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5G SIM Only Deals

  • Find the best 5G SIM only deals
  • Enjoy the highest possible speeds with 5G
  • 1-month, 12-month and 24-month plans
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Lyca Mobile

Lyca Mobile SIM Deal

1 month contract

1000 minutes

unlimited texts


5G data


a month

100 International mins

Three SIM Deal

12 month contract

unlimited minutes

unlimited texts


5G data


a month

Exclusive deal
iD Mobile

iD Mobile SIM Deal

1 month contract

unlimited minutes

unlimited texts


5G data


a month

Data Rollover & Worldwide Roaming

Three SIM Deal

12 month contract

unlimited minutes

unlimited texts


5G data


a month

iD Mobile

iD Mobile SIM Deal

1 month contract

unlimited minutes

unlimited texts


5G data


a month

Data Rollover & Worldwide Roaming

Three SIM Deal

12 month contract

unlimited minutes

unlimited texts


5G data


a month


Smarty SIM Deal

1 month contract

unlimited minutes

unlimited texts


5G data


a month

EU roaming & No annual price rises
iD Mobile

iD Mobile SIM Deal

1 month contract

unlimited minutes

unlimited texts


5G data


a month

Data Rollover & Worldwide Roaming
  • Overview


Contents list

  1. Overview
  2. What is a 5G SIM and how do they work?
  3. Best 5G SIM Only deals
  4. Why SIM Only contracts are so popular
  5. Which networks offer 5G SIM only plans?
  6. Choosing the right SIM Only deal
  7. FAQs


It’s a great time to consider a 5G SIM Only deal as there are now at least 15 operators offering 5G SIM deals, with prices starting at just £4.50 a month at the time of writing. We usually have some exclusive SIM deals for you to consider as well via our SIM Only price comparison tool above.

You will need a 5G plan (such as a 5G SIM Only contract) to gain access to much faster 5G speeds on your 5G device and to access the higher network capacity and lower latency that 5G offers. The maximum 5G speed recorded in formal tests in the UK to date is around 750Mbps, but the UK average is lower at around 100-230Mbps, depending on network.

That makes 5G around 3 to 8 times faster than 4G on average, so speed is the number one reason to consider a 5G SIM Only deal over a 4G one.

In this article, we outline how to find the best 5G SIM Only deals, why SIM Only contracts are so popular, and look at the deals being offered by each individual mobile operator.

What is a 5G SIM and how do they work?

A 5G SIM card is much like a 4G SIM card, in that it’s a small card that you put in your device in order to get a mobile signal.

It works in much the same way too. The SIM card identifies you to your mobile network and allows your phone to pick up signals sent from nearby masts, so it can use them for calls, texts, and data.

You could think of a SIM card as being like a key – it gives you access to a phone number and unlocks the potential of your phone. Without one, although your phone has the hardware required to pick up a mobile signal, it will be cut off from doing so (other than for emergency calls).

Where 5G SIM cards differ from 4G ones is simply that they allow you to connect to a 5G signal – which typically offers far higher data speeds than 4G. But when no 5G is available, a 5G SIM card will still allow your phone to connect to 4G and 3G signals.

Best 5G SIM Only deals

The best 5G SIM Only deals can easily be found by using our price comparison tool above. Our best deals have been marked up as "recommended deals", and they change daily. 

We also offer exclusive 5G SIM Only deals that you won't find anywhere else and hold "flash sales", so it’s well worth coming back on a regular basis.

You can use our tool to:

  • Compare all 5G SIM Only deals from most 5G mobile operators
  • View individual operators’ best 5G SIM Only deals
  • Filter the deals to meet your exact requirements


Why SIM Only contracts are so popular

SIM Only contracts are popular because they are cheaper than opting for a new handset, since all you pay for are your allowances. So, if you already have a phone that you are happy with or have found one to buy outright at a good price, then SIM Only can be ideal.

You also benefit from shorter term contracts than a Pay Monthly plan with a phone. The latter generally lasts 24 months, while SIM Only contracts are typically either just 30 days (for ultimate flexibility) or 12 months. Though in both cases there are exceptions.

That means that usually on SIM Only you will be more frequently able to change or cancel your plan if something more fitting comes along.

Which networks offer 5G SIM only plans?

There are currently at least 15 networks offering 5G SIM only deals. These are O2, Three, Vodafone, giffgaff, Sky Mobile, Smarty Mobile, Tesco Mobile, Virgin Mobile, ASDA Mobile, iD Mobile, Lebara, Lyca Mobile, Talkmobile, EE and VOXI.

best EE 5G sim only deals

EE currently offers a number of 5G SIM Only plans, including an unlimited 5G plan which has no speed or usage restrictions in the UK (outside of a generous fair usage policy).

Some of EE’s 5G SIM Only plans come with ‘Inclusive Extras’ letting you choose between one and three extras that you keep for the duration of your contract.

In most cases you get to choose one benefit from the following options:

Apple Music, BT Sport, Netflix, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, Microsoft 365, Roam Abroad (which lets you roam in select places in Europe and beyond at no extra cost), and an Entertainment Data Pass (which lets you use select video streaming services without it affecting your data allowance). The last of those isn’t an option on unlimited data plans, since it wouldn’t be of any use.

View EE’s best 5G SIM Only deals

Best vodafone 5G sim only deals

Vodafone offers a number of 5G SIM Only plans, including some with unlimited 5G data.

The plans are available on 24-month, 12-month or 1-month contracts, and all come with unlimited minutes and texts. 

There are three different types of unlimited plan, dubbed Unlimited Lite, Unlimited and Unlimited Max, and the main difference between them is the maximum speed offered. The cheapest are Unlimited Lite plans, which offer speeds of up to 2Mbps (good for browsing, social media and music streaming), the mid-range Unlimited plans offer speeds of up to 10Mbps (enough to stream HD video), while the Unlimited Max plan has no speed restrictions (for superfast downloads and streaming in UHD).

Of these Unlimited plans, only Unlimited Max is capable of true 5G speeds, however Vodafone stands out through also offering 5G roaming in parts of Spain, Italy, Ireland, and Germany. Plus, select plans come with a subscription to an entertainment service (such as Amazon Prime, YouTube Premium or Spotify Premium) thrown in.

View Vodafone’s best 5G SIM Only deals

best Three 5G sim only deals

Three offers a wide range of 5G SIM Only plans. In fact, all of its SIM Only plans are 5G Ready at no extra cost.

Three’s SIM Only plans primarily stand out through being better value than much of the competition, and of course there’s also an unlimited data option. Three also allows you to roam in 71 destinations covering Europe and beyond at just a small daily cost.

Plus, you get access to the Three+ app, which includes discounts, offers and freebies from other brands.

View Three’s best 5G SIM Only deals

best o2 5G sim only deals

O2 also offers a wide range of 5G SIM Only plans, including some with unlimited data.

Plans also come with the standard O2 extras, such as access to O2 Priority for discounts, freebies, and early gig tickets.

View O2’s best 5G SIM Only deals

best Tesco mobile 5G sim only deals

Tesco Mobile, which uses O2's network, offers a range of 5G SIM Only plans on 12 and 24-month contracts.

At the time of writing these plans all come with unlimited minutes and texts, and they top out at unlimited data.

View Tesco Mobile's best 5G SIM Only deals

best VOXI 5G sim only deals

VOXI, which uses Vodafone’s network, currently offers a number of 5G SIM Only plans, including one with unlimited data. Opt for one with a data limit and there are also extras to help your data go further, in the form of ‘Unlimited Video’ (which comes with most plans and lets you stream content on YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, TikTok, My5, TVPlayer, Twisted Mirror and UKTV Play without it coming out of your data allowance), and ‘Unlimited Social Media’, which comes with all limited data plans and lets you use Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook Messenger without it using your data allowance.

These plans are all just 30 days long, so you aren’t tied into a lengthy contract, and VOXI also stands out through offering 5G roaming in the same places as Vodafone.

View VOXI’s best 5G SIM Only deals

best giffgaff 5G sim only deals

Giffgaff (which uses O2’s network) offers 5G as standard on all of its SIM Only plans.

These plans come with up to unlimited data, but beyond that giffgaff mainly stands out simply by offering competitively low prices and flexible one-month plans.

View giffgaff’s best 5G SIM Only deals

best sky 5G sim only deals

Sky Mobile (an O2 MVNO) also offers 5G on SIM Only, but to get it at the time of writing you have to order a 4G plan and then add 5G through a free add-on.

Data limits are low compared to some networks, but so are prices, and Sky Mobile comes with handy extras like the ability to roll over your unused data for up to three years, so it doesn’t go to waste, and for Sky TV customers to use Sky TV apps on mobile without it eating into their data allowance.

And while Sky Mobile’s 5G SIM Only plans are all 12 months long, you have the ability to change your allowances every month.

View Sky’s best 5G SIM Only deals

best Virgin 5G sim only deals

Virgin Mobile offers 30-day rolling plans with the same coverage as O2. It was a Vodafone MVNO and existing customers may still be using Vodafone’s coverage at the time of writing, but new ones will be using O2. Its plans additionally come with unlimited minutes and texts, and if you pick a plan without unlimited data you can also benefit from data rollover. 

View Virgin Mobile’s best 5G SIM Only deals

best ASDA mobile 5G sim only deals

ASDA Mobile (which uses Vodafone’s 5G coverage) offers a selection of affordable 30-day 5G SIM Only plans, so it’s good value and you’re not tied into a contract.

It also offers plans with unlimited data, but some have speed caps, so for no significant restrictions choose the ‘up to 150Mbps’ one.

View ASDA Mobile’s best 5G SIM Only deals

best iD Mobile 5G sim only deals

iD Mobile (which uses Three’s 5G infrastructure) has a selection of 1-month, 12-month and 24-month 5G SIM Only plans, all of which come with unlimited minutes and texts, and some of which come with unlimited data.

They additionally offer data rollover, and both Wi-Fi Calling and 4G Calling, so you can seamlessly call over Wi-Fi or 4G.

View iD Mobile’s best 5G SIM Only deals

Lebara mobile

Lebara offers 5G on its plans at no extra cost, and it also includes plans with unlimited data. It uses the Vodafone network, and its plans are all just 30 days long, so there’s no contract.

How Lebara really stands out though is by also offering international minutes to 42 countries on its plans, so it’s a great network for those with friends or family abroad.

View Lebara’s best 5G SIM Only deals

Smarty 5G

Smarty Mobile runs on Three’s network and offers 5G as standard across its SIM Only plans. Like most networks you can also get unlimited data, and Smarty is competitively priced.

Smarty also doesn’t do credit checks, and it includes unlimited minutes and texts with every plan.

View Smarty’s best 5G SIM Only deals

Lyca mobile sim only deals

Lyca Mobile runs on O2’s network and offers a selection of 5G SIM Only plans, most of which last just 30 days.

It stands out primarily through offering international minutes, so you can call abroad at no extra cost, and like many networks there are also plans with unlimited data.

View Lyca Mobile’s best 5G SIM Only deals

Talk mobile sim only deals

Talkmobile is owned and operated by Vodafone, so it offers 5G in all the same places. It’s designed as a simple, affordable network, so prices are low and many of its SIM Only plans last just 30 days (though there are 12-month options too).

However, while it offers 5G roaming, it’s light on other extras, and doesn’t offer any plans with unlimited data.

View Talkmobile’s best 5G SIM Only deals

Choosing the right 5G SIM Only deal

There are a number of important things to consider when choosing a 5G SIM only deal.

One important factor is which network has 5G coverage in your area. You can quickly compare 5G coverage in your area on all networks using our coverage checker.

Another thing to consider is how much data, minutes and texts you need per month. You may end up using more data on 5G than you do currently, as you'll be able to stream in higher quality and browse faster. Our helpful guide should help you determine how much data you need. 

Budget is also a consideration, and that’s why it’s important to compare deals across all networks to ensure you get the best deal available.

Beyond allowances, prices and coverage, there are plenty of other things to consider when choosing a network for 5G SIM Only, as they all offer different things.

One obvious point of comparison is free roaming availability, as not all networks offer free roaming anymore, and not all in the same places. Plus, Vodafone, Asda,Talkmobile and VOXI let you roam at 5G speeds in a number of places, while other networks don’t at the time of writing.

Tethering is another thing you might want to consider if you plan to use your phone to get other devices online, like you would with a 5G broadband device, though all 5G networks now allow this with few to no restrictions beyond your data allowance.

There are then things that are unique to specific networks. For example, some of EE and Vodafone’s plans come with a subscription to an entertainment service of your choice, while O2 offers a Priority app and service full of competitions, freebies, and discounts.


Will a 5G SIM card work in a 4G phone?

Yes, a 5G SIM card will work in a 4G phone. However, it will only be able to provide a 4G signal at most. For 5G speeds you’ll need a 5G phone. As stated above, 4G speeds are roughly 3 to 8 times slower than 5G, and to be future-proof it’s always best to get a 5G SIM right away.

What happens if I’m not in a 5G coverage area?

If you’re not in a 5G coverage area then your phone will revert to a 4G, 3G or 2G signal, depending on what coverage is available, just as 4G phones will revert to 3G or 2G when needed.

However, if you don’t live or work in an area that currently has 5G coverage then you might want to wait before getting a 5G SIM deal anyway, since you probably won’t benefit much until you do have coverage.

The current situation with 5G coverage in the UK is as follows:

Operators which have launched 5G plus MVNOs

Number of towns and cities

EE (BT, CMLink)

350 live on EE

O2 (giffgaff, Sky, Tesco, Lyca, Virgin)

750 live on O2

Three (iD, Smarty)

487  live on Three

Vodafone (ASDA, Lebara, VOXI)

161 live on Vodafone 

Note however that the location numbers don’t tell the whole story, and may not be up to date, as networks don’t regularly provide an updated total. In practice, Three and EE both likely have more 5G coverage than O2.

Can I keep my number when switching to 5G?

Yes, you can keep your number when switching to 5G and the process is simple.

If you’re upgrading on your current network then your number will stay the same anyway, but if moving network you just need to request your PAC code from your old network (while the number is still active), then activate your new SIM if you haven’t already, and tell your new network your PAC code and old number.

Requesting your PAC code can be done by texting ‘PAC’ to 65075 from the number that you want to keep. Giving the code to your new network is usually done via on online form, but the exact process will vary from network to network. If in doubt, give your new network a call.

What SIM card size do I need?

No matter what network you choose, you should receive a customisable SIM card that can be made to fit a SIM card slot of any size. These are variously called a Multi SIM, Combi SIM, Trio SIM, and other things, but they’re all the same idea, so you don’t need to worry about requesting a specific size or using an adaptor.

What is the cheapest 5G SIM Only deal?

The cheapest 5G SIM Only deal regularly changes, but plans can sometimes be found for as little as around £5 per month. You can compare all the cheapest plans in the deals table above.

Do 5G SIMs cost more?

Generally, 5G SIMs don’t cost any more than 4G ones. While some networks initially charged a premium for 5G, it usually now comes as standard.

However, this isn’t universally true. On some networks you have to specifically select a 5G plan, and these can be more expensive than the 4G ones.

Types of SIM Only contracts?

  • Monthly 5G SIM only contract

A monthly 5G SIM Only contract is a plan that renews every 30 days – meaning that you can also cancel or change your plan whenever you want, for ultimate flexibility. However, these plans are often more expensive than longer-term SIM Only plans.

To find these plans, just select ‘1 month’ under the contract length dropdown above.

  • Data only SIM contract

A data only SIM contract is a SIM Only plan that comes with a data allowance but no minutes or texts. These contracts are designed for use with mobile broadband devices, tablets and dongles, where data is needed but minutes aren’t.

For full details and all the latest and best data only SIM deals, head to our data only SIM page.

  • Unlimited data SIM contract

An unlimited data SIM contract is a SIM Only plan that comes with unlimited data. Many networks offer these and they’re ideal for heavy users who download or stream a lot.

For all the latest and best deals, head to our unlimited data SIM page.

  • Pay As You Go SIMs

A Pay As You Go SIM card is one with no contract at all – you just pay for the allowances that you use. Some optionally allow you to buy a bundle of minutes, texts and data though, making them more like a 30-day SIM Only plan. Pay As You Go is great for maximum flexibility, but a SIM Only plan is usually better value.

  • eSIM cards

Some networks offer SIM Only plans via eSIMs. These are embedded SIM cards that you can’t remove from your phone. There are lots of advantages to these, including the ability to essentially change SIM cards without changing phone, and to have multiple mobile networks stored on a single eSIM. However, not all phones have eSIMs and not all networks support them.

For more information, check out our guide to which operators offer eSIMs.

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