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Compare unlimited data SIM deals

It’s not hard to get the best value out of your smartphone. Most of us work them pretty hard – social media, watching TV, downloading music and online shopping.

But getting good value out of your mobile phone contract can be another matter. How much data do you need? And is unlimited data really a good thing?

It’s not hard to get the best value out of your smartphone. Most of us work them pretty hard – social media, watching TV, downloading music and online shopping.

But getting good value out of your mobile phone contract can be another matter. How much data do you need? And is unlimited data really a good thing?

It’s not hard to get the best value out of your smartphone. Most of us work them pretty hard – social media, watching TV, downloading music and online shopping.

But getting good value out of your mobile phone contract can be another matter. How much data do you need? And is unlimited data really a good thing?

It’s not hard to get the best value out of your smartphone. Most of us work them pretty hard – social media, watching TV, downloading music and online shopping.

But getting good value out of your mobile phone contract can be another matter. How much data do you need? And is unlimited data really a good thing?

It’s not hard to get the best value out of your smartphone. Most of us work them pretty hard – social media, watching TV, downloading music and online shopping.

But getting good value out of your mobile phone contract can be another matter. How much data do you need? And is unlimited data really a good thing?

What is an unlimited data SIM deal?

An unlimited data deal allows you to use the internet on your mobile (or tablet) without having to worry about exceeding your data limit – and, in turn, avoiding hefty extra charges.

Unlimited data SIM deals include:

  • unlimited 4G or 5G data
  • unlimited minutes
  • unlimited texts.

Simply pop the SIM into your mobile or tablet, then download, text and call as much as you like.

Which networks do unlimited data deals?

The following networks currently offer unlimited data deals:

  • Three
  • SMARTY
  • Vodafone
  • iD Mobile
  • GiffGaff
  • Voxi
  • O2
  • Virgin mobile (existing customers only)

What are the disadvantages of an unlimited data deal?

You’ll be pleased to know that, most of the time, unlimited data means exactly that. But you should be aware of any terms and conditions your provider may have in place, such as:

  • fair usage policies
  • tethering caps or allowance
  • roaming data caps (outside the EU)
  • speed caps.

Your contract should clearly stipulate if your provider has a fair usage policy and what it is. If you have any doubts about how much data you should be using, then contact your provider.

Are unlimited data deals good value for money?

That depends. If you use lots of data, then an unlimited data deal will offer you the best value for money. It means you won’t end up exceeding your allowance, and so you won’t be billed for any additional charges.

But if you don’t use a lot of data or are in between medium and heavy usage, it might not always be the best choice of phone deal because you could be paying for a lot more data than you use.

Do I actually need unlimited data?

Whether you actually need unlimited data depends on your average monthly usage. Check out your data usage stats, which can be found in your phone’s settings. If you only use around 3GB over the course of a month, then paying for unlimited data perhaps isn’t worthwhile. However, if your limit is around 20GB and you find yourself exceeding this every month, then an unlimited data deal might be worth it.

To give you an idea of typical usage, the average UK customer uses about 2GB of data a month – this equates to:

Activity 2GB Equals
Internet browsing 6,000 pages
Music streaming 320 songs
Email sending 20,000 emails
WhatsApp messaging 2.5m messages
Photos uploading 8,000 photos
YouTube viewing 620 mins/10.3 hrs

What’s the best alternative to an unlimited data SIM?

If you use lots of data but don’t want a SIM only deal, a good alternative would be a handset contract that includes unlimited data too. There’s plenty of deals around, including handset deals on big names such as Apple iPhone and Samsung.

If you’re more interested in unlimited calls and texts than data, many networks also offer a higher data allowance with unlimited minutes and texts on their phone contracts. So, if you want a new phone as part of the deal and are happy with 64GB of data a month, this might work out better for you.

Can you get unlimited pay-as-you-go deals?

If you don’t want to be tied to a long contract and you’re happy with your current phone, a pay-as-you-go SIM is also a good alternative.

Frequently asked questions

Can I use my unlimited data abroad?

Some providers offer data use abroad as part of their unlimited contract deals. For example, Three offers unlimited data deals including ‘Go Roam’ at no extra cost with its Advanced plans.

Other providers may restrict the limit when you go abroad, so always check the plan details before you sign up if you want unlimited data abroad.

Can I get unlimited data on a SIM only plan?

Yes. We compare a range of SIM only unlimited plans. Choose from one month, 12 month or 24-month contracts.

Does my phone have to be unlocked?

If you get an unlimited SIM deal with another provider, your phone will need to be unlocked for it to accept the SIM. If you’re not sure if your phone is unlocked, ask a friend or family member if they’re on another network. If they are, try their SIM in your phone. If it works okay, it means your phone is unlocked.

If it doesn’t work, your phone could still be locked to your old network. You’ll need to contact your old provider and ask if your phone can be unlocked for other networks. Depending on the network, you may be charged a fee.

Can I keep my old number?

To keep the same number, you’ll need to contact your old network provider and request a 9-digit number PAC (Porting Authority Code). They should send the code within two working days. You won’t be able to use your old number if it’s disconnected, so make sure you get the code and change over before you cancel your old contract.

What SIM card size will I need?

The size of SIM card you’ll need will depend on your handset. There are three types of SIM:

  • standard (15x25mm)
  • micro (12x15mm)
  • nano (8.8x12.3mm)

Usually, older phones (over five years) old will have a standard SIM. Newer phones are more likely to need a micro or nano SIM.

Do I need unlimited calls and texts as well?

Popular messaging services, such as WhatsApp and Skype, let you text, phone or videocall for free using Wi-Fi or 4G. However, there will always be times when internet access is not possible, in which case, you’ll need to phone or text the traditional way.

Having unlimited minutes and texts may not be necessary for you, but most unlimited data plans will include them anyway.

Which company has the cheapest unlimited data plan?

The SIM market is very competitive, which means it’s easy to find a cheap deal. Although offers are always changing, SMARTY and Three tend to offer consistently cheap unlimited data deals.

Compare unlimited SIM deals

Whatever your data needs and budget, let us do the searching for you. Simply use our comparison service and find a deal in minutes.

What do I need to find a deal?

To find a deal that’s right for you, simply click below and choose a mobile phone plan or SIM only plan. We’ve included a handy filter so that you can narrow down your search. Simply choose ‘unlimited data’ and you’ll get a list of all SIM deals offering unlimited data.

Compare mobile deals now

Holly Niblett

From the Digital team

"With many of us working from home right now, an unlimited data deal gives you the additional benefit of being able to use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot. To find the right deal for you, shop around and compare unlimited deals with plans that have a large data allowance. Then you can work out which would be the most cost-effective."

Why use Compare the Market?

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94.2%^^^ of users would recommend Compare the Market to friends or family

We compare leading SIM data providers including Three, SMARTY, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone

^^On average, it can take less than 1 minute to complete a mobile phone deal through Compare the Market based on data in February 2020.

^^^For the period 1 December 2019 to 29 February 2020, 13,793 people responded to the recommended question; 12,944 responded with a score of 6 or above, therefore 94.2% are likely to recommend.

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