Pay As You Go Data, Voice & Text SIM Card with Adapters
Browsing some other articles on this website would make you aware of my experience using a preloaded data-only sim for my Tablet device, (for article click here).
Having just obtained my new Moto G smartphone (for article click here) I’ve been looking around for the best deal on sims with voice, text and data packages.
No Contract Option
Who wants to be lumbered with monthly charges and perhaps a two year contract for facilities that we don’t always use to the full? Certainty not me. So at the moment I’ve signed up for giffgaff as it offers reasonably priced contract-free ‘goodybags’, voice, text, data packages with quotas that can be varied on a monthly basis depending on anticipated usage. Unfortunately these are still 30 day packages so if you don’t use it, you lose it or if you go over the limit, it costs much more. They also charge for a full minute even for a short call lasting only seconds so the 500 voice minutes is only if you talk for at least a minute per call.
Three Pay As You Go
However I’ve just come across this really good sim deal from ‘Three’ that is a ‘Pay As You Go’, currently preloaded with £10 Credit and charging 3p a Minute for voice, 2p a Text and 1p a MB (at 3G data rates).
For a low Voice and low Text user like me, packages with lots of free minutes and free texts are hardly any appeal. I do grudge paying for calls at the expensive rates that are typical of pay-as-you-go, so this one from Three looks great.
For data at 1p per MB that is equal to the best fixed rate contract packages out there but you only pay for what is used. Great.
With fixed packages, If you go over the limit it is usually charged at premium rates that are severe, so you are penalised. On the other hand, if you don’t use the allowance it is money thrown away, you are still penalised. (Heads you lose, tails you lose).
How much does the data effectively cost?
So with this Three pay-as-you-go, you only pay for what is used. At 1p/MB, that’s £1 for 100 MB or £10 for 1000 MB (=1 GB). Okay, there are no free calls or texts, everything is charged but again you know exactly where you are. On odd months you might use a bit more, for example, if you are away on holiday, business or have unforeseen circumstances that require abnormally heavy usage, but you save on the quieter months when you are not paying for something that isn’t used.
I know everyone is different but I have discovered I can easily use 1GB and more within a month when away from home. On a fixed package, using mobile broadband to enable Sat Nav and the map features quickly eats up the data allowance, as does accessing mobile TV on iPlayer or YouTube. Upload a few photos to social networking sites and it is well over the limit. At home I tend to do all these things via landline based broadband on a computer, while my Tab and Smartphone are WiFi connected to it too, so 3G network data usage is much lower.
Pre-paid credit doesn’t expire
With this Three deal, you buy credit in advance and the rates you get don’t change or expire after 30 days, they last until you use your last penny. The next time you top-up, existing credit is still there to use. Three will send you a text alert if you’re running low, so you are in control and you can top up online.
I guess if you talk a lot or text a lot, then a fixed package with lots of ‘free’ minutes and texts included could be the way to go. But for me the freedom and flexibility with variable usage, especially for broadband data is the deciding factor for this Three pay-as-you-go sim.
Voice and text equivalent costs
The voice and text charges are reasonable enough to not be significant. If the entire £10 credit were used solely on voice calls it would allow approx. 333 minutes. Or if the £10 were solely used for texts it would be able to send 500. The beauty of this Pay As You Go is that you can mix it up as you need and still only pay for what is used.
Clearly if you actually use £10 worth of voice, and £10 worth of text, and £10 worth of data on a regular basis, then this Pay As You Go becomes non-viable. Once the costs start going over £10 a month (£120pa), it would be time to look for better deals, like the giffgaff ones.
Until then, for low usage and with this flexibility, the Three, Pay As You Go seems the obvious choice for me.
The SIM supplied works with all unlocked and 3G enabled Smartphones and includes an adapter to convert the Nano SIM format to a micro or standard SIM.
I’m in. Are you?