You can head to our mobile phone deals page to compare contract prices of the latest, greatest handsets around. Give your current network a call on one of the below numbers , ask for your PAC - short for Porting Authorisation Code - give it to Three and they'll gladly transfer over your old telephone number.
Pay Monthly sim deals
So no need to send out a text to your entire contacts list with a new number:. Easy, right? But not so easy if you were already on Three and then decided to go for one of the deals in our comparison chart that isn't directly with Three. Three won't give you a PAC in this situation, so instead you'll have to grab the cheapest free pay-as-you-go SIM you can find from another network e. Once your number has transferred to the substitute network, call them for a second PAC. Then you can give this to Three and continue using that same telephone number.
A convoluted but handy workaround. Three used to be a little bit stingy when it came to free gifts. That was until it unleashed the Wuntu app, which gives users of the Three network a selection of discounts, freebies and competitions every week. In the past we've seen free coffees, meals out and cinema tickets. So a nice little perk if you're weighing up Three against another network. If Three is where your heart is, then you may already know that it ships all of its phones completely unlocked.
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That means you can put a SIM card from any network in your handset and you're good to go. Unfortunately, not all networks are as profligate in this regard.
The best Three SIM only deals and plans in February | TechRadar
Some networks require you to pay to unlock your mobile and Apple iPhones are generally locked completely to the network they were originally sold with. Here's how the other major networks operate:. We hate to sound glib we really do , but it doesn't really matter if you're moving to Three. Whatever plan you choose, you'll receive a 'trio-sim'. Three gives you the choice between signing up for a whole year, or paying a little more for 1 month at a time. It may cost you a few quid extra per month, but if you know that you'll only need use of your new SIM for a few months, it should save you plenty in the long run.
If you're sniffing around Three, there's a good chance that you've already made up your mind and want to go straight for the jugular - 30GB or unlimited data. But if you're still trying to make up your mind, and have no notion of exactly how much data you'll really need per month, then our quick guide below will help. Alternatively, why not grab a big data deal for one month, see how much data you use, and then downsize after that? Unlimited texts are a given with Three. But lots of plans do place restrictions on calls - usually or minutes.
We reckon that the only thing that may put you off is being tied in to a one-year contract - Giffgaff's 'always on' tariff costs a fiver more a month but lets you break at any time. View this deal at Three. View this tariff at EE.
Three remains the undisputed king of the big data SIM deal, and this belter of a tariff proves the point admirably - it one the award for 'Best Phone Deal' at the Mobile Choice Consumer Awards. Click here to get this big data SIM. On top of unlimited calls and texts you get a more-than-decent 6GB of monthly data for only a tenner a month. There's no bells and whistles here overseas roaming isn't included, for example but the price point is extremely agreeable.
SIM only FAQs
O2 is rarely among the networks we recommend for SIMO deals. Its prices are generally just too high compared to the bargains that can be had elsewhere. But if your head has been turned by the network's Priority rewards including free coffees and cheap dinners then this 10GB tariff is the best value we've found without resorting to big cashback claiming. View this deal at O2. If you a want to save some money; b don't want to be tied into a lengthy contract; or c both of the above, then SIM only is well worth considering.
In fact, you're probably one of two people if your thoughts are indeed turning to SIM only:. It can be. It's usually the case when a flagship phone hits the market and contracts are made deliberately expensive. Not all the savings you can make are as extravagant, and on big data it's frequently more cost effective to dive into a contract instead. But if you can afford to splash a few hundred pounds up front then the savings over the next couple of years could well be worth it.
The times have passed since most phones were locked to a network and you had to pay a dodgy backstreet 'engineer' to unlock it. Nowadays, it's standard practice for networks to let you use whatever SIM you want in the phone as soon as you've paid up the original contract or earlier if you pay them a fee - and Three ships all its handsets unlocked from the outset. The exception, alas, is Apple iPhones.
They're generally sold locked to the original network that you purchase them with for the life of the handset. Very frustrating if you're looking for a tasty SIM deal once your 24 month sentence is up. The good news is that your iPhone or any other mobile before the end of your contract can be unlocked - the bad news is that most networks make you pay for the privilege.
1. Your tariff
Insert a friend or family member's SIM into your phone to see whether it's already unlocked and, if it isn't, look for your network below to see how to cut ties with them:. There are three sizes of SIM card that you can get for your phone, and the one you need will depend on your handset. It's been a while since the traditional, so-called standard SIM 15x25mm has genuinely been the staple in new phones. Instead, any phone you've bought within the last five or so years is much more likely to require a micro 12x15mm or nano 8.
Before you purchase your new SIM, double-check the manufacturer's website to see what size you require. And if you're simply not sure, most networks now simply send out a triple SIM, so you'll get one of each size. Ever heard of PAC codes and wondered what a classic 80s arcade game had to do with telephone numbers? It actually stands for Porting Authorisation Code, and it's the set of digits that you need to grab from your old network to let you transfer over your existing mobile number. If you're on one of the major networks, you can see what phone number you can contact them on here:.
If you want to grab a bargain SIM only plan above, but it's on your existing network then your network won't release a PAC code and you'll be forced to take a new phone number. At least you would have, if it wasn't for this clever if convoluted work-around. You have to order a free pay-as-you-go SIM from another network. Once you have it, you can tell your old network that you're moving and they'll give you that precious PAC code. Then, once your number is registered to the substitute network, simply get another PAC code from them.
Take that to your old network, and they'll move your number to your new contract. Simple - kind of! Unlike with a contract, there's a lot more flexibility available when it comes to how long your SIM only plan will last. Two year commitments are virtually unheard of, with the norm being either one year or rolling one month contracts for ultimate flexibility.
You can often get better prices if you tie yourself in for 12 months, especially on larger data tariffs. But sticking to one month at a time means that you can effectively hand pick a new plan to suit you every 30 days or so. Because you can change your plan up more regularly than a normal, lengthier contract, it's less crucial to get this nailed from the start.
But if you're thinking of grabbing a monther or just put a personal pride on getting things right first time, then we'll help you pick out the sweet spot of data for you. Firstly, check your phone to see how much data you've been using to date, and whether you have the tendency to use more than your current allowance every month. Then, if you're still unsure, check out our guidance: Call it practicality, call it greediness, call it what you want - it's human nature to want 'unlimited' anything if offered.
But you should think genuinely about whether you really need it in a world where the likes of WhatsApp and Skype let you call and text for free over wi-fi or 4G. If you decide that a few thousand monthly minutes and texts should do you, then you could shave off some cash from your bill. While EE, O2, Vodafone and Three are generally considered the major four networks for contract plans, when it comes to SIM only there are some other key players are well worth a look.