Broadband Guides

SIM-only mobile broadband explained

What is SIM-only mobile broadband?

Many customers will have heard of prepaid mobile broadband which functions similar to a credit plan for mobile phones, or a mobile broadband bill-pay contract that comes with the purchase of a tablet or smartphone, but SIM only mobile broadband contracts function as a halfway between these 2 options.

In essence they give you the benefits of a bill-pay contract with the convenience of a prepaid plan. This happens by setting up a 30 day contract that has better rates than prepaid broadband and also removes the danger that your service will be cut off due to credit running out. You usually also have a set amount of data to use at a minimum but can go over and pay a reasonable rate for the data you use.

But it also has the flexibility of a prepaid plan since there is no device tied to the contract and it can be cancelled with a month’s notice in most cases. So if you want to move to another provider, you are not tied into a lengthy agreement with the original provider.

Another benefit of SIM only broadband is that you can usually use a dongle you already have and just plug the new SIM into the device. This means that you can save money when switching provider, but dongles are usually not 3G to 4G cross compatible, meaning that a 3G SIM will not work in a 4G dongle in most cases (it would probably work the other way around as the SIMs are downwards compatible, but you should certainly verify this before making a switch to a new provider).

Overall, SIM only broadband can be great if you are just testing the market, or if you want the benefits of prepaid broadband with a better cost plan and more data availability.