A collection of the best deals on data from mobile providers.
There are different ways of providing internet access depending on your client’s circumstances and needs, as well as your organisation’s resources and digital inclusion plan.
If you are providing limited or ad-hoc support - topping-up someone’s existing account through their current phone/internet provider is simplest and can be done remotely. See guidance on topping up someone’s phone remotely.
Depending on their provider, this may not be the best value for money or give all clients equal amounts of data for the money spent.
Easy to use
Light and compact
Not the fastest
Easy to use
Very bad sound
Slow to charge
Loads apps quickly
Drab screen lacks clarity
Sounds dull and harsh
Responsive touch controls
Lacks support for Google services
Mediocre battery life
Great battery life
Small and light
Screen could be better
Outstanding full-charge battery life
Simple to use
Terrible battery use after short charge
Cameras aren’t great
Processor isn’t very fast
External speaker is horrible
Display isn’t bad
Nicely laid-out menu
Usability issues due to lack of Google
Poor cameras and speakers
Average battery life
Weaker battery life from a short charge
Average to poor camera quality
Incredibly long-lasting battery
Fast and responsive security features
Easy to use
Front camera isn’t great
Poor quality manual
If you want better value for money and equal amounts of data for the money spent - you can purchase data-only sim card deals.
Solidaritech in West Yorkshire sometimes negotiate a bulk-buy deal of pay-as-you-go, data-only sim cards.
A data-only sim card from Smarty provides unlimited data for £17 a month (as of Nov 2021). The sim card comes with an app where you manage your data and top up. Their cheapest £6 per month deal lets you buy small amounts of data online or in shops that offer PayPoint services - £1 for 1GB – not the cheapest rate, but you only pay for what you use, rather than losing unused data at the end of the month. There is also the option to transfer your phone number across to the new Smarty sim card. However, it isn't straightforward for someone to top up someone else's account remotely.
A number of organisations that we've spoken with recommend the mobile provider Lyca, which works well for their clients.
If you want to provide data for a whole household, without having to top-up multiple devices, you could provide a new data-only sim card that can be inserted into a Mobile Broadband WiFi Router, which acts as a hub for other devices (phones, tablets, laptops) to tether to.