SIM cards are very critical, especially for people who use GSM phones. Also, modern CDMA phones require a SIM card to enable them to get access to 4G LTE and 5G networks. The primary role of a SIM card is to allow the phone to access the network towers of your carrier. This enables users to access the phone service provided by the carrier, like texting, calling, or browsing. Fortunately, network carriers do not restrict users from using their SIM cards on another phone. However, for that to work, your phone must be unlocked and compatible with your SIM card network. After putting your SIM card on another phone, users are left curious about what will happen afterward.
This article will answer your question and prepare you for what to expect if you put SIM card in another phone. Besides, we will tell you things to consider before changing your SIM card, among other vital areas. However, before we dive into that, let us know the primary role of a SIM card in your phone. Come with us to the tutorial!
Role Of a SIM Card
As mentioned above, a SIM card is a chip you insert into your phone to access your carrier’s network. It comes in three size dimensions, standard, micro, and Nano. This chip is the one that houses all the phone settings that are linked to your phone. That is why the new phone always rings when someone calls you upon changing your SIM card to another phone. The SIM card allows your phone to send messages, receive calls, and access internet services. On other occasions, the SIM card stores contacts.
If you have a GSM phone, it is easy to put in a new SIM card and operate normally as long it has been unlocked. The people using old-generation CDMA phones, the chip is irremovable because it is mounted on your phone’s hardware. This makes the CDMA phone unlocking process hard. Fortunately, for the modern CDMA phone, you can use a SIM card to access the 4G LTE and 5G networks.
As you have seen, SIM cards play a significant role in your phone to access the carrier’s network and link you to the person you are communicating with. Secondly, not all phones accept SIM cards, so you must research to know if your phone is one of them. So, what are some of the factors that you should consider before you change your SIM card? The section below will examine some critical factors you must consider before switching your SIM card.
What Will Happen, If I Put My SIM Card In Another Phone
To help you understand what happen when you put your SIM card into another phone, let us look at the scenarios where one can find themselves. There are only three scenarios that you can consider;
- Put the SIM card into a phone locked in the same carrier as your previous network carrier.
- Putting the SIM card into an unlocked phone.
- Putting a SIM card on a different carrier.
Those are the only three factors that will guide us in answering your question, “what will happen if I put my SIM card in another phone?” So, let us dive into these three scenarios one by one.
- Same carrier: If you want to switch your SIM card to a mobile phone locked in the same carrier, your phone will work perfectly. For instance, if you wish to change your SIM card from a Verizon phone to another locked Verizon phone, the card will work perfectly. The same applies to all the other network carriers, like Sprint, Cricket, and AT&T, if you want to change SIM cards to phones locked to specific carriers.
- Different carrier: Putting a SIM card into a phone that has been locked to another carrier will not work for you. For example, if you put a Cricket SIM card on a Verizon phone, you will be unable to access the essential services of Cricket. This means you will not send or receive texts, make phone calls, or even access internet services from Cricket.
- SIM unlocked phone: If you have an unlocked phone or factory unlocked, it will work with any SIM card. Factory-unlocked phones can work with any network carrier around the world. Kindly note that if your carrier gives you a phone in your package will not allow you to use another SIM card. However, some carriers usually unlock your phone automatically after 60 days to allow you to use any SIM card. You can request the carrier to unlock your phone though you might be required to pay for the unlocking process.
Reasons for If You Put Your SIM Card In Another Phone, And It Won’t Work
Have you put a SIM card on your phone, which seems not to be working? Here are some reasons why it is not working with your new phone.
SIM is locked to a different carrier
As we saw above, your SIM card will not work if your phone has been locked to another network carrier. You only need to unlock the phone to solve the problem by requesting the carrier to unlock it. Additionally, you can look for another unlocked phone, insert the SIM card, and enjoy the services from your carrier.
In most cases, you might get a phone under a contract, meaning the carrier will require you to use its plan for a particular duration. The carrier will lock your phone to ensure you do not run away from its services before the contract expires. SIM lock typically means that you will only use the SIM card on the phone from the carrier, and the phone will work with a SIM card from the specific carrier.
The SIM card is faulty
Your SIM card will not work on another phone if it is defective. After using your SIM card for a long, it may become worn out and start selecting phone devices. Additionally, your SIM can become faulty if the SIM plate of your phone becomes dirty.
So, if such happens, you can insert it into your old phone to confirm whether it is working. Besides, you can remove the SIM card and rub the chip with alcohol before you put it back on your devices. Also, you can look for an expert to clean the SIM card plate of your phone and remove the dirt, and the phone will start working.
The frequency does not support the SIM card
Your SIM card will not work if you put it into another phone whose frequency is not compatible with the SIM card. Frequency is crucial because it is the radio signal the carrier will send for your phone to connect and allow you to access phone services. When such happens, you will be forced to return the phone and get a new phone. This is because such phones cannot be unlocked or factory reset, which is more frustrating. Fortunately, most recent phones’ frequencies and bands are compatible with SIM cards.
Those are the reasons why your SIM card is not working on your phone. If you face such a challenge, you can contact your carrier’s customer service and seek help. How do I make my SIM card work with any phone to avoid all these problems? The following section will show you the easiest way of making your SIM card work with any phone. Let us quickly dive into it and unravel the magic.
Way to Make A SIM Card Work on Any Phone
The only way to make your SIM card work on every phone is when the phone is unlocked. A SIM card will not work on another phone if the phone has been locked to another carrier different from the SIM card. So, the phone must be unlocked for your SIM card to send and receive calls and texts.
To unlock your phone, kindly liaise with your network carrier and request them to unlock it if possible. Kindly note that you may have to part with some coins for them to unlock your phone. However, you may have to wait until your contract expires, and the network carrier will unlock the phone automatically.
Factors To Consider Before Switching SIM Card
Have you gotten yourself a new phone and considering changing the SIM card to the new one? Before you switch the SIM card to your new iPhone or Android, here are some key things you need to consider;
- If your phone is unlocked : Switching SIM cards with most unlocked phones is no problem as long the phone is compatible with your network carrier. The same thing applies when you want to start using another network carrier. However, if your phone is locked to a specific network carrier, it will be challenging to switch your SIM card. In such a scenario, you will only switch your SIM card to the same network carrier. Besides, you can request your carrier to unlock the phone if you want to use it with a different network carrier.
- If the SIM card is on the same network carrier : If your phone is locked on a network carrier, you must ensure the SIM card you want to switch is from the same carrier. For example, using a T-Mobile SIM card will be impossible if your phone is locked to the AT&T network. But as mentioned above, if your phone is unlocked, you can switch T-Mobile, AT&T, and Cricket SIM cards without any challenge. This means you can receive and make calls and browse where applicable.
- SIM card slot : The last but not least factor you should consider is the SIM card slot of your phone. If your SIM card is of standard size, you need a phone that allows standard SIM cards. For instance, a micro-SIM card will never enter your phone that is sized to permit only Nano-SIM cards. Most modern phones do not use standard SIM cards but Nano SIM cards which is a challenge if you have such a size.
Kindly consider those key factors before switching your SIM card to another phone. Do you meet those factors? Let us look at what will happen if you put the SIM card on another phone. Keep reading!
Frequently Ask Questions
Can You Put Any SIM Card Into an Unlocked Phone?
Yes. Your phone will work perfectly with any unlocked phone regardless of the network carrier you use. As mentioned earlier, your SIM card will not work on a phone locked to a different carrier. However, you use any SIM card on any phone as long it is unlocked.
Will my number be the same if I put my SIM card in another phone?
Yes. After inserting your SIM card into another phone, your number remains the same. The SIM card is the one that carries the phone number that is used to identify a specific phone by a carrier. Network carriers mostly use the number on your SIM card to identify your phone on their network. In short, your phone is typically linked to the SIM card and not the phone.
Will my phone carrier be notified if I switch my SIM card to another phone?
Yes. Your network provider can notice when you insert the SIM card into another phone. This is possible mainly because of the IMEI, a unique number for every phone. Once you put the SIM card in another phone, the network carrier will notice a change in the IMEI code. Depending on the circumstances, the carrier may decide to notify you. However, in most cases, you will not get a notification from them. They will keep the information and use data for marketing themselves.
What Happens If a SIM Card Is Inserted into A Locked Phone?
Two things will likely happen when you insert a SIM card on a locked phone. If the phone is locked to the same carrier as the SIM card, it will work perfectly, and you can access all the phone services. However, if the phone has been locked to another carrier different from the SIM card, it will not work.
Can I Put My SIM Card on Another Phone Temporarily?
Yes. You are generally allowed to temporarily use your SIM card on another phone if the phone is unlocked or locked in the same carrier. You must also ensure the SIM card is compatible with the phone you are switching the SIM card. Using your SIM card on the phone temporarily is not different from using the old phone.
What Does Android and iPhone Factory Unlock Mean?
A factory unlocking for android and iPhone means you can use the phone from around the world. This differs from phone unlock because a phone can only be unlocked in the United States. In most cases, when you unlock a phone, you can only use it with all the networks in that specific country. However, factory-unlocked phones can be used with any SIM card from any part of the world without facing issues.
If I Put My SIM Card in Another Phone, Will It Save My Contacts?
Your contacts will only be saved on another phone if you had saved them in the SIM card before switching. If they are already saved in the SIM card, import them to your phone after you put in the SIM card. However, most modern phones store nothing on the SIM card, even the contacts. Your contacts are usually stored on your Google account for Android users and iCloud for iPhone users.
So, if you want to get your contacts from a new phone after inserting a new SIM card, you will have to link the phone with the email you used on the previous phone. If the contacts are not saved, you will be forced to enter them manually into the Google account. After successfully entering the contacts into your cloud account, link it to your new phone and call your friends.
If I Put My SIM Card in Another Phone, What Will Happen to WhatsApp?
WhatsApp is not affected by the change of phone number or SIM card. The application will work as usual on either phone, even if the SIM card has been removed. This means you can keep WhatsApp on your previous phone or install it on the new one. However, before you install WhatsApp on the new phone, you must back up all the data. This will make it possible for you to restore your messages from the old phone to the new phone. Kindly ensure you are connected to the internet when backing up your WhatsApp data, or backup will be locally available.
Do I Lose Data When I Change SIM Cards on a Phone?
You can only lose contact data once you change the SIM cards; that happens if you save them on the SIM card. Otherwise, it is impossible to lose data like videos, photos, and documents by simply changing a SIM card. Mostly, you will lose data if you lose your phone and have not backed up the data in the cloud. You will still access videos and photos from your phone even after replacing your SIM card.