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Compare tablet and data SIM-only deals

Compare the latest tablet SIM-only deals, plans and tariffs from the leading mobile providers. Our comparison includes prices, contracts, data, and much more.

  • Tariffs & pricing

    Any minutes,  Any texts,   data,  Any contract,  Any monthly cost,  Any sim sim type
Deals
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NetworkMinimum
Contract
Inclusive
Minutes
Inclusive
Texts
Download
Data
Monthly
Cost
VirginTabletSIM1GB12Month
Virgin
  • Any SIM
  • 1GB data
  • 12 month contract

    12
    months
    not
    included
    not
    included
    1GB
    data
    £4
    per month
    See Deal
    • Inclusive minutes: not included
    • Download data: 1GB
    • Inclusive texts: not included
    • Minimum contract: 12 months
    See more details
    ThePeople'sOperator£4.99TabletSIM OnlynlyGoodnessPlan
    The People's Operator
    • Triple SIM
    • 512MB data
    • 30 days day contract

      30
      days
      not
      included
      not
      included
      512MB
      data
      £4.99
      per month
      See Deal
      • Inclusive minutes: not included
      • Download data: 512MB
      • Inclusive texts: not included
      • Minimum contract: 30 days
      See more details
      Asdamobile£5Dataonlybundle
      Asda Mobile
      • Standard / Micro SIM or Nano SIM
      • 500MB data
      • 30 day contract

        30
        days
        not
        included
        not
        included
        500MB
        data
        £5
        per month
        See Deal
        • Inclusive minutes: not included
        • Download data: 500MB
        • Inclusive texts: not included
        • Minimum contract: 30 days
        See more details
        Giffgaffgigabag
        Giffgaff
        • Micro SIM
        • 500MB data
        • 1 month contract

          1
          month
          not
          included
          not
          included
          500MB
          data
          £5
          per month
          See Deal
          • Inclusive minutes: not included
          • Download data: 500MB
          • Inclusive texts: not included
          • Minimum contract: 1 month
          See more details
          Giffgaffgigabag
          Giffgaff
          • Standard SIM
          • 500MB data
          • 1 month contract

            1
            month
            not
            included
            not
            included
            500MB
            data
            £5
            per month
            See Deal
            • Inclusive minutes: not included
            • Download data: 500MB
            • Inclusive texts: not included
            • Minimum contract: 1 month
            See more details
            Giffgaffgigabag
            Giffgaff
            • Nano SIM
            • 500MB data
            • 1 month contract

              1
              month
              not
              included
              not
              included
              500MB
              data
              £5
              per month
              See Deal
              • Inclusive minutes: not included
              • Download data: 500MB
              • Inclusive texts: not included
              • Minimum contract: 1 month
              See more details
              ThePeople'sOperator£7.49TabletSIM OnlynlyGoodnessPlan
              The People's Operator
              • Triple SIM
              • 1GB data
              • 30 days day contract

                30
                days
                not
                included
                not
                included
                1GB
                data
                £7.49
                per month
                See Deal
                • Inclusive minutes: not included
                • Download data: 1GB
                • Inclusive texts: not included
                • Minimum contract: 30 days
                See more details
                Asdamobile£7.50Dataonlybundle
                Asda Mobile
                • Standard / Micro SIM or Nano SIM
                • 1GB data
                • 30 day contract

                  30
                  days
                  not
                  included
                  not
                  included
                  1GB
                  data
                  £7.50
                  per month
                  See Deal
                  • Inclusive minutes: not included
                  • Download data: 1GB
                  • Inclusive texts: not included
                  • Minimum contract: 30 days
                  See more details
                  Giffgaffgigabag
                  Giffgaff
                  • Nano SIM
                  • 1GB data
                  • 1 month contract

                    1
                    month
                    not
                    included
                    not
                    included
                    1GB
                    data
                    £7.50
                    per month
                    See Deal
                    • Inclusive minutes: not included
                    • Download data: 1GB
                    • Inclusive texts: not included
                    • Minimum contract: 1 month
                    See more details
                    Giffgaffgigabag
                    Giffgaff
                    • Standard SIM
                    • 1GB data
                    • 1 month contract

                      1
                      month
                      not
                      included
                      not
                      included
                      1GB
                      data
                      £7.50
                      per month
                      See Deal
                      • Inclusive minutes: not included
                      • Download data: 1GB
                      • Inclusive texts: not included
                      • Minimum contract: 1 month
                      See more details
                      Giffgaffgigabag
                      Giffgaff
                      • Micro SIM
                      • 1GB data
                      • 1 month contract

                        1
                        month
                        not
                        included
                        not
                        included
                        1GB
                        data
                        £7.50
                        per month
                        See Deal
                        • Inclusive minutes: not included
                        • Download data: 1GB
                        • Inclusive texts: not included
                        • Minimum contract: 1 month
                        See more details
                        1GBMobileData12Months
                        3 Mobile
                        • Triple SIM
                        • 1GB data
                        • 12 month contract

                          12
                          months
                          not
                          included
                          not
                          included
                          1GB
                          data
                          £7.50
                          per month
                          See Deal
                          • Inclusive minutes: not included
                          • Download data: 1GB
                          • Inclusive texts: not included
                          • Minimum contract: 12 months
                          See more details
                          1GBMobileData12Months
                          3 Mobile
                          • Triple SIM
                          • 1GB data
                          • 12 month contract

                            12
                            months
                            not
                            included
                            not
                            included
                            1GB
                            data
                            £7.50
                            per month
                            See Deal
                            • Inclusive minutes: not included
                            • Download data: 1GB
                            • Inclusive texts: not included
                            • Minimum contract: 12 months
                            See more details
                            1GBMobileData12Months
                            3 Mobile
                            • Triple SIM
                            • 1GB data
                            • 12 month contract

                              12
                              months
                              not
                              included
                              not
                              included
                              1GB
                              data
                              £7.50
                              per month
                              See Deal
                              • Inclusive minutes: not included
                              • Download data: 1GB
                              • Inclusive texts: not included
                              • Minimum contract: 12 months
                              See more details
                              VirginTabletSIM2GB
                              Virgin
                              • Any SIM
                              • 2GB data
                              • 30 day contract

                                30
                                days
                                not
                                included
                                not
                                included
                                2GB
                                data
                                £8
                                per month
                                See Deal
                                • Inclusive minutes: not included
                                • Download data: 2GB
                                • Inclusive texts: not included
                                • Minimum contract: 30 days
                                See more details
                                81
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                                How to compare and buy SIM-only tablet deals

                                How do I compare different packages?

                                If you want to get online with your tablet away from home without hunting around for a wi-fi hotspot, you’ll need a mobile broadband SIM. Our comparison table above helps you easily compare the options based on data allowance, contract length and all-important price.

                                Availability

                                Your preferred providers will be those that offer strong 3G or 4G signal in your area. If you don’t check this important issue before you sign up, you could find yourself with poor or even no signal and unable to get online. This is especially true of 4G, which is less widely available than the older, more established 3G networks.

                                It’s easy to check availability since the providers have a postcode checker tool on their websites, where you can enter your postcode and see the level of mobile broadband coverage in your area. We have guides which enable you to check either 3G or 4G coverage.

                                Check the details

                                In addition to coverage, there are a few other details to look out for in the small print before committing to a contract. First, you’ll need to check that your tablet is SIM-card compatible as not all of them are. iPads for example, are available in two versions – Wi-Fi + Cellular or just Wi-Fi – and only the former will accept mobile broadband SIMs.

                                When you’ve found a plan you like, look out for charges or penalties if you exceed the data allowance, and whether you’ll be alerted when you’re nearing the limit or automatically incur extra charges. If you’re signing up for a long-term plan it’s also worth checking what the exit terms are if you want to leave before the end of the deal.

                                Why choose a SIM-only deal?

                                If you bought a tablet outright rather than in a package from a mobile provider, you’ll need a separate SIM card to get yourself online on the move. Here’s a round-up of the perks SIM-only deals for tablets can offer you.

                                The flexibility to get online without Wi-Fi

                                Without a dedicated mobile broadband SIM, your internet options are limited to either connecting to your home wi-fi or checking into a public wi-fi hotspot. This is convenient sometimes, but if you want more flexibility, a 3G or 4G SIM card will allow you to get online wherever you’ve got coverage.

                                To suit a range of budgets

                                Whether you’ve got £5 or £50 to spare each month, there’s a mobile broadband SIM to fit your budget. There are pay monthly plans where you’ll need a credit check and have to commit to a monthly direct debit, or pay-as-you-go SIMs that are available to everyone since no credit check is required. You’ll generally find that 4G SIM-only deals are more expensive since they deliver a faster service, so if budget is a primary concern, you’ll get more data for your money with a 3G SIM plan, as well as more coverage.

                                With a choice of contract lengths

                                Don’t fancy committing to a long contract of 12 months or more? No problem. SIM deals for tablets are available on one-month rolling contracts as well. You’ll notice that rates are a little higher for comparable deals on longer plans, but the flexibility is often a bonus worth paying extra for.

                                Pros & cons

                                Pros

                                • SIMs provide flexible mobile broadband
                                • Choice of short- and long-term contracts
                                • They suit a range of budgets

                                Cons

                                • Some providers prohibit tethering
                                • Not all deals are compatible with all tablets
                                • Limited availability for 4G

                                Which package is right for me?

                                SIM-only deals for tablets are pretty simple, since you’ll just need to look at data allowance rather than factor in calls and minutes like a regular phone SIM. Here’s what you need to consider when comparing the deals above.

                                Choose between 3G and 4G

                                Availability might make this decision for you, but if you’re lucky enough to have both 3G and 4G in your area, you’ll need to decide between them. The big difference is speed. According to Ofcom, 4G is up to five times faster than 3G, which means faster page loading and a more seamless online experience for streaming songs and videos. It’s a superior service so you should generally expect to pay more (but not always) and also be aware that the faster speed could lead you to eat through your data allowance at a faster rate.

                                Check availability

                                It’s worth checking which providers offer the best coverage in your area so you know which ones are worth pursuing. As the original 4G provider, EE offers the widest coverage in the country and its 3G coverage is even more extensive. Three, Vodafone, O2, Tesco Mobile and Giffgaff also offer 4G, but it’s still early days so anyone outside a major city is more likely to get 3G from these providers. Virgin Mobile only offers 3G at the moment.

                                Consider how much data you need

                                Tablet SIM-only deals have a wide range of data allowances, so there’s an option for every level of user. Consider how often you’ll be accessing the internet and for what kind of activity, and pick a plan to match. Don’t worry if you’re not completely sure, just opt for a one-month contract and you can easily switch plans if you find it’s too much or not enough data.

                                And what size SIM card your tablet takes

                                Different tablets take different SIM cards. There’s three sizes – standard, micro and nano – so you’ll need to check which one you need before you sign up. This info can usually be found in the paperwork provided with your device. If you see any deals with combi SIM, this simply refers to a two-in-one standard and micro SIM.

                                What will I need?

                                Unlocked tablet that accepts SIM cards

                                As we’ve already mentioned, you’ll need to ensure that your tablet is SIM-card compatible before signing up to a deal. If it is and has been used on a different network previously, you’ll also need to check whether it is unlocked and able to accept a SIM from a different provider. If is locked, you’ll need to investigate how to unlock it online as there’s different methods for different models.

                                Reasonable credit history and bank account

                                The best SIM-only deals run on contracts rather than pay-as-you-go, as you’ll get more data for your money. You’ll need to undergo a credit check and commit to paying by direct debit to get a contract however, so be sure your finances are in order before applying.

                                Six essential questions before you buy

                                1. Is my tablet SIM-card compatible and unlocked?
                                2. Which providers offer the best coverage in my area?
                                3. Do I want a 3G or 4G plan?
                                4. How much data do I need for my planned usage?
                                5. Do I want a short- or long-term contract, or pay-as-you-go?
                                6. Do I understand the small print and any potential extra costs?

                                Cable.co.uk recommends

                                Doing a quick postcode check with the main providers is the best place to start, as it’ll narrow down your options to those offering strong 3G or 4G signal in your area. Once you’ve decided on your budget, ideal data allowance and preferred contract length, you can easily find a SIM plan to suit your needs.

                                Comments (12)

                                David white
                                14th February 2015

                                What was the answer to gavins question on 18/09/14 as I have and an am back to this myself have you anymore news thanks dave

                                Bobby
                                2nd December 2014

                                Are there any 4G sim only tablet deals for a period more than 30days and upto 6months? Something like the 6month bbm internet deals once offered by TMobile

                                Jim brownsett
                                29th November 2014

                                I can't believe how expensive it is for data only sim in the UK. I spend 3 months a year working in Albania it's only £5.5 for 4GB.

                                Quita
                                29th September 2014

                                I am interested in a pay as you go sim for my tablet. I am unsure which one to go with. I will be using it mainly for watching movies and surfing the net.

                                Alison
                                24th September 2014

                                Hello, I am looking to be able to use my ipad mini anywhere including Europe. Can anybody suggest the best sim to go for.

                                Dean
                                22nd September 2014

                                Gavin, we've raised the question with Three because it's an issue we've not had to seek an answer about before - just as soon as they get back to us, we'll let you know what they say.

                                Dean - Cable.co.uk

                                Gavin
                                18th September 2014

                                I'm thinking of purchasing a Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet which is capable of making and recieving phone calls and SMS. Obviously a tablet SIM would be useless as it doesn't include minutes and text allowance, so I would like to know if I would be able to use my regular phone sim card with the tablet? It's with Three Mobile, and has unlimited data and a large call/text allowance. Or would Three block my SIM for using it with a tablet?

                                Dean
                                9th September 2014

                                HI Steve, thanks for your comment. If you've had no joy with a customer service assistant in-store, it might be worthwhile calling 3 direct - the problem's that your describing sound like a fault with either your SIM or tablet to me.

                                Let us know how things go.

                                Dean - Cable.co.uk

                                Dean
                                9th September 2014

                                Hi Faraday, that's pretty light usage, so I'd be tempted to opt for a 30 day rolling contract that will allow you to jump in and out. This way you'd avoid paying throughout the year, especially if you're only clocking up around 20 hours of usage.

                                If you're not attaching or downloading particularly large files to or from your email, then the small 250MB allowances you get from 3 could do the trick (an offer that's currently available and correct at the time of me writing this). This would help to offset any roaming costs that you might incur overseas - but it's good practice whatever option you go for to jump onto Wi-Fi whenever possible outside of the UK.

                                Dean - Cable.co.uk

                                Steve Briggs
                                8th September 2014

                                I believe your 3 deals are incorrect, as I have the a PAYG SIM with them now and when I swapped my SIM from my Note 3 to a Tablet, 2014 Samsung 10.1,3 turned off the data. So are 3 offering deals you can use in tablets or are they fibbing, because their support pages wax lyrical about putting their SIM into any unlocked device including phones, Tablets and Dongles. Yet mine stopped and local 3 store were so unbothered the assistant didn't even take his hands out of his pockets....

                                Steve

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