What is a SIM-Only Plan?

Juliet D'cruz

Updated on:

A SIM-Only plan is an alternative to the phone-on-a-plan options for mobile connection. You won’t have to sign the usual 12, 24, or 36-month phone contracts with this plan. Your plan provider will issue a SIM Card or a subscriber identity module. This microchip is inserted into your device and connects to your network provider. A SIM-Only plan allows you to keep your own device and only select a plan of your choice.

If you want to keep your phone or choose a new one yourself, you can purchase a SIM-Only plan. Like phone-on-a-plan, you are still able to access your Telco provider’s features and inclusions, but without the extra cost that comes with buying the phone that automatically comes with it. You won’t be limited to the new phones they provided, which are usually the more expensive models.

A SIM-Only plan provides messaging, calls, and data services, and different plans offer varying capabilities of these services. Plenty of telephone companies offer SIM-Only plans and are competing to give you the best deals. Deals vary per network provider, but here are the most general types:

SIM-Only Prepaid Plan

If you are worried about excess data use, you can choose to pay in advance. A set amount of calls, texts, data allowance, or other inclusions will be available for a certain period. If you somehow exceeded this set amount, you won’t be able to test, call, or use your data. This way, you can avoid paying for the excess on each billing period. You will not have the risk of unintentionally accumulating credit. The only disadvantage of this plan is you have to recharge frequently. Telcos usually offer a monthly billing period, but it can also be as short as seven days.

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12-Month SIM-Only Plan

A midway between postpaid phone plans and pay-on-the-go plans is the 12-Month SIM-Only Plan. Telephone companies usually offer the best deals to more long-term customers. This plan gives you the best values that come with other year-long phone plans.

SIM-Only Month-to-Month Plan

A Month-to-Month plan is another contractless plan. It is the most popular plan that Australians use. This plan features unlimited standard calls and texts and a data capacity with a continuous rollover. Per month, you can choose the data capacity you need from options starting at 3GB to 55GB per month for most telcos. These can either be prepaid or postpaid.

Important notes in setting up a SIM-Only Plan

If you’re buying a new SIM Card, make sure that your phone is unlocked from its previous network. If you’re coming from a postpaid plan, there’s a higher chance that your phone is already unlocked. However, you can double-check with customer service, and phone unlocking is usually free.

Another important factor is to check if the SIM is compatible with your device. There are three dimensions of the microchip: Standard (15 x 25 millimetres), Micro-SIM (12 x 15 mm), and Nano-SIM (8.8 x 12.3 mm). Find out the size of your phone’s cardholder or measure your existing or previous SIM.

Most recent mobile phones and devices use Nano-SIM. But there are still phone models that use the other two types. Fortunately, mobile plan providers understand the different needs of those who buy SIM-Only plans. They usually provide a 3-in-1 SIM where you can pop-out the SIM size compatible with your phone. Nonetheless, ensure that you order a versatile SIM or one that exactly fits your device.