Without a SIM card, a cell phone can’t perform its basic function of calling and texting. In today’s world of high-end communication technology, it is hard to imagine our lives without our smartphones and other portable devices. The phone needs a SIM card to function, and it is very crucial to find out what type of SIM card is suitable for your needs. Even when all the SIM cards seem to be similar, they have many differences. So, you must be very careful at the time of purchase. You need to be clear about your needs and preferences and your device’s compatibility to choose an appropriate SIM card.
There are different types of SIM cards. They differ on different bases. They can be different:
- On the basis of size
- On the basis of connectivity
- On the basis of billing
Differences on the Basis of Size
The size of the SIM card is very important to know before you purchase it. What kind of SIM card you should buy depends upon your device’s slot size. Presently, cell phone manufacturers are producing smaller and smaller sizes of SIM card slots to save space.
Ways to know what size SIM card you have:
There are 3 major kinds of SIM card dimensions:
- Standard or Mini-SIM: 25×15×0.76 mm
- Micro-SIM: 15×12×0.76 mm
- Nano-SIM: 12.3×8.8×0.67 mm
Make sure what size SIM card fits in your device. Recently, service providers have introduced Combo SIM or Trio SIM. It is a combination of nano and a micro-SIM attached to a standard SIM card so that you can manually snap out the right size of SIM card you need to insert into your device.
SIM Card Differences on the Basis of Connectivity
There are different kinds of SIM cards on the basis of bandwidth. The oldest bandwidth is 2G. Then later 3G and 4G bands were introduced. Now the latest band is 5G, though it has not yet launched in India. Here, G stands for generation.
Ways to know what connectivity your SIM card has:
To know whether your SIM card is 2G, 3G, or 4G there is a quick and very easy way. The easiest way is to look at the back of the SIM card. Most of the SIM card providers put information on the backside of the SIM cards to easily identify them. If you find 128K written at the back of it, then it means it is a 4G SIM. If it is 64K, then it is a 3G SIM card. Similarly, if it is 32K, then it is a 2G SIM card. In the case of Jio SIM cards, you will not find anything. It is because Jio provides only 4G connectivity.
A 4G SIM card generally supports 3G and 2G as well. Similarly, 3G SIM cards also support 2G connectivity. Most of the companies now give 3 in 1 SIM cards, which means it’s a 4G SIM but supports 3G and 2G too.
Differences on the Basis of Billing
A SIM card can be either postpaid or prepaid when it comes to billing. There is a simple difference between a postpaid connection and a prepaid connection. Here are the quick definitions for both types.
- Postpaid: When you need to pay your mobile phone bill at the end of the billing period.
- Prepaid: When you pay your mobile phone bill before using the service by recharging your plans.
There are several ways to know whether your SIM card is prepaid or postpaid:
- Call the customer support executive of your carrier to ask if your SIM card is prepaid or postpaid. This is the best way to identify what type of SIM card you have.
- Install the app of your SIM card carrier and log in with your mobile number. Click on the “My Account” option or something similar to that because it varies from company to company. There you will find whether your connection is prepaid or postpaid.
- Check SMS from your service provider. If the connection is prepaid, you get a reminder message that your plan is about to expire or has already expired. And if your connection is postpaid, you will get a monthly statement or billing details at the end of the billing cycle.
- Dial the USSD number of your service provider to check your prepaid account balance. If it shows you the balance then it is a prepaid SIM card or else it is a postpaid SIM card.
There are different kinds of SIM cards available in the market, and they are different in various aspects. A SIM card typically varies on the basis of size, connectivity, and billing system. There are different ways to identify what kind of SIM card you possess.
On the basis of size and shape, it is easy to recognize whether your SIM card is Mini/Standard, Micro, or Nano because all three have different dimensions.
On the basis of connectivity, you can identify whether your SIM card is 2G, 3G, 4G, or 5G by looking at the back of your SIM card i.e. at the back of the golden chip. You can also find this out on the package in which the SIM card was packed. Though, there are some SIM cards on which there is nothing written on them.
If you want to know whether your SIM card is prepaid or postpaid, you have several ways to do so. You can call the customer service executive of your telecom company to ask, check SMS from your carrier about recharge or billing information, dial the USSD number to check your prepaid balance or log in to your account on your telecom company’s website or app.
Moreover, to know about which mobile carrier your SIM card belongs to, you can check our article on finding SIM card carriers.