A SIM card is a small chip that fits into your device and connects it to your mobile operator’s network. Generally, this type of card has a long lifespan, and it doesn’t need to be replaced unless there is damage to it, or it requires an upgrade. Its life cycle depends upon its build quality, and these cards don’t progress as quickly as smart devices technology-wise. Thus, if you are using good quality, relatively up-to-date SIM cards, there’s no need for them to be replaced often.
People use a single SIM card for many years, say 5 to 10 years, without complaints. Unlike smartphones, you don’t need to change them every 2 to 3 years because of the lack of software updates. SIM cards don’t get outdated as quickly as smartphones. These cards can last for more than 20 years if kept with care. It should be replaced only if it is no longer working, requires an upgrade due to the latest technology, or is damaged. The possible reasons to replace your SIM card are described in the following sections.
1. If the SIM Card is Damaged
When the SIM card is marred physically or its data is corrupted and no longer works, you are left with no other option but to replace it. A damaged SIM card stops receiving a signal. The SIM may show “no service”, “no network service available” or something similar. However, make sure it is the SIM card that is damaged, and the fault doesn’t lie with the SIM slot.
A SIM card may also get damaged due to careless handling. This may result in deep scratches on its golden surface. Frequently inserting and ejecting the SIM card may result in blemishes. Keeping the SIM card somewhere where it faces friction often can result in deep gashes. Dirt, grease, oil, and even water can harm it, too. Although it’s a sturdy piece of material, it can break or wear out as well.
2. When the SIM Card is Lost or Stolen
Losing a SIM card either due to your carelessness or theft is a risky affair. The first thing you need to do is to contact your service provider and ask them to deactivate your stolen or lost SIM card immediately as the data available on it is very confidential and personal. Your SIM card can be misused if it is in the wrong hands.
After deactivating the old SIM card, get a new one from your service provider. Once the SIM card is deactivated, it is no longer of any use. To protect your SIM card from theft or loss keep it inside your device and don’t take it out frequently. If you are required to use multiple SIMs on a single device, have a SIM card kit/box designed to keep them all safe.
3. Once You Want to Change the Network
If your current service provider is no longer providing services that meet your expectations you may consider getting a SIM card from another, better-suited one. This is one of the most common causes to change the SIM cards in the competitive markets. After all, service providers keep on upgrading their service quality to lure competitors’ customers, and you’d be wise to do so.
When you change the network, you can’t use their services on your old carrier. Therefore, you have to buy the SIM card from the new mobile network operator. You can also keep several SIM cards from different service providers and use them as per your changing requirements. In such a case, you will have multiple SIM cards from different carriers and can get them replaced on a whim.
4. When Upgrading Cellular Network Technology
Switching to a more powerful network technology is a major cause of replacing your SIM card, though not as often. When your service provider launches a newer frequency for better connectivity and fast speed, your old one is inadequate at providing those benefits. For example, in today’s scenario, the 5G SIM technology is spreading fast and the consumers who want to enjoy it must get rid of their current SIM card which could be a 3G or 4G.
It is always recommended to use the latest SIM card of your carrier so that you can use the most recent technological features. However, keep in mind that to use the latest SIM card your phone must be fully upgraded. That’s because a new SIM card won’t fully function on an old version device. For instance, a 5G SIM card won’t work at its best in a 4G/LTE-supported phone, so you need to buy a 5G-compatible device.
5. If the Phone and SIM Cards are Incompatible
If you buy a brand-new version of a phone after a long time, chances are your SIM card may be unsupported. We already mentioned this, but if the SIM card is of an older version and the phone is of the latest, they both could be incompatible. This can result in some problems with their functionality or undesirably low performance. We already provided an example with 4G and 5G cellular network technologies.
Another case of incompatibility arises with carrier-locked phones. If your new smartphone’s box contains a SIM card, know that it is a carrier-locked phone, and you cannot use another carrier’s SIM card inside. For example, if your new phone is carrier-locked to Vodafone and your old SIM card comes from another carrier, you can’t employ it. A carrier-locked phone is in agreement to only work with a single carrier unless the SIM card gets unlocked.
SIM Replacement Process Description
The SIM card replacement procedure is simple. In some cases, it is free to replace the SIM card. However, in many others, you may need to pay a nominal amount. Approach your carrier’s nearest outlet with your identity proof documents and ask for a substation of your SIM card. If you have the old one, take it with you. The representative will help you exchange any SIM cards you may have on the spot after deactivating, even destroying your old ones.