Guest post: Go Green with Free SIMS

Green Free SIM

In our current “throw away” society not many people will be aware that no other consumer electronic device is replaced as frequently as mobile phones. Despite the fact that most mobile phones are designed to last at least 5 Years, in Europe there are nearly 800 million mobile phone users, who on average replace their mobile phone every 18 months. This equates to about 500 million handsets a year that end up getting replaced quite needlessly.

This places mobile phones in quite a unique category, but why is there such a high turnover? The GSM Association attributes the replacement cycle as being technology driven due to customers’ desire to always have the latest model and apps, with the newest and fastest operating system. A very obvious example of this has arisen with the arrival of the Smartphone. How many of today’s users would be happy with a mobile phone without the internet?

But what are the implications on waste and recycling?  Fortunately, there are already many “green” options out there, and the Talkback mobile forum reveals that very few people actually just throw their old mobile phone in the bin. This may be because most modern mobile phones are not cheap items and people still perceive there to be residual value in them which makes people naturally want to recycle. Generally they end up in 1 of 4 places:

  • Left to languish at the back of a kitchen draw
  • Given away to family or friends
  • Returned to the network or a recycling site such as Envirofone or Mazumamobile.
  • And finally, but most importantly, most major networks are now encouraging consumers to keep their mobile phones for longer.

Environmentally Friendly Mobile

Most people may not be aware that mobile phone networks rarely make much profit from selling the mobile device itself, as most of their revenue comes from the services they offer. So encouraging the take up of purely service driven packages and deals benefits everyone, and the environment.  Networks manage to do this by offering generous incentives to customers that you just can’t get on a standard monthly or SIM only contract. Hence the growth of the PAYG Free SIM market, where companies such as O2, Orange and Vodafone make it really attractive for customers to stay with them. And the longer they stay generally the better value they receive.

Free SIM Options

O2 has just launched a new Pay and Go Go Go, Free SIM tariff which doubles the minutes, texts and data you receive after 3 months, and carries on increasing in value thereafter.

Orange offer a Free SIM and £5 credit when you TopUp £10, and you can treat a friend to a free film on Orange Wednesdays every week on a buy one get one free basis.

If you want to earn points and rewards to redeem against a whole range of goodies then Vodafone offers a great “Freebee Rewardz” scheme with their Free SIMS. Earn points when you TopUp and grab an instant reward like chocolates, DVD rental or restaurant vouchers.  Or grow your points and cash them in against something bigger like an MP3 Player or a TV.

To get the best out of keeping hold of an old phone is to get it unlocked, once the initial contract has ended. This means that customers are free to move to the network of their choice and choose the Free SIM package that most appeals.

Overall, taking this approach to promote the on-going usage of perfectly good mobile devices is a win-win scenario for all concerned. Everyone gets to save money and the networks can put a tick in the box entitled Corporate Social Responsibility. But maybe more importantly we all get to fulfil our environmentally friendly credentials.


Sheridan has a wealth of experience working in both IT and mobile phone marketing, and has a keen interest in all technological developments. She currently writes insightful articles and expert review content for GizmoBird and other blog sites about interesting events in the mobile world.



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