Before we start, let’s cover the technical stuff. The Sim (Subscriber identification module) card allows your phone to connect to a network, and also stores your personal information, such as the phone number of the cell, and usually things like your contacts and saved text messages. Since practically all mobile phones need a sim card to work, you’ll almost certainly have one inside your phone already – so just why would you want to take up a promotion offering free sims?
Companies like giffgaff.com specialise in offering free sims, making it possible to switch from your old sim card and use a different network service with your phone. One of the most popular reasons that people do this is to take advantage of better deals, which offer more minutes, texts and data usage than an identically priced service package from the network that provided the phone.
The reason for the better deal is that there is no subsidised handset to be paid for over the course of the contract, and in fact, there is no long running contract at all. Typically, free sims work on a pre-paid basis, with packages lasting just 30 days, so not only is it cheaper to use the phone, you are not tied down to a monthly contract commitment – why be tied down when you don’t need to be?
As well as saving money during the course of your day to day life, getting hold of a free sim is one of the first things that you need to do if you are going to be spending any significant time in a different country. If, for example, you moved from the USA to the UK, it would technically be possible to carry on using your old cell – but you would then be hit with roaming charges, making the phone very expensive to use.
However, getting a UK network contract could be difficult without having a UK bank account. Taking a free sim, and then using it in your cell would get round this problem, with the only possible hurdle being the need to ‘unlock’ the phone from your original network.
Sim only deals are designed to save you money
Phone unlocking is now easy enough – you simply enter a code into the phone. Sometimes the manufacturer will supply an unlock code for you, while if you have completed the minimum term of your original contract that network will also usually provide a code on request. If neither of these options is open, you can get phone unlocking codes from third parties online – for more information about unlocking phones visit giffgaff’sUnlockapedia.
But does this mean that you’ll have to give up your old phone number? In a word: no! All you need to do is fill in a form to get the PAC (Port Authorisation Code) from the original network operator, and pass this on to the provider of your new free sim card.