Well, it has happened again. Just like at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK finds itself stuck in a country wide lockdown. And in a bid to make life slightly easier, a host of phone networks are offering select benefits for this time.
Depending on which network you're with, these benefits will come in different forms. Almost all are offering free access to the NHS website, some are giving out unlimited minutes to select groups and some, unfortunately, have remained the same.
So what exactly is your network offering right now? We've broken down all of the available networks and their new features below so you can see how your phone contracts or SIM only plans might have changed.
The benefits from the main networks:
As the most popular UK network, EE is likely going to be the one most people are interested in. As we enter a new lockdown EE is offering: free calls to 101 (non-emergency police services), no data usage when using NHS online, free online courses to help you work from home and boosted security for EE business customers. And just like in the first lockdown, EE is extending its unlimited data offer for NHS workers until June 2021. That, as it sounds, allows NHS to upgrade for free to an unlimited plan for a temporary period.
Anyone on O2 can get onto the NHS website without using up data and is promising to keep its network as reliable as possible during this time. You can also access a wide range of other websites without using data including finacial advice, mental health support, Age UK and more (a full list can be found on the O2 website).
If you're on Three, using NHS websites doesn't use up data. Three has also promised to keep you connected even if you can't pay your bills. Contact 333 from your Three phone to discuss this with Three. Finally, schools, trusts and local authorities can request mobile data increases for children/young people who do not have broadband, can't afford data boosts, are experiencing a disruption to their education.
Tesco has done the same as almost all other networks in the fact that you can now access to the NHS website and government guidance without using up data.
Past that, Tesco has also given its customers free evening and weekend calls to all of its customers, no matter what kind of phone plan you're on.
What are the best SIM only deals to invest in:
Looking to switch networks? Luckily there are a number of great options out there right now. Use our SIM only deals guide to see them all in full or see our favourites below:
- EE: 100GB of data for £20 a month
- Smarty: 50GB of data for £15 a month
- Three: unlimited data for £16 a month
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Alex is a journalist who has written extensively about all things broadband, SIMs and phone contracts, as well as scouring the internet to land you the best prices on the very latest in gadgets and tech. Whether that be with the latest iPhones and Android handsets, breaking down how broadband works or revealing the cheapest SIM plans, he's in the know, and will help you land a bargain.