5G SIM Only Deals: Choosing the right one for you!

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5G provides mobile broadband with speeds that far exceed those accomplished by 4G. Though 5G certainly won’t completely replace 4G in the foreseeable future, it’s the clear choice for those who want a faster connection on the go. Although it is not yet available in all areas of the UK, 5G networks are growing steadily. A 5G connection is now available in up to 194 towns and cities across the UK (depending on your network).
Last update: October 2021

You might want to look into the best SIM only deals available, regardless of whether you will be on 4 or 5G. Most 5G users are on lengthy 24-36 month contracts through which they finance their 5G handsets alongside paying off their tariffs. But if you already have a 5G-ready handset and want more flexibility, freedom and affordability a 5G SIM only deal is the way to go. A 5G SIM only deal can get you faster broadband on the go without being tied to any lengthy contract.

Which suppliers offer 5G SIM only deals?

As 5G is rolled out more aggressively across the country, it’s now easier than ever to find a 5G SIM only deal that saves you money while giving you more of what you want. As tempting as it may be to clamber back onto the upgrade bandwagon, a new contract with a shiny new handset is likely to cost you significantly more than a 5G SIM only deal.
When you take on a new mobile contract, you are taking out finance on a new handset, which inevitably comes with interest of up to 40%. Fortunately, a wide range of suppliers offer 5G SIM only deals. So if you’ve bought a new phone outright, or have just finished paying one off, switching to a SIM only tariff can save you money on enjoying the benefits of 5G.

MNOs that offer 5G SIM only deals

The UK’s 5G infrastructure is made up of 4 networks. These networks are made of multiple cells across the country which use mobile base towers to broadcast at the high-frequency bands where 5G is found. Because these are less crowded they have the potential to be much faster. In fact, 5G has a theoretical maximum speed of 10 Gbps, while 4G maxes out at 100 Mbps. This makes 5G (theoretically) 100 times faster than 4G.
These fast 5G networks are managed and maintained by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs). There are 4 MNOs in the UK:

  • EE
  • Three
  • O2
  • Vodafone

All of these MNOs offer 5G SIM only packages. But they’re not your only option if you want to connect to 5G with a SIM only deal.

MVNOs that offer 5G SIM only deals

Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) ‘piggyback’ on the 4 main networks, paying either EE, Three, O2 or Vodafone to access their 5G networks and deliver their own services to customers. Many of these also offer 5G packages, including SIM only deals. Check out:

  • BT Mobile (EE)
  • Virgin Mobile (Vodafone)
  • Sky Mobile (O2)
  • ID Mobile (Three)
  • Voxi (Vodafone)
  • Tesco Mobile (O2)

5G sim card deal - cubes that depict 5G

What are some 5G SIM only deals available in the UK?

Now is the perfect time to take advantage of a 5G SIM only deal that combines generous data allowances with unlimited minutes and texts and a flexible range of contracts. And the Broadband Plans team are here to help you make the right choice for your needs and budget.
Join us as we explore the 5G SIM only deals offered by the 4 mobile network operators and the mobile virtual networks that use them.

EE 5G SIM only deals

EE offers 5G SIM only deals with generous data allowances from £20 per month. It is the second-fastest 5G network with average download speeds of 135 Mbps. EE Smart or EE Full Works plans, include added benefits like subscriptions to Apple Music, BT Sport Ultimate or Amazon Prime Video.


Tariff Minutes Texts Data Monthly Cost Contract Length
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 120GB £20 24 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 200GB £23 24 months
Smart Unlimited Unlimited 200GB £25 24 months
Smart Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited £37 24 months
Full Works Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited £41 24 months


BT 5G SIM only deals

BT (the company that owns EE) has a wide range of affordable 5G SIM only plans starting at just £10 per month. Contracts are fairly lengthy but monthly costs are reasonable and data allowances are plentiful.


Tariff Minutes Texts Data Monthly Cost Contract Length
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 5 GB £10 24 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 12 GB £12 24 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 30 GB £16 24 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 60 GB £18 24 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 150 GB £20 24 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 250 GB £23 24 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited £25 24 months


Three 5G SIM only deals

Three has the UK’s fastest-growing 5G network and has just overtaken EE in terms of coverage. It has also overtaken EE as the fastest 5G network with average download speeds of around 200 Mbps. It also has some extremely affordable SIM only deals.


Tariff Minutes Texts Data Monthly Cost Contract Length
SIM Only 200 Unlimited 2 GB £5 12 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 4 GB £6 12 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 12 GB £8 12 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 30 GB £12 12 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 100 GB £15 12 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited £16 12 months


ID Mobile 5G SIM only deals

ID Mobile uses Three’s network to provide a flexible range of 5G SIM only deals that offer great value for money. Data can be rolled over from one month to the next, and the following deals include free EU roaming.


Tariff Minutes Texts Data Monthly Cost Contract Length
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 1 GB £5 1 month
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 2 GB £6 1 month
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 10 GB £7 12 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 24 GB £12 12 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 50 GB £15 12 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited £15.75 12 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited £20 1 month


O2 5G SIM only deals

Because O2 offers 5G access at no extra cost, they have some very affordable 5G SIM only deals. What’s more, they offer exclusive discounts for major retailers, restaurants and cafes as well as priority booking for O2 music venues via O2 Priority.
The following deals also include 6 months of Disney+ absolutely free.


Tariff Minutes Texts Data Monthly Cost Contract Length
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 5 GB £10 24 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 12 GB £12 24 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 30 GB £16 24 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 60 GB £18 24 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 150 GB £20 24 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 250 GB £23 24 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited £25 24 months


Sky Mobile 5G SIM only deals

Sky Mobile offers generous data allowances, and you can even stream video from Sky’s apps without eating into your monthly data allocation. You can also roll over unused data for up to 3 years via Sky Piggybank. Enrol in the Sky VIP loyalty programme and you can get 5G for no additional cost. If you don’t want to enrol, you’ll need to add £5 per month to the costs detailed below:


Tariff Minutes Texts Data Monthly Cost Contract Length
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 2 GB £6 12 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 8 GB £8 12 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 12 GB £12 12 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 25 GB £15 12 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 40 GB £24 12 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 60 GB £30 12 months


Tesco Mobile 5G SIM only deals

Tesco Mobile uses O2’s 5G network and provides a great range of SIM only deals on 12-18 month contracts.


Tariff Minutes Texts Data Monthly Cost Contract Length
SIM Only 5,000 5,000 12 GB £10 18 months
SIM Only 5,000 5,000 8 GB £10 12 months
SIM Only 5,000 5,000 20 GB £12.50 18 months
SIM Only 5,000 5,000 15 GB £12.50 12 months
SIM Only 5,000 5,000 30 GB £15 18 months
SIM Only 5,000 5,000 25 GB £15 12 months
SIM Only 5,000 5,000 Unlimited £28 18 months
SIM Only 5,000 5,000 Unlimited £30 12 months


Giff Gaff 5G SIM only deals

Giff Gaff is a great option for those who value flexibility above all. You buy 5G ‘goodybags’ which you can use every month. However, you are free to keep buying new goody bags or switch to a new provider as you please each month.
To qualify for the Golden Goodybags below, you’ll need to switch on the “recurring goodybag” setting in your Giff Gaff account. A new golden goodybag will be purchased automatically every month, and you can stop this at any time.


Tariff Minutes Texts Data Monthly Cost Contract Length
£10 Golden Goodybag Unlimited Unlimited 9 GB £10 1 month
£15 Golden Goodybag Unlimited Unlimited 25 GB £15 1 month
£20 Golden Goodybag Unlimited Unlimited 100 GB £20 1 month
£35 Golden Goodybag Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited £35 1 month


Vodafone 5G SIM only deals

Vodafone is the smallest of the 4 UK Mobile Network Operators, but it still has a pretty extensive 5G network, available in 100 towns and cities across the country. Speeds vary by area, but users in London report average speeds of 215 Mbps.
Vodafone has two types of 5G SIM only tariffs. There are Vodafone Red plans that offer various data allowances, and Vodafone Unlimited plans that feature unlimited data with tiered speeds.
Take a look at their offerings below:


Tariff Minutes Texts Data Monthly Cost Contract Length
Red Unlimited Unlimited 5 GB £15 24 months
Red Unlimited Unlimited 30 GB £18 24 months
Red Unlimited Unlimited 160 GB £20 24 months
Red Unlimited Unlimited 20 GB £21 12 months
Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 2Mbps max speed £22 24 months
Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 10Mbps max speed £26 24 months
Unlimited Max Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Fastest available speed £30 24 months


Virgin Mobile 5G SIM only deals

Virgin Mobile piggybacks on Vodafone’s network to provide a range of affordable and flexible 5G SIM only deals. The following deals all feature data-free messaging, so you can stay in touch with friends and family on Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Twitter without eating into your data allowance. You can also roll your unused data over into the next month.


Tariff Minutes Texts Data Monthly Cost Contract Length
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 4 GB £6 12 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 12 GB £8 24 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 60 GB £12 12 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 100 GB £20 24 months
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited £25 24 months


Voxi 5G SIM only deals

Voxi is Vodafone’s no-frills brand. But while it may lack the bells and whistles of its big brother, it has some extremely reasonable 5G SIM only deals. What’s appealing about these deals is that they feature “endless” video streaming and social media. So you can scroll through Twitter and watch YouTube to your heart’s content without exhausting your data allowance.
It’s also a great choice for those who value their freedom, as all of their contracts are 30 day rolling contracts.


Tariff Minutes Texts Data Monthly Cost Contract Length
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 20 GB £15 1 month
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited 45 GB £20 1 month
SIM Only Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited £35 1 month



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What are the pros and cons of 5G SIM only deals?

5G SIM only deals can be a great way to take advantage of the speed and performance of the UK’s 5G networks. But like any way to get connected, they have their benefits and caveats. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of 5G SIM only deals:

Pros of 5G SIM only deals

Pros of 5G SIM only deals include:

  • Faster speeds at home and on the go
  • Lower latency so pages and files load faster
  • 1000 times more capacity than 4G so more devices can get online at the same time
  • Large (and growing) range of SIM only deals
  • More affordable and flexible terms than getting a new contract with a new handset

Cons of 5G SIM only deals

5G SIM only deals are great. But there are some potential downsides that you should keep in mind in order to decide whether it’s the right option for you. These include:

  • They are generally more expensive than their 4G counterparts
  • 5G is not available across the UK with limited availability in smaller towns
  • Some SIM only plans are comparable in price to getting a new contract
  • Some SIM only plans have fairly lengthy contracts
  • Requires a 5G-ready handset (which can be expensive)

How do I know if there is 5G in my area?

5G availability varies depending on what MNO (or MVNO) you want to use. There are a few ways in which you can check 5G availability in your area. You can check the websites of EE, Three, O2 or Vodafone to see if they are available where you live and / or work. Or you could use a third party checker.

Which network has the biggest 5G presence?

Although EE has the largest network overall, Three’s 5G presence has recently overtaken them, with availability in the country with 193 towns and cities now live.
5G presences across the nation are as follows at the time of writing:

  • Three (193 locations now live)
  • O2 (193 locations now live)
  • EE (160 locations now live)
  • Vodafone (100 locations now live)

Can I use 5G abroad?

Yes. All networks offer data roaming in various locations around the world. Some providers allow for free roaming in specific locations, although this varies from one provider to another.

Do 5G SIM only deals cost more than 4G?

Generally, yes. Although there are some instances where you can get a 5G deal that costs the same as (or less than) a 4G deal. If your data needs are fairly modest, you can get a 5G SIM only deal for less than £10 per month. What’s more, some providers like O2 and Sky offer 5G SIM only deals at the same costs as their 4G plans.

What phones support a 5G SIM?

It’s important to remember that in order to access the 5G network, you need a 5G SIM in a 5G-ready handset. These have larger batteries and more processing power than their predecessors in order to cope with the additional processing required to access the 5G network.
Phones that support a 5G SIM are as follows:

  • Google Pixel 5
  • Google Pixel 4a 5G
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 Mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • OnePlus 8
  • OnePlus 8 Pro
  • Oppo Reno 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy S21
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
  • Sony Xperia 1 II

Can 5G SIMs be used in 4G phones?

Technically, yes. A 5G SIM will give you access to the 5G network. However the handset itself will be unable to support it. Likewise, you’ll be able to put a 4G SIM in a 5G phone, but again you’ll be unable to connect to the 5G network.

Get the best 5G SIM only deal for your needs with Broadband Plans

If you want to access the 5G network quickly and affordably, a 5G SIM only deal could be the best way to do it. But if you’re not sure which is the best fit for your needs and budget, the Broadband Plans team are here to help.
Give us a call today on 0330 054 0020. We’ll help you find the best way to get online while you’re on the go.

Call us to find the best broadband and/or phone provider for free!

0330 054 0020

Available Monday to Friday from 8.30 am until 5.30 pm

FAQ

Do I need a new phone to get a 5G SIM only deal?

Yes. Because it requires more energy and processing power to access the 5G network, you’ll need a 5G-ready handset.

Am I limited to how much data I can hotspot if I have 5G?

Sometimes networks apply limits to how much data you can hotspot, even if you are on an unlimited data plan. This is why it’s important to check your provider’s fair usage policy to see if there are any restrictions on how many devices you can tether and how much data you can use while tethered.

Can I keep my phone number when switching to 5G?

Yes, absolutely. All you need to do is request your Porting Authority Code (PAC) from your previous network and report it to your new network. Text “PAC” to 65075 or call your network to do this.

How fast are 5G SIM only plans?

That depends on your network and where you live. 5G networks have a theoretical top speed of 10 Gbps with real-world speeds of around 200-250 Mbps in London and other urban centres.

Updated on 9 Aug, 2021

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Chérie

Junior Copywriting Specialist in Broadband

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Alex

Consumer Broadband Expert