SIMs for Tablets: stay online while out and about

Tablets have come a long way in a short time. Nowadays, whether it’s an Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab or other device from recent years, there’s a good chance it will be capable of a cellular connection. This means a tablet could connect to the internet by using the service provided by mobile networks, even in the absence of a WiFi connection. You can set this up with a data SIM.

What is a data SIM?

A data SIM is a SIM card on a plan that only provides a mobile data allowance, so you won’t be able to use them to make calls or send texts. This makes them a great choice to use in devices that don’t need this functionality, so they’re not only great for tablets, but also MiFi devices or even cars with built-in SIM card slots (you can read more about this in our Car WiFi blog post).

Benefits of having a tablet SIM


Perhaps the biggest strength of data SIMs is the convenience they provide - simply insert them into the tablet you want to connect to the internet on and you’ll be good to go, with a lot less malarkey! As previously mentioned, they may also work in devices other than tablets, opening up a wide range of uses – for example, if your smartwatch has a SIM slot, you could take your music and messages with you on a run, without the need to carry a cumbersome phone around (if you’re interested in running tech, we recently wrote about some options in our Global Running Day blog post).

Independent connectivity

Having a data SIM in your tablet removes its reliance on other devices for a connection. This may be preferable to hotspotting from another device such as your phone, as this can be demanding in terms of performance, battery and data usage. Having your own connection to a mobile network will likely also preferable to connecting to public WiFi for various reasons:

• Data on mobile networks is encrypted, offering greater security.

• You can avoid any charges that may apply for using a public network.

• Your internet connection will likely be faster and more reliable.


Like on mobile phones with the functionality, many tablets will allow you to tether the connection to the mobile network, so it can act as a useful hotspot if looking to connect various devices to the internet in the absence of a WiFi router. Find out more about tethering in our hotspotting blog post. Although the post focuses on phones, the steps will likely be similar (if not the same) on tablets, given they tend to use similar operating systems to their phone counterparts.

Using mobile data on a tablet

If you’re planning to use mobile data on an Apple iPad or Samsung Galaxy tablet, here’s what to do:

Turn on mobile data on an Apple iPad

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Go to Mobile Data.
  3. Toggle Mobile Data on.

Turn on mobile data on an Samsung Galaxy tablet

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Go to Connections.
  3. Go to Data Usage.
  4. Toggle Mobile Data on.

SMARTY Data SIM deals

Here at SMARTY, we offer a set of data only plans at a range of prices and data allowances. Every plan is a one-month plan, giving you the flexibility to change or cancel your plan whenever you want – although with each plan coming with superfast 5G & 4G, up to 12GB of EU Roaming included at no extra cost and more, there are plenty of reasons to love SMARTY!

  • SMARTY Team
  • August 29th, 2023