Different SIM types on the market


There are different SIM types available in the market. SIM types are mainly categorised into two: the SIM contact type and SIM size. To better understand each classification, below is information that gives detailed facts about the benefits and demerits of each to the user.

What SIM Card Do I need?

SIM contract type

Under this category, there is the PAYGO contract type and Pay Monthly contract.

  • PAYGO
    Also referred to as pay as you go, the PAYGO SIM type allows customers to pay upfront for their mobile phones. One of the benefits customers enjoy is the fact they are not tied to a contract and it offers them freedom to choose the amounts to spend on their phones. Costs are not high and are determined by the amount the user wants to spend, giving total control of the set-up.
  • Monthly Contract SIM type
    Customers using the monthly contract are forced to wait until the bill is sent before they can know how much they owe. Most contract customers go for such a plan because it appears like an offer when they get a new phone, but the contract will absorb the cost of the phone before the duration given is over. New phones could also be released within that period thereby denying the customer the pleasure of enjoying new technology.

SIM size type

  • Standard SIM
    This is the original SIM and definitely the biggest. They are mainly useful with older phones and basic phones like the Nokia 105. Most new phones currently in the market cannot take this type of SIM, so the user is forced to trim the card to the right size – or upgrade to a smaller, more modern SIM card such as a Micro SIM or a Nano SIM.
  • Micro SIM card
    This is simply a standard SIM but with the plastic surrounding the circuit board trimmed off. The SIM is ideal for Smartphones released from 2010 to date. What is admirable about this type of SIM is that they come attached on a standard size unit, which allows the user to pull off whenever necessary. It can be used for both phone types.
  • Nano SIM card
    The Nano SIM measures 12.3×8.8mm and is mostly used in new generation Smartphones like the Lumia 830. Just like the Micro SIM, it also comes with a standard unit that can be peeled off and inserted when one wants to use the SIM with a phone that offers a bigger SIM card slot.

Developments

  • USIM (Universal Subscriber Identity Module)
    The USIM was an upgrade to the GSM-only cards. It comes with improved security encryption (mutual authentication and complex identification keys) and a better address book setup.
  • UICC (Universal Integrated Circuit Card)
    In developed countries, SIM cards are designed with both the UICC and USIM applications. This setup is ideal to enhance security and compatibility with UMTS applications. This technology has responded to the need for privacy and security for SIM users across different networks.