What Is An ICCID Number?

Haseeb Awan
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April 30, 2023


Introduction

Did you know that your SIM card holds a lot of important information, including your ICCID number? This code is vital not just for your carrier but also for you. An ICCID is not just some technical gibberish that only tech experts should know, for this can be your saving grace if ever you encounter glitches with your network.

A subscriber's ICCID is used to identify their preferred network for service by mobile network operators (MNOs). An ICCID is unique to a particular SIM card, as opposed to the mobile phone itself, as shown by the IMEI. Since each SIM card has its unique ICCID, this identifier is also sometimes called the SIM card number.

The International Mobile Subscriber Identity (ICCID) is a twelve-digit number on your SIM card that determines which cellular networks your device may use. If you're developing cellular IoT gadgets, understanding what an ICCID is and how it works is crucial.

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What is ICCID?

Integrated Circuit Card ID or ICCID is usually an 18-22 code found on the back of your SIM. It can also be found printed on the card where your SIM is attached. Every ICCID number differs and ids as an identifier to your SIM card. Mobile networks use this set of numbers to determine which network they will connect your mobile device to.

When you purchase and install a SIM card on your phone, it will send a code to your network. The network uses this code to identify if the ICCID is unique and available. Once the network verifies that the code is unique, you can use your SIM card.

While ICCID and IMEI are both significant numbers associated with your phone, they serve very different purposes. If you're having network issues with your device, you'll need to find your IMEI first. However, we will discuss the importance of an IMEI later on. The ICCID is just as crucial as the IMEI number; thus, you must know what an IMICE number is and why it matters for your phone before proceeding.

The Structure Of ICCID Number

The average length of an ICCID is 19 or 20 characters. On some SIM cards, just the final 13 digits of the ICCID are engraved, making it impossible to determine the whole number. To write an ICCID number, you would do so as follows:

MMCC-IINN-NNNN-NNNN-NN C (X)

The average length of an ICCID is 19 or 20 characters. In rare circumstances, only the last 13 digits of the ICCID are imprinted on the SIM card. The correct format for an ICCID is as follows:

MM is a fixed value:

In most cases, the first two digits of a SIM card used in an IoT device will be 89. Similar technologies are used in credit cards and other chip cards, but a SIM card's IDN makes it stand out from the crowd.

Its country code is CC when compared to MCCs (Mobile Country Codes), which are employed in International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) numbers; these codes are assigned by the ITU (International Telephony Union).

Known as the "II," the Issue Identifier reveals information about the mobile network that provided you with your SIM card. This becomes more crucial when you travel with your mobile phone internationally on a "roaming" basis. It's possible that your II number is not associated with the cellular service provider from which you originally purchased the SIM card but with one of the many companies with which they have recently formed relationships.

In this case, N represents the Account ID. You can tell your SIM card from any other SIM card worldwide by its unique ID.

The letter C is the sum of all add-up numbers up to this point, applying Luhn's algorithm.

The X represents a new digit: While the 'AT!ICCID?' command is responsible for producing this digit, it is not technically part of the ICCID.

How Important Is ICCID Number?

We recognize that the ICCID can appear daunting. So, when we use our SIM cards, we may ignore these digits. It's possible we won't even notice it. If you run into network issues, this may be a significant consideration.

Why is the ICCID so crucial, and what are some examples? A few morsels of information concerning ICCID are as follows:

A Helping Hand With Customer Service

Have you ever wondered how your system deals with many mobile network issues? Your ICCID is the key to unlocking this door. By assigning each problem a unique ICCID, your network administrators can manage the many issues that arise more efficiently. If you've submitted a ticket to their support team, the ICCID will be used to track down the cause of the issue in your connection.

Phone SIM Activation and Deactivation

The ICCID is also essential to activate a new SIM card. The ICCID is required every time a new SIM is activated since it acts as a unique identification for your SIM card, as noted in the definition. The same rules apply if you want to terminate your subscription with your network. When you are ready to discontinue your service with your current provider, you may be asked for your ICCID.

SIM Card Identification

The ICCID can be used to tell the difference between the two SIM cards in a dual-SIM phone. ICCID facilitates the process of carrier switching. If you have two SIM cards and only want to look at one of them, the ICCID will tell you which one it is.

Activation While Roaming

Data roaming allows you to use your phone's data connection in a different country. But how does the ICCID associated with your SIM card factor in? If you are outside your carrier's service region, such as in a foreign nation, the ICCID will automatically establish a connection with a local partner network. By going through this procedure, your network ensures that you have seamless access to the internet. Before activating data roaming services on your phone, communicate with your carrier.

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ICCID Number FAQs

Where Can You Find The ICCID Number On Your Phone?

Like most other SIM cards, the ICCID number is mentioned on the reverse side of a Simbase SIM. However, the plastic casing is often discarded for many IoT devices following installation. For this reason, Simbase implemented it on the SIM chip's back side. In this way, the ICCID can still be used.

My Android device does not display my SIM card number (ICCID); where can I locate it?

To locate your ICCID, follow these steps:

  • Click the "Settings" tab on your home screen.
  • Choose your phone's model and select "About Phone" or "About Device."
  • Pick the "Status" option.
  • Select "ICCID" or "IMEI Info " to view your unique identifier."

If your phone is dead, you can acquire the SIM card number by taking it out of the SIM slot or the tray on the phone. A SIM card's position on an Android device is highly variable. On occasion, you'll need a SIM tool or push pin to access the SIM tray. To remove the SIM card from a phone with this design, insert the tool or push the pin into the hole next to the tray.

What Is The Procedure For Issuing And Using ICCID Number?

In an ICCID, the first few numbers groups are determined by the card's industry, geographic region, and mobile network. Your mobile provider, known as the SIM's "home network," will likely issue the ICCID's sequentially assigned unique identifier. 

As previously stated, the first few groups of an ICCID are defined by the card's global region, designated industry, and home network. The mobile network frequently issues the unique identifier, which is also the SIM's main network. Your carrier network may use the SIM card manufacturer to generate these digits. 

In addition to the ICCID, whose sole purpose is Sim hardware identification, many other codes and IDs are used to identify mobile network hardware.

How Different Are ICCID, IMSI, IMEI, MSISDN, And OPc?

IMSI

Your data plan's line of service is identified by its International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) number, which is used by your cellular network. The modem module will obtain the IMSI from a SIM card if present. As soon as the device requests a connection, the network recognizes it by its unique IMSI.

The standard length of an IMSI is 15 digits: 111-222-333333333

The mobile country code (MCC) begins with the first three numbers of the IMSI (111).

Following these two numbers (222), the mobile network code (MNC) can be found.

The last few digits (333333333) designate the subscriber's line of service.

IMEI

The International Mobile Equipment Identity or IMEI is a 15-digit number commonly printed on a mobile device's battery compartment. Networks use this number to distinguish individual devices by comparing them to a universal IMEI database.

Typically, an IMEI consists of these parts:

11-222222-33333-4

Number 11 denotes the organization making the report; 222222 is the device's unique identifier; 33333 is the reporting organization's ID, and 4 is the check digit.

MSISDN

A mobile device's complete phone number, including the country code, is the Mobile Station ISDN Number (MSISDN), used to make and receive calls and send and receive SMS messages.

Combining The Ki And ADM Keys

The network will use those two numbers to verify your phone's identity. A subscriber's Ki key is their unique cryptographic identification number.

The ADM key allows access to the software's administrative settings; without it, the user cannot make any program modifications.

OPc

Each operator has its own unique Operator Code (OPc), which is used to generate keys. It's a constant number that doesn't change for any operator's subscribers or SIM hardware.

How are IMSI And ICCID Related?

Despite their apparent similarities, ICCIDs and IMSIs were created to uniquely identify two different entities: connectivity service type/subscriber type and the SIM hardware. Because of this, their connection is not always direct.

Since the ICCID is a physical characteristic of a SIM card, there has only ever been one. So while a SIM card will only ever include a single ICCID and a single IMSI, there may be occasions when a card contains more than one IMSI. A SIM card can store multiple International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) numbers and automatically switch between them depending on the device's location.

Even though multi-IMSI SIM cards have been here for quite some time, the advent of eSIMs and eUICC technology has introduced new options regarding the ICCID and IMSI, as well as increased confusion.

What Effect Does SIM Card Technology Integrated into ICCID Cards Have?

Embedded SIM (eSIM) technology is shaking up the mobile networking industry. Although the embedded SIM card (eSIM) offers some benefits over standard SIM cards, the word and its connotations remain somewhat muddled. As a recap, here goes:

Embedded SIM (eSIM)

The electronic SIM card, or eSIM, is a hardware SIM card often attached to the device's motherboard. It can transition between network subscriptions and multiple SIM profiles with the help of an eUICC and typically has more NVM than a typical SIM card. This is when the complexities of ICCIDs begin to show.

eUICC

The eSIM's internal software, eUICC, enables the remote provisioning of SIM profiles. Remote profile provisioning saves network administrators the trouble of physically swapping out SIM cards. Although the eUICC was designed with eSIM hardware, the application can be used with any SIM card.

eUICCID

A new user-interface controller- eUICCID, has been introduced alongside eSIM. It's possible that the same company doesn't always produce both physical SIM cards and electronic equivalents, known as eSIMs. A chip manufacturer, for instance, might branch out into eSIM sales. A mobile network operator is interested in their SIMs, but they require that they be provisioned with the operator's proprietary profile. The carrier may team up with a third party to develop these profiles. The eUICCID has been established as the standard method of identifying the physical eSIM to streamline the process. It's a new classifier altogether, separate from the ICCID that's still created alongside the profile in most cases.

3 Free ICCID Checker Tools

Here is a list of some free ICCID checker tools:

  1. IMEI info
  2. EVONDT
  3. SNDeepInfo

Haseeb Awan
CEO, Efani Secure Mobile

I founded Efani after being Sim Swapped 4 times. I am an experienced CEO with a demonstrated history of working in the crypto and cybersecurity industry. I provide Secure Mobile Service for influential people to protect them against SIM Swaps, eavesdropping, location tracking, and other mobile security threats. I've been covered in New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Hulu, Nasdaq, Netflix, Techcrunch, Coindesk, etc. Contact me at 855-55-EFANI or haseebawan@efani.com for a confidential assessment to see if we're the right fit!

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