Orange UK’s Dolphin 20 SIM only package

Seeing as it’s quite unlikely that Orange UK will have either the HTC Diamond 2 or any new Android phones out anytime soon, I have decided to take the plunge and do one of the things I set out to do in the first place:

reduce my monthly contract phone bill from £ 30 to £ 25 or less

I had never really considered SIM only packages prior to this, and a colleague of mine mentioned that they have some hefty charges if you go over the limits of the package.

Taking any SIM only Dolphin package as an example: it costs a whopping 24.5p per minute Orange-to-Orange/Landlines, but surprisingly only 19.6p per minute to other mobile networks; compared to 19.6p per minute for Orange-to-Orange on a standard monthly contract) – a difference of 5p, but percentage wise, that’s a 25% difference!

In addition to this, although going on a SIM only package does not ‘break’ your length of service with Orange (in my case 7 years plus), you cannot have Magic Numbers and you also lose out on any ‘extras’ that you might have accrued from the ‘old’ contract. Out of my current ‘bundles’ displayed below, the only item of significance:

  • 3G USIM provisioned
  • Web 250textforlife promo
  • OW Daily Capped Usage

is the Web 250textforlife. My understanding was that it meant 250 texts for life whilst I was with Orange; Chris, the helpful Scottish man from the Orange SIM only department (I think) who I spoke to today said it was only for the ‘old’ contracts.

An extra downside that he mentioned was that that you cannot upgrade within the first 3 months of a SIM only package; apparently – you ‘can’ sign a new contract but you can’t retain your number!  Terribly poo, but in the end, lured by the promise of the Dolphin 20 package recommended by Chris as suited by my usage, I decided to leap into the SIM only world.

So going back to the title of this post, Dolphin 20 offers:

  • 600 minutes Anytime, Any network (and Landlines)
  • Unlimited texts

all for £ 20 inclusive of VAT on a rolling one month contract; I should add that I actually phoned up to ask about the Racoon packages for the Unlimited Landline offer, but this was a much better option, as according to Orange, I send in excess of 200 texts per month on average, and Racoon only offers 100 texts per standard package (would have cost an extra  £ 14.70 per extra 100 texts)

So the upside is that you get a LOT of minutes for your money and Unlimited texts without being tied down to a long term contract. The downside is that you lose the ‘privileges’ earned through a continuous monthly contract, including a lack of Magic Numbers and any extras. Plus, you can’t upgrade without changing numbers in the first 3 months either.

Will the SIM only be suitable for you? I think it will do for me, but we shall see.