Welcome to the the Comparisim FAQ where all your SIM related questions will be answered (hopefully). If we’ve missed anything just drop us a line using the Feedback form on the right-hand-side and we will not  only answer your question but may also include it here in our FAQ.

What kind of SIM card do I need?

SIM card type for SIM only dealsThere are three kinds of SIM cards currently in circulation; Standard SIMs, Nano SIMs and Micro-SIMs. The kind of SIM card you need depends on your mobile phone. The simple way to determine which SIM card type you need is to take your existing SIM card out of your mobile and compare its shape to those in the chart on the right paying particular attention to the amount of plastic surrounding the gold metal part.

Do I need a Blackberry SIM card?

By choosing a Blackberry SIM card on Comparisim you will receive a standard SIM card with BIS (Blackberry Internet Services). You will only be able to avail of this feature if you own a Blackberry device, provided it operates on Blackberry 9 or an earlier operating system. Newer Blackberry devices (Blackberry 10 upwards) do not offer BIS. If you own a Blackberry 10 (or newer) Blackberry device you need to opt for a Micro SIM.

What happens if I get the wrong SIM card?

If the wrong SIM card type is delivered to you for any reason simply contact your provider and they will send you out a replacement free of charge. they will transfer your account details to the correct SIM card once it arrives. The duration of this process depends entirely on postage/delivery.

free SIMs Vs. SIM only deals – what’s the difference?

A free SIM refers to a pay-as-you-go SIM while a ‘SIM only deal’ refers to a contract SIM. The SIM cards themselves are identical. The difference is in the billing account that is attached to the SIM on the network providers end.

SIM only contracts Vs. mobile phone contracts

The Difference between a SIM only deal and a mobile phone contract is that a mobile phone contract comes with a mobile phone whereas a SIM only deal doesn’t. For this reason, SIM only deals are cheaper and have more flexible contract lengths than mobile phone contracts.

What is 4G?

4G is a faster type of mobile internet. Before 4G internet came about, we all used slower 3G which has a reputation for being slow. Faster 4G promises to solve this, and is becoming more and more popular, as its reach widens across the country. Currently, 4G is not available everywhere as it is still being rolled out, but most major towns and cities are covered already and the ultimate goal of 98% nationwide coverage should be achieved by 2016/2017 by all UK providers.

What if I go over my monthly allowance?

You will be billed for what you use in excess of your allowance. These charges are often referred to as Out of Bundle Charges. The result will be a higher bill at the end of the billing cycle.

What are out of bundle charges?

Out of Bundle Charges are any charges for calls, texts or data that are not accounted for by the customer’s tariff/bundle. Such charges will incur additional cost to a customers monthly payment. They result from either exceeding the allocated minutes/texts/data included in the tariff or from contacting certain types of phone numbers which are not included in the tariff. For more information on Out of Bundle rates visit our Compare Network Providers page.

Can I prevent out of bundle charges?

Yes, by not exceeding your quota of minutes/texts/data. Some operators will text their customers to let them know when they are close to the limit. The most robust way of avoiding out of bundle charges is by capping your account. Please see FAQ “What is account capping?” below for more information.

What is tethering?

Tethering refers to sharing your mobile phone’s/tablet’s internet with a secondary device. An example would be sharing your mobile phone’s internet with a home computer. Although most smartphones come with built-in features designed to facilitates tethering, many mobile network providers do not permit it.

Providers have systems in place to detect if users are tethering and they actively take measures to combat this activity. To find out which networks allow/disallow tethering simply visit our Compare Network Providers page.

What is a fair usage policy?

A fair usage policy refers to service limitations set out in a mobile providers terms and conditions that may impact how much of their service you can use in a given time-frame. An example would be if a mobile provider advertised unlimited internet with a SIM only deal, they could still limit your internet to a certain amount if they felt that it was fair, provided they had outlined the limitations in their terms and conditions at the time your signed the contract. If you’re interested in capping your account You can find out which UK providers allow capping by simply visiting our Compare Network Providers page.

What is account capping?

Account capping is when a mobile provider limits the amount by which a customer can exceed their monthly allowance. This is usually done at the request of the customer as a safeguard against unexpectedly high bills. Not all providers offer this service. To fond out which ones do please visit our Compare Network Providers page.

Which network is the best?

The answer to this is subjective. What may be best for one person may not be best for another. However, an independent poll conducted by Comparisim in 2013 asked this very same question. A 29% majority of those who responded elected Three as the best network from a choice of the UK’s five major providers; O2, Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile and Virgin.

What is BIS?

BIS stands for Blackberry Internet Service. It incorporates Blackberry email and instant messaging. BIS functionality runs independently of data allowance so a user does not consume data allowance when using BIS. Many network providers give their customers BIS for free as part of an agreement with RIM (the makers of Blackberry).

What is a Combi SIM?

A combination, or ‘combi’ SIM is essentially a two-in-one SIM card. This allows you to simply ‘snap out’ the size of SIM you need from its perforated plastic surrounds to fit your device.

What are the benefits of SIM only deals?

SIM only deals offer shorter contracts ranging from 1 month to 12 months. Shorter contracts mean more freedom to switch for SIM only customers.

SIM only deals are cheaper than mobile phone contracts. Despite what some mobile providers claim, there is no such thing as a free phone with any contract. Mobile phone contract customers essentially get their new handset on hire purchase and end up paying for it in full over the duration of the contract. SIM only customers do not get a mobile phone and can therefor get the same minutes, texts and data as a mobile phone customer but at a fraction of the cost.