ICCID stands for Integrated Circuit Card Identifier, and every SIM card has a unique one. It consists of a set of 18 to 22 numeric characters that should not be confused with the IMEI number. An IMEI is a unique identification number of your mobile device, while this one is a unique identification number of your SIM card. Most consumers never care about the SIM card’s ICCID number, as it is rarely useful for them unless there is a technical error.
In case of technical issues, the technician or your service provider takes help from the ICCID number. That’s why most users don’t even pay attention to this number. In fact, for them, it’s just a series irrelevant of numbers. But no information on your SIM card is useless. The ICCID number also has its uses. In the following sections, you will learn about it in great detail.
Where can I find the ICCID number?
The 18 to 22-digit ICCID number is mostly printed on your SIM card, no matter what company it belongs to. You may also find it printed on the package/kit that you snap your SIM card out of. All the SIM card packets have this number printed on them too, along with the bar code and MSISDN number (your phone number). If you don’t want to bother to look at the ICCID number on the SIM card or its packet, then you may also find it in the Settings menu of your device in which the SIM card is inserted.
What is the meaning of an ICCID number?
As already mentioned, an ICCID is a string of 18 to 22 characters. These numbers are divided into four sets. The first two digits are always 89 in every ICCID number. This is an industry code that signifies that this product belongs to the telecommunications industry. The next one to six digits belongs to the country code. These country codes are defined by the International Telecommunications Union. For example, if the SIM card belongs to the US or Canada, then the country code will be 1. If it belongs to India, the country code will be 91.
The next one to four digits after the country code belong to the mobile network code (MNC). This code is of the mobile operator to which the SIM belongs. For example, if the code is 004, it belongs to Verizon Wireless. In the same way, every telecom operator has its unique one to four digits code. The final set of remaining digits is unique to each SIM card. This marks the identity of your SIM card as entirely different from any other SIM card in the world. This allows you to view a specific SIM in the SIM manager, interact with your service provider’s customer support team, cancel or activate service on your SIM, and more.
How service providers use ICCID numbers
Once you enter your SIM card into the device to use cellular connectivity, the SIM card starts searching for cellular networks. After it detects available ones, it uses ICCID and IMSI number to know if the device has the right to access the cellular network it has detected. If all goes well, you can use the cellular services, otherwise, you can only call emergency numbers.
ICCID number is useful to identify your SIM among all the existing SIM cards. No SIM card comes without such a number, whether it is a physical SIM card or an embedded SIM. It is also important to understand the differences between distinct kinds of numbers associated with a SIM card like MSISDN, IMSI, ICCID, and so on. You can get more information about the uses of a SIM card to better understand the topic.