SIM Installation Basics

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Tuesday, 02 December 2014

SIM Installation Basics

It may seem like the most elementary aspect of configuring a cellular device. How difficult can it really be? All you need to is slide the SIM card into the designated slot and move on to the next step, right?

Not necessarily. Too many times this is the overlooked step that makes the difference between a successful purchase and a return; between a relaxing night and a two hour support call. When a SIM insertion error is the reason for a return, everyone loses. Somebody pays for return shipping under the impression that the device is defective, the customer has time spent without internet access, and the retailer has wasted resources supporting and handling the issue.

The SIM installation problem persists due to the lack of uniformity between cellular devices. For example, an AT&T Hotspot and a Verizon USB modem may have two completely different ways of properly orienting the SIM card, and an embedded CradlePoint device may require a completely unique third method. The key to distinguishing between these differences, is to look for a SIM card indicator which will be near the SIM slot on most cellular devices. This will be a small graphic that displays the the proper direction and orientation for the SIM card while installing in that device. The essential detail find on this indicator is the angled tab which can be found on every sim card, and separates one side of the SIM from the other.


As you can see in the picture above, the Pepwave Max BR1 makes their SIM indicator fairly easy to find. On other devices, the indicator will be more discrete. One example of this is the SIM installation in the Cradlepoint Modem Cap, which doesn’t have an indicator. If your device is lacking an indicator, be sure to refer to any materials that come with the device.




Other SIM card confusions include the differences between different SIM sizes and their uses. There are currently three common SIM sizes that can be found in the mobile broadband market. The Standard Size (2FF), the Micro-SIM (3FF), and the Nano-SIM (4FF). Standard SIM cards are the largest and are generally used in routers and some USB modems. Micro-SIM cards are substantially smaller and are seen in many current USB modems and hotspots. Finally, Nano-SIM cards are the smallest of all, and can be found in the majority of smartphones. If you have a device with a Standard SIM slot, but your SIM card uses a Micro-SIM, you can use the Micro-SIM adapter, to make up the difference. A Micro-SIM used in this will function the same as any Standard SIM would.




Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 December 2014 )
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