O2 SIM only deals explained
By | Wednesday, October 20th 2021
Why choose an O2 SIM-only deal?
Choice of contract length
You can choose your level of commitment with O2, as its SIM-only mobile phone deals come with 30-day, 12-month or 24-month contracts. Opting for a shorter contract is always more expensive, but signing up for a 30-day contract gives you the flexibility of being able to leave whenever you want.
Unlimited data options
O2 offers a wide choice of data allowances to suit every budget and requirement with its pay monthly SIM-only deals, from as little as 1GB to Unlimited data. PAYG customers are more limited, with allowances ranging from 7GB to 100GB.
All O2 SIM-only deals also come with unlimited calls and texts, so you need have no worries about going over your limit. Just remember that picture messages are charged as extra.
5G-ready SIM deals
All O2 SIM-only deals are 5G-ready. If your phone is 5G-ready, and you live in an area with a good 5G signal, you’ll automatically be upgraded to the faster service as all O2 SIMs are 5G enabled. Customers without a 5G enabled phone will still be able to access O2’s 4G network. O2 is still rolling out its 5G network across the UK, so it is not yet available everywhere. If this is the case in your area, you will automatically be connected to the 4G signal.
Good coverage and speed
O2 provides 99% coverage across the UK with its 4G signal, and its 5G service is also growing rapidly. To check what the signal is like in your area, including whether you can get 5G, visit O2’s coverage checker. O2 offers an average download speed of 18.2Mbps on its 4G network, and up to 100Mbps or above on its 5G network.
Freebies and discounts with O2 Priority
O2’s loyalty scheme, O2 Priority, gives all customers the option to enjoy a range of benefits, from free Odeon cinema tickets and drinks, to discounted shopping, travel and pre-sale tickets for gigs and other events.
Rewards and discounts with O2 Rewards for PAYG customers
Exclusively for PAYG customers, O2 Rewards gives back 5-10% of all top-ups you make in a three-month period, which can then be claimed back as extra airtime credit or put towards tickets for gigs, shopping vouchers or even a new handset.
Data rollover on O2 Big Bundle PAYG deals
O2 allows all PAYG customers the option to roll over unused data to the next month, as long as you renew your Big Bundle on the date it expires.
SIM-only deals for tablets
If you are looking for a SIM for your tablet, then O2 caters for this too, with a choice of five data allowances ranging from 2GB to 100GB per month. Both 30-day and 12-month options are available.
Free O2 Wifi
To help customers keep hold of their data, O2 offers free wifi in around 16,000 locations around the country. Customers that bought their phone directly from O2, or iPhone customers will be able to connect automatically. All other customers can register to connect. O2 Wifi is available at hundreds of locations, including all branches of Pizza Hut, Costa Coffee, House of Fraser, Matalan and Subway, as well as Shell garages, Pure Gym, and a wide range of bars and pubs.
Benefits of a SIM-only deal
Cheaper than a contract that comes with a phone
The major benefit of a SIM-only deal is that it’s far cheaper than opting for a contract that comes with the price of a handset attached. O2 has a great range of contracts, with a variety of data allowances so you should be able to find one that suits your requirements. It’s also worth noting that all O2 SIMs come with unlimited calls and texts.
You can keep your existing phone
Whether you are concerned about the environment or just your bank balance, keeping your existing handset is a smart move financially. Getting a new SIM-only deal will work out cheaper than allowing your existing deal to roll on once your contract has expired, and it will give you time to decide whether you want to splash out on a new phone or if you’re actually happy to keep the one you’ve got for the foreseeable.
Flexibility with a choice of contract and non-contract deals
When you sign up for a new phone contract, it is likely you will be tied in for at least a couple of years. SIM-only deals enable you to choose both the length of time you want to commit, and whether you want a short contract or even just pay as you go.
Frequently asked questions
How do I work out how much data I need?
This all depends on how much you are likely to use your data when you are not connected to wifi – at home or elsewhere. According to Ofcom, the average data usage is currently 4.5GB per month, but if you like to stream or use video calling when you are out and about, you will need considerably more. The good news is you can always top up your allowance by using O2 bolt-ons – even if you’re on a pay monthly SIM-only deal – although this does work out rather expensive.
Which length contract should I choose?
O2 offers three contracts with its SIM-only deals: a 30-day contract for those wanting the flexibility to be able to leave at the drop of a hat, and a 12-month contract or 24-month contract for those that are happy to commit. The longer contracts usually cost less per month for the same amount of data, but come with the risk of not being able to leave if your circumstances change.
How do I switch to O2?
Once you’ve chosen a new SIM, you’ll need to speak to your current provider and tell it that you’re leaving. It’s best if this is done outside of your contract period, as you’ll likely incur a cancellation fee if you don’t.
How do I contact O2 customer service?
To get in touch with O2 customer service, you can call 202 for free from your O2 mobile or 0344 809 0202 from a landline. Calls from a landline are charged at the usual rate. Customer services are open from 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 9am-6pm Saturday and Sunday.
Can I keep my phone number when I switch to O2?
If you want to keep your current mobile number, and you are moving from a different provider to O2, you will need to request a port authorisation code (PAC) from your existing provider. You should give this number to O2 when you order your new SIM. If you are already with O2, you will be able to keep your existing phone number.
How do I unlock my phone?
Your existing network will unlock your phone for you. You will need the IMEI number, which is a unique identifier for your phone. Simply dial *#06# into your phone and the IMEI number will flash up. You can then give this number to your current provider. It can take anything from a couple of days to almost a month to get your phone unlocked and there may or may not be a small fee to pay. You can check these details with your current provider.
Can I use my O2 service abroad?
Yes. O2 offers free inclusive roaming throughout Europe. Customers wanting to use their phone further afield can sign up for O2 Travel for a small extra fee.
Can I tether with O2?
Yes, O2 permits tethering on all its SIM-only plans, including PAYG, up to the amount of data on your plan. If you have an unlimited data SIM, you are permitted to tether as much as you wish, although if you do so excessively (O2 states more than 650GB twice in six months or regularly tethering more than 12 devices) it will impose restrictions in accordance with its fair use policy.
There is a good range of SIMs on offer here and you should be able to find one that fits your needs. Make sure you know what it is you’re getting before you sign a contract, and that you’re clear about unlocking your phone and getting a PAC if you’re switching providers. Below is our choice of O2’s best SIM-only deals currently available.
O2 24-month 5GB SIM
WIth unlimited minutes and texts also included, this 5GB SIM on a 24-month contract currently costs £10 per month and is ideal for anyone wanting a modest amount of data to get them through the month when they aren’t connected to wifi.
O2 12-month Unlimited data SIM
If you’re looking for peace of mind and the knowledge you will never run out of minutes, texts or data, this 12-month SIM deal is ideal. Currently costing £33 per month, it’s not cheap, but means you can stream happily whenever you want without the need for wifi. Also, the 12-month contract means you only have a year to wait before you can switch.
O2 PAYG 7GB SIM
If you don’t want to commit to a long-term contract, then this O2 Big Bundle may suit. With unlimited texts and minutes it comes with 7GB of data. This pay-as-you-go bundle means you don’t have to commit to a long contract, and you are free to switch your plan from month to month if you wish.