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A look at SIM cards and SIM only deals as the future of mobile communications

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February 8, 2013

The SIM-Only Model: The future of mobile communications?

SIM cards could very well be the future.  Well, technically speaking, they’ve been around since the mid 1990’s, however, network providers like giffgaff are now offering a revolutionary new take on the mobile telecommunications network model – and at the centre of all is the SIM card.

If there is still life left in your handset and you are happy to go on using it, then choosing a deal witha SIM-only provider likegiffgaff could be the way forward.  The giffgaff proposition is simple: it provides SIM cards – free of charge – to mobile phone customers.

It also offers incredible deals on call plans to its members.  Sounds like you’ve heard it all before, right?  Well here’s the twist: it’s a virtual provider, which operate exclusively online.  As a result, its running costs are low as it doesn’t have any expensiveshops or call centres eating into its profits.  Thus the savings are actually passed on to the customer, as is reflected in the prices of their goodybags (monthly tariffs).

But more than that, it’s a community-run network.  Every aspect of the company, including the customer service side, is run by its members, for its members.  It is an ideas forum, where members pool their knowledge for the benefit of everyone in the community.  giffgaff ensure that there is a constantly evolving abundance of relevant information readily to hand by incentivising customers who contribute with help articles and tips with extra money to spend on minutes, texts or data.

On top of this, there is no 12-month contract to tie you in.  Users roll from month to month and are free to change tariff or leave at any time.  This model turns the traditional notion of the all-powerful mobile phone companies on its head as it puts the members interests at the heart of the company.

With headlines like these, it’s understandable that some might ask, “What’s the catch?”  Usually ‘the catch’ might come in the form of poor network coverage.  But giffgaff has this one sewn up as well.  They operate on the O2 network, so have the excellent coverage you would expect from a major network.  You can check if your area is covered by heading over to the giffgaffUK Mobile Coverage checker.

This represents a radical new model for the mobile phone industry and its easy to see why this could be the future for many of us.

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