I am currently in the market for a sim-only phone plan, but my phone can in no way use Data. Therefore I have been hunting for any provider that still offers Data-less plans, without any luck thus far.

It's come to the point that it is taking me so long that the value of the time may outweigh the savings (though I am also looking over the edge of a sunk-cost-fallacy pit). Getting this question answered may swing me over one way or the other:

What part of a mobile plan's cost is Data, as a guideline?

  • 1
    Have you tried looking through a cell phone plan comparison tool?
    – Nosrac
    Commented Dec 6, 2017 at 13:21
  • 1
    If paying for something you're not going to use bugs you, have you considered a PAYG plan? Then you'd just never incur any data charges, just the voice and texts you actually use. Depends on your actual voice and txt usage whether it could be cheaper than a pay monthly plan though.
    – timday
    Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 14:09
  • @timday Don't most PAYG plans still have a monthly cost? That's what it seems like, anyway?
    – Weckar E.
    Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 15:24
  • Varies between providers. e.g anything you put on Vodafone's PAYG expires after a month or two if you don't use it (which makes their PAYG pretty pointless IMHO), but EE and 3 have PAYG where any credit will just sit there forever until used (maybe with a caveat about if you don't have at least one billable event - like sending a txt - in 3 or 6 months or so you'll lose your number and any credit). Don't know what the other providers do. Think UK maybe fairly unique... in other countries I've been to and picked up a PAYG SIM they all seemed to do the expires-after-a-month-or-two thing.
    – timday
    Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 18:58
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    In the end I got a call-me-only number from O2, for free!
    – Weckar E.
    Commented Dec 13, 2017 at 14:05

2 Answers 2


This won't really be easily measurable. The price of a mobile plan will be primarily driven by what the market can bear, bearing in mind competition.

Clearly there will be some kind of floor set in the long-term by the costs of actually providing the service, and mobile providers have had to invest heavily to provide fast data networks (3G/4G) with sufficient capacity to meet demand.

If there was a mobile provider that hadn't done this and so had lower investment costs to recoup, they might have a lower cost base and an incentive to offer cheaper no-data plans. But there isn't, and for all the existing providers, not offering data on just some plans won't really save them very much and will add extra administrative overhead.

So in reality if there's no competitive pressure to provide data-less plans at a lower cost than data-inclusive plans, mobile providers won't do it.

  • And thus it ends up at the old "paying for things you won't use"-problem. Thanks though, nice answer.
    – Weckar E.
    Commented Dec 6, 2017 at 13:01
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    Technical answer here - since current cell technology is all digital, there is no longer a separate voice and data infrastructure. The cell companies have no benefit to not offer a data plan because data is a part of their fixed cost.
    – pojo-guy
    Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 3:30

If your usage is minimal, then you may be best off with a pay as you go plan from a cheap operator like 1pmobile or Giffgaff.

If you are going to be using more then there are a number of £4-£5 monthly plans where a bare minimum of data is offered in addition to quite a lot of minutes/texts. The data on these plans is a negligable fraction of the cost.

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