For a while now I have had a separate contract for my phone and mobile network, purchasing my iPhone directly from Apple and having the freedom to go for whichever sim only deal suits my needs.
Before the pandemic I switched from O2 (after being with them for more than 10 years) due to suffering a number of network outages and slow speeds in the Manchester area where I worked. I moved to the 3 network, with unlimited everything for £20 per month on an 18 month contract.
Typically 3 put the price up at the 12 month mark and wanted to do the same again this year. While the increase wasn’t massive, it was enough to make me look at the deals on offer. This is when I found Smarty. Smarty is a MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) owned by 3 and using the 3 network. They are a hybrid pay-as-you go platform, meaning you subscribe and pay via credit or debit card or paypal in advance, so no credit check and no lengthy contract. You can change your tariff on a monthly basis too.
I ordered my sim card and it arrived promptly within 2 working days. I then used the new “text to leave” service to request my PAC code from 3, supplied this to Smarty in the online dashboard and the next working day my number was ported over.
I started with the unlimited package at £20 per month, however since I am working from home and connected to WiFi most of the time, I have reduced this to the £6 Unlimited Calls, Unlimited Messages and 4GB data plan. Additional 1GB chunks can be added for £1 each or I can upgrade at the end of current billing period.
Everything is managed online, using a clean and easy to use dashboard at smarty.co.uk, however at the time of writing they don’t have an app, but this is something they are working on. Support is online only, which may be a negative for some, however for me this is generally my preferred option nowadays.
You get the most of the same features as you do with the 3 network, 4G and 3G support, however Smarty does not yet provide a 5G service, it is however working on this and hopefully should be available by the end of 2021 or early 2022.
For me unlimited calls and texts for £6 is a bargain, plus having the ability to scale up as life goes back to normal, or scale down again as required is a huge positive and while the savings against the 3 contract I had aren’t massive, it is better in my pocket than theirs. Smarty seems more competitive than other services (such as GifGaff and Voxi) and for this reason, I would highly recommend.