Heard the SIM only news? See the work that went into recreating one of the world's most famous skylines entirely out of SIM cards...

sim only city 3

Seen the news? We’ve been busy rebuilding our SIM only plans to better suit you. If you love your current phone but want to spruce up your plan and save money at the same time, we’ve got great SIM only offerings for you starting from just £9.50 a month.

It’s a new dawn for SIM only, and to celebrate we’ve rebuilt one of the UK’s most iconic cityscapes. What happens when you spend over 200 hours with over 4,800 individual SIM cards? Read on to find out…

SIM only city

With the foundations laid and the all-important building blocks in place, our new SIM-only plans are more compelling than ever. It’s the best way to pick up a no-nonsense, great value contract that’s tailored to your mobile habits. So we wanted to do something just as unique to celebrate.

And the changing face of SIM only got us thinking. We wanted to do something big (but also small) to highlight the SIM as your phone’s beating heart. So, with a few thousand SIM cards in the cupboard, we thought we’d have some fun and build an iconic mini metropolis using these tiny strips of plastic and silicon.



But how do you go about crafting one of the world’s most recognisable urban vistas out of nothing but SIM, Micro-SIM and Nano-SIM cards? With a lot of patience, care and glue, and model-maker Neil Jones.

Neil’s main passion is metalwork, so he’s no stranger to tricky builds and meticulous construction. And that’s exactly what we needed. Over 4,800 SIMs were used to build our new vision of London. Throw in over 200 hours of patient craftsmanship in a little North Lambeth workshop and Bob’s your uncle.

“It was a bit daunting,” says Neil, a man with over ten years of crafting, carving, welding and gluing experience. “The first step for the construction was modelling all of the buildings to scale out of polyboard foam.” And that’s is no small task when they have to slot together perfectly.

“Working out the scale was one of the hardest parts, and the Shard itself was a bit of a nightmare,” says Neil, reminiscing on London’s sky-piercing landmark. “Figuring out how the buildings sat together was a real challenge.”

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All in all, it was such a challenge that what started as any other job soon evolved into a labour of love. “From the start to end it took 17 days, but I was working way more than eight hour days. Towards the end I was working until about two in the morning, doing something like 18-hour days.”

“It was worth it though,” he assures us. “It looks really good – it was a great project.” And we agree. Just like our new Vodafone SIM only plans, our SIM only city shows just what those little plastic and silicon cards are really capable of.

Step-by-step: Here’s how it took shape…

1. The bare bones of the city began to take shape as its polyfoam skeleton reached for the ceiling in Neil’s workshop. There were three boxes of SIMs, each containing no fewer than 2000 SIM cards, divided into three camps: SIM, Micro-SIM, and Nano-SIM.

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2. Neil carefully pieced together Tower Bridge, one of the three main landmark constructions in our mini metropolis, first. He had to sport a fetching pair of rubber gloves throughout, so as not to leave any grubby fingerprints on our silicon-skinned vision of London.

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3. The first fully-covered buildings nestled on the edge of a trough cut for the Thames, which we eventually filled with the shredded casings of our popped-out SIMs.

4. The buildings along London’s Southbank huddle beneath a looming figure in the background – our imposingly large model Shard. That already-iconic landmark was so big, in fact, that it alone took over 1200 SIM cards to build.

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5. By week three, Tower Bridge was virtually finished – just a couple of final turrets needed before it was all done. We decided to keep the bridge in a raised position, so that we could sail a tiny SIM boat down the Thames.

6. It was time to make what is probably the world’s most famous clock tower – the one housing Big Ben. Neil’s had previous experience of fashioning it from unlikely materials, including lemons, green beans and biscuits, so building it out of SIM cards wasn’t an entirely new experience… Even if this time he couldn’t eat the leftovers.

Go SIM only… To find out more about our new range of Vodafone SIM only plans, and to choose your perfect plan, head to vodafone.co.uk/sim-only