How does a SIM card actually work?

1 minute, 21 seconds Read

It’s easy to overlook the significance of a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card. These little pieces of technology are quite impressive. They serve as the bridge connecting your data to the network enabling you to make phone calls and use data on your phone. Additionally they provide a layer of security. For details on a Multi Network Sim Card, consider

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Inside a SIM card there is a chip that holds two types of information; an IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity) and an ICCID (Integrated Circuit Card Identifier). The IMSI links your handset activity to your account within the network while the ICCID identifies you as the user.

The process known as MNP (Mobile Number Portability) connects your number with the IMSI allowing you to keep your phone number when switching networks. The SIM cards Authentication Key or Ki which is securely stored within it plays a role in this process.

During device activation with your operator they retrieve the IMSI and ICCID from your SIM card, comparing them against their database. This verification enables them to confirm that it is indeed you who is attempting to log on. If the SIM card matches it means that it has been authenticated and you will be able to connect to the network.

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Another useful feature of a SIM card is its ability to store an amount of data. This comes in handy when switching phones and not wanting to add all your contacts. Additionally it can hold information related to your network, such as dialling numbers and the name of your service provider.

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