A SIM-only plan is where you pay for a SIM card only. The SIM card will give you access to a certain amount of calls, text and data which you'll pay for on a monthly basis by direct debit. However you won't get access to a phone as part of the plan. You get the SIM only - hence the name. For this reason, SIM-only plans tend to be cheaper and more generous with their calls and data than bill pay plans.
SIM-only plans usually have a 30-day rolling contract meaning you can switch to a new provider easily if you want to as you aren't tying yourself into a 12 or 24 month contract.
There are lots of SIM-only plans on the market right now from all the main operators such as Vodafone, Three, Eir and Virgin Mobile. The best deal for you will depend on your usage and whether you prefer to call, text, or browse the internet and whether you like to make international calls.
Use our comparison tool on bonkers.ie to find the deal that works best for you.
A SIM-only plan is where you pay for a SIM card only, usually by direct debit on a monthly basis. The SIM card will give you access to a certain amount of calls, text and data but you won't get access to a phone. If you go over your allocation of monthly data or minutes you'll simply be billed more.
SIM-only plans usually have a 30-day rolling contract.
Pay-as-you-go is when you top up your phone in advance with credit. Once you run out of credit you'll need to top up before you can use your phone again. With pay-as-you-go plans you can get a phone included as part of the deal but the phone is usually locked or tied to the network that's selling it.
A SIM-free phone is a phone that's sold without a SIM card included. Usually, but not always, a SIM-free phone will be 'unlocked', meaning you can use it on any network by inserting any SIM card. A SIM-free phone typically means that you're buying the phone outright and aren't tying yourself into a bill pay contract.
SIM-only refers to a SIM card that's sold without a phone. The SIM card gives you access to a number of calls, text and data each month which you usually pay for by direct debit on a 30-day rolling contract.
ComReg recently published a national coverage map for all the mobile operators. From ComReg's analysis it would seem that Vodafone is your best bet if you're looking for the best 4G coverage nationwide.
That being said, Vodafone still can't boast 100% coverage and there might be some areas of the country where Eir or Three have better coverage. You might also be offered better prices or more data from the other networks if you're willing to make some compromises.
As we always advise here at bonkers.ie; be sure to shop around before you decide to switch providers.
A SIM-free phone usually means that the phone is unlocked and can be used on any network. In this case, as long as the SIM card is the right size for your phone e.g. standard size, micro or nano, then it will work.
However, some SIM-free phones aren't unlocked and can only be used on a particular network. Before buying a SIM-free phone you should always check whether it's locked or unlocked.
If your SIM-free phone is unlocked and not tied to any network, then it will accept any SIM as long as it's the right size for your phone e.g. standard size, micro or nano.
Not all SIM-free phones are unlocked though. If your SIM-free phone is locked to a particular network, say Vodafone, and your old SIM card is on a different network, you'll have to get your phone unlocked by Vodafone, for which there may be a charge.
For more info on some of the best sim-only deals currently available from all the main providers in Ireland check out this blog post.