Mobile Phones for Christmas – Contract or SIM Only?

It can be a challenge to find the best cell phone service plan to meet your needs when there are so many service providers competing for your business and such a confusing array of service options available. You not only have to decide on a service provider, but what kind of phone you want, what features you need, what type of plan will fit your calling pattern and what kind of contractual commitment you’re willing to make, if any.

Mobile Phones for ChristmasBefore you sign on the dotted line, take the time to do some research and shop around to ensure you are really getting value for your money and that the plan you choose is going to meet all your needs. Too often consumers are swayed by a service provider’s glossy ad and fail to read the fine print, only to discover that they are locked into a long-term contract with monthly bills that are far in excess of what they expected or plagued with ongoing problems like dropped calls or busy networks.

Standard cellar phone contracts are generally for a period of one to three years and include a free cell phone and accessories. You actually pay for the “free” phone, as its cost is rolled into the overall price of the contract.  And during the contract period, you are not allowed to cancel or downgrade your service. Over the past decade SIM only deals have become a popular alternative to long-term mobile phone contracts. The SIM (Subscriber Identification Module) is the smart card that functions as the digital brain of a mobile phone handset. It holds all of the data that the phone needs to function including: the phone number, the personal security key that authorizes you to use a particular network, your rate plan, service features and personal information. SIM only deals do not include a phone and as a result are far less expensive.

The SIM card is portable and can be transferred from one phone to another, enabling you to receive calls to your cell phone number on different handsets. Upgrading to a new phone or using a borrowed phone, is as simple as slipping your SIM card into that phone. However, if you currently have a phone that came with a standard cell-phone contract, the phone will be locked and only able to recognize the SIM card from the carrier who sold you the contract. In most cases, these phones can be unlocked for a small fee, allowing them to accept SIM cards from any carrier.

SIM only deals offer you some distinct advantages over standard cellular service contracts. They include more minutes, unlimited texting, access to mobile internet and other perks for a far lower cost than any standard service contract can offer. And they are very flexible. Most service providers offer rolling thirty day contracts, giving you all the advantages of a monthly payment plan with the flexibility of a pay-as-you-go service. You are not locked into a long term deal and can switch providers or plans whenever you want. SIM only contracts are also an ideal choice for anyone who has a limited credit history or a poor credit rating. And for anyone concerned about reducing their environmental footprint, buying a SIM card allows you to recycle your phone.

My name is Nisha, I represent a site called Wish.co.uk. I love to write, especially about games and technology, I love contributing my knowledge and experience readers. Please visit our site to find some great Christmas gifts!