidth that came with mobile wireless technology’s third generation also meant higher data transfer rates, which meant email, mobile internet access, video calls, and more.
4G is up to 500x faster than 3G. It’s what you’d use for anything from high-quality video calling, to streaming HD videos on YouTube.
One issue with 4G is that you might experience slower speeds when a lot of people around you are connected to 4G – like at a concert, or a football match. That’s why it’s important to go with a provider that has a robust signal across most places that you’ll go.
5G is the next generation of mobile data technology. It can offer speeds of up to 10Gbps . The drawback with 5G is that it has yet to be rolled out nationwide. Plus, 5G-ready devices tend to be more expensive than 4G ones. We don’t currently offer 5G – however, once the technology is easily accessible, we’ll add it to our list of offerings.
What size SIM card do I need?
Although phones take different size SIM cards, the Talkmobile SIM card works for all of them so don’t worry about ordering the correct size. You’ll just need to pop out the size you need.
Phones use three different sizes of SIM cards:
• Standard SIM cards are the largest. They’ve been around since 1996. They’re still used in some older smartphones, although it’s rare to find them these days.
• Micro SIM cards are still commonly used in phones. They first appeared in 2003 and were the main SIM card size for about a decade.
• The industry standard for SIM cards nowadays is the Nano SIM, which first came out in 2012. Most new phones come with a Nano SIM card slot.
Interestingly, even old SIM cards can work with 4G data. There’s no such thing as a “2G SIM”, or a “3G SIM”, or even a “4G SIM” – we’ll give you access to the best network signal in your local area.
Given though newer SIM cards are likely to be smaller, you could be forgiven for thinking that they’ve got new technology inside. Actually, it’s your phone that dictates what kind of signal it can receive, and your plan that decides which part of your operator’s network you can access.
Do bear in mind that if you’ve had the same SIM card for a long time and you choose to get a new phone, it might not fit. Don’t worry. Let us know and we’ll send you a new SIM card in the post.