If you are looking at signing a new mobile contract, you might be wondering which the better deal is; SIM only plans or contract deals. In this article we are comparing prices with different operators to see what the best deal is going to be for you.
The Difference Between SIM Only Plans and Contract Deals
SIM only plans (you can find out more about them here) give you a calling plan, but you will need to buy your own phone, whilst contract deals give you the phone as part of your package. For this reason, we are going to use the iPhone 5C as an example phone, since it is a popular model which many people are interested in.
In order to compare plans, we need to find contract deals and SIM only deals with the same calling plan for each operator. If we multiply the monthly price on a contract deal by the number of months in the contract we get the full price which the contract is going to cost you. For SIM only deals we multiply the monthly price by the number of months and add the cost of the phone to give you the total price of the contract. By comparing these two numbers we will be able to see which the better deal is.
We will be using an average sized calling plan for comparison which is suitable for the general user. These plans will vary a little by operator, but we are looking for something which gives around 1 GB of data, three hundred calling minutes and hopefully unlimited text messages too.
Going with Vodafone
The closest we are getting to the average calling plan with Vodafone is a calling plan which has unlimited texts, unlimited calling minutes and a 2 GB mobile data limit. On a contract including the iPhone 5C which is going to cost you £42 per month on a twenty four month contract, gives you a total of £1,008 for the contract.
A SIM only deal from Vodafone, with the exact same calling plan, will cost you just £26 per month. That, plus the cost of the phone you will need to buy, ends up giving you a total of £1,093. The result: with Vodafone, it is cheaper to get the contract than the SIM only deal; you will save £85 this way.
Going with O2
Now let us take a look at plans with O2. This time our average calling plan has again unlimited calling minutes and text messages, but has a 1 GB mobile data limit. On contract with the iPhone 5C, that is going to be £37 per month on a two year contract. That will give you a total of £888 over the course of the contract.
The SIM only plan with the same unlimited minute and text and 1 GB of data allowance will cost you £21 per month with O2. Doing the math and adding on the price of the phone you will end up with a total of £973. That means that going with the contract deal is going to save you again, £85.
Going with T-Mobile
Our average calling plan with T-Mobile turns out to be five hundred calling minutes, unlimited text messages and a 1 GB mobile data limit. On a contract including the iPhone 5C, it will cost you £38 per month. For the twenty four month contract you are going to end up paying £912.
With a SIM only, you are only going to be paying £13 per month for the exact same calling plan, though we will need to add in the cost of the phone too. Over twenty four months that comes to a total of £781. With T-Mobile you are going to save yourself a massive £131 by choosing a SIM only contract.
Going with Orange
With Orange our average sized calling plan comes out with unlimited calling minutes, unlimited text messages and a 1 GB mobile data limit. On an iPhone 5C contract, that will cost you £38 a month for twenty four months, giving you a total of £912 over the course of the contract.
For £21 a month you can get the same calling plan on a SIM only contract, and once you add in the cost of the phone, that comes to £973. You can save yourself £61 if you choose to go with the incentive contract deal with Orange.
Going with Three
With Three we are looking at an average sized calling plan of five hundred calling minutes, five thousand text messages and unlimited mobile data. For the iPhone 5C contract, that is going to cost you £38 per month, which will come to a grand total of again, £912 over a twenty four month contract.
The same SIM only calling plan costs only £13 per month with Three, plus the added cost of buying the iPhone 5C yourself. The total for this over two years is going to be £781. Going SIM only with Three is going to end up saving you an impressive £131.
Going with Tesco Mobile
Finally, the best average calling plan deal with Tesco Mobile contains three thousand minutes, unlimited text messages and a 3 GB data limit. On an iPhone 5C contract, that will cost you £39.50 per month, giving you a total of £948 over two years.
The exact same calling plan SIM only will cost you £20 per month, and then you need to add the cost of the handset. That comes to a total of £949. Prices with Tesco Mobile are almost equal, with a contract saving you only one pound over a SIM only plan.
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