Published on Wednesday, September 26, 2012

UK sales of SIM-only mobile contracts set a new record

Over 250,000 SIM-only mobile contracts were taken up in the UK during July 2012, the highest figure since research company GfK began keeping records. It means customers committed themselves to over 150,000 years of mobile phone use in that one month.

GfK says the increase in SIM-only sales is part of a trend away from pre-paid mobile phone deals and towards ‘pay monthly’ contracts, driven by the availability of tariffs costing less than £10 per month. It also noted that longer-term SIM-only contracts are becoming more popular, with 12-month deals overtaking one-month rolling contracts as the most popular tariff.

In addition, increasing smartphone penetration combined with financial concerns are leading some customers to save money by moving onto a SIM-only deal when their initial contract term is over but their smartphone remains desirable.

Ben Tutt, GfK account manager, said “As the economy remains uncertain, SIM only contracts are an attractive cheaper option than a new handset deal, or to shelling out a big upfront cost for a prepaid device. Furthermore, the networks are providing ever-cheaper SIM deals. These offer data, as well as minutes and texts, as post-paid customers provide more revenue than prepaid ones. As the telecoms industry advances, customers are becoming increasingly savvy to the technology, and networks are able to advertise SIM card deals without fear of confusing the viewer.”

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