Got asked about your SIM card carrier, and realized you have no idea what it is? Although hard to believe, it’s not uncommon, especially if you use a prepaid SIM card or a pay as you go SIM card. That way, you can just top up credits when needed, and never pay attention to the carrier’s name. Another common example is if you aren’t the one paying the bill or if you pay the bill electronically or online. Furthermore, Android and iOS got rid of the carrier name from the home page a long time ago. With that said, we trust you’ll pay closer attention from now on. Let’s get into how to identify SIM card carrier.
1. Check your bill
Speaking of bills, that’s likely the quickest and easiest way to find a carrier’s name, especially if you’re a postpaid SIM card user. With monthly fees and a yearly or bi-yearly contract, you likely receive an envelope in the mail. Or, if you pay electronically, a monthly bank statement about your expenses.
2. Check the package your SIM card arrived in
We know you might have thrown the SIM card package away or that it sits in a dusty closet. After all, there’s not much use for it after you punch the required SIM card size out of it. But do try to find it, since it can save you from going through methods 3 and 4. First of all, the carrier’s name and logo are most likely plastered on the full-size SIM card or the mini-SIM card. Second of all, you can read the ICCID and the phone number, or one of the two, since they’re printed on it. Find the bar code, the ICCID should be close to it, likely below. As you’ll see below, you can use the SIM card number, which typically has 18 numbers (and a lot of zeros) too.
3. Use your phone number to identify SIM card carrier
We already mentioned one method to get a SIM card phone number. Here are 9 more ways to check SIM card phone number. Now that you have it, here are 2 easy ways to discover the name of your SIM card carrier:
Analyze the phone number
Each major carrier registers an Issuer Identifier Number (IIN) when building their network, so look it up online. Here’s an example of a phone number issued by AT&T: +011507551374. The first two numbers signify the country code, in this case, 1 or 01, for the United States. The next 2 or 3 numbers, 150 in this case, signify the IIN, helping you recognize the carrier. We’ll list a few more examples below since they are a part of the ICCID too.
Use an online carrier database
There are plenty of international databases that allow for a free carrier lookup. As an example, here’s how to find your carrier’s name by using Dexatel’s database:
- Open Dexatel Carrier Lookup in your browser.
- Enter your phone number in the first field without a country code.
- Select your country from the drop-down list.
- Click on Check.
4. Identify SIM card carrier using ICCID
If you found your ICCID through physical means, proceed to the explanation or a lookup tool. If not, we listed the instructions to find IMEI, ESN, and MEID numbers as part of our CDMA SIM card article. Check the headline titled How to check whether the smartphone uses CDMA. The steps are identical – ICCID will be displayed alongside those numbers. Now, pick between these 2 methods to deduct your SIM card carrier’s name from ICCID:
Use an online lookup tool
Analyze the number
Here’s an example ICCID – 891288152967705. You should only care about the bolded part, but it might be at a different position. The 89 number is the Major Industry Identifier (MII) and separates SIM cards from other types of MOS chips, so it never changes. The next 1 to 3 numbers represent the country code. In this case, it could be written as 01 or 1 for the United States. The bolded part represents IIN we mentioned above. In this case, 288 for AT&T.
How to pinpoint a SIM card carrier from the IIN
It’s obvious why a cloud-based search is superior. The manual way includes looking up IINs in your country, then matching them with your ICCID or phone number to pick out a SIM card carrier. Here are a few examples of Issuer Identifier Number for the United States:
- AT&T – 030, 150, 170, 253, 283, 410, 560, 680
- T-Mobile – 026, 160, 210, 230, 240, 260, 270, 310, 490, 580
- Verizon – 004, 005, 012, 433, 444, 480, 483, 486, 487, 489, 808
- Sprint – 120, 333, 877