How a SIM card is made!? SIM card overview


-- About SIM cards

SIM card
In addition to the battery, most cellphones require a small microchip, called a Subscriber Identity Module or SIM Card, to function. Approximately the size of a small postage stamp, the SIM Card is usually placed underneath the battery in the rear of the unit, and (when properly activated) stores the phone's configuration data, and information about the phone itself, such as which calling plan the subscriber is using. When the subscriber removes the SIM Card, it can be re-inserted into another phone and used as normal.

Each SIM Card is activated by use of a unique numerical identifier; once activated, the identifier is locked down and the card is permanently locked in to the activating network. For this reason, most retailers refuse to accept the return of an activated SIM Card.

Those cell phones that do not use a SIM Card have the data programmed in to their memory. This data is accessed by using a special digit sequence to access the "NAM" as in "Name" or number programming menu. From here, one can add information such as a new number for your phone, new Service Provider numbers, new emergency numbers, change their Authentication Key or A-Key code, and update their Preferred Roaming List or PRL. However, to prevent the average Joe from totally disabling their phone or removing it from the network, the Service Provider puts a lock on this data called a Master Subsidiary Lock or MSL.

The MSL also ensures that the Service Provider gets payment for the phone that was purchased or "leased". For example, the Motorola Razr V9C costs upwards of CAD $500. You can get one from Bell Mobility for approximately $200. The difference is paid by the customer in the form of a monthly bill. If, in this case, Bell Mobility did not use a MSL, then they may lose the $300–$400 difference that is paid in the monthly bill, since some customers would cancel their service and take the phone to another carrier such as Telus, or Verizon. This would eventually put the carrier or in this case, Bell Mobility out of business.