Guide to SIM card sizes

Your smartphone is a highly advanced piece of modern technology, jam-packed with wi-fi, GPS, a brilliant camera, Bluetooth, motion sensors and much, much more.
Your smartphone is a highly advanced piece of modern technology, jam-packed with wi-fi, GPS, a brilliant camera, Bluetooth, motion sensors and much, much more.
However, to make calls, use mobile data and send cellular text messages, you’ll still need to insert a SIM card to connect with your network operator. You might not have realised it, but there are actually a few different SIM card sizes available – and the one you need all depends on the type of phone you have.
If you’re buying a phone directly from a network or a third-party retailer, the chances are they’ll hook you up with the right SIM card there and then. However, if you are opting for a SIM-only deal, you’ll need your own handset. Whether you are buying a second-hand phone, inheriting one from a friend or picking one up SIM-free from a retailer in order to choose, you’ll need to ensure you have pick up the corresponding card.
There’s the standard SIM, which is sometimes referred to as the ‘mini SIM’ and is still used across a range of phones and tablets today, then there are two smaller and increasingly more common SIM card sizes – the micro SIM and the nano SIM. What’s the difference between these SIM cards? And which one is right for you?
Your SIM – or Subscriber Identity Module – is the small plastic card you pop into your phone when you first get it. After that, you’ll probably just forget all about. But, if you decide to upgrade your phone or change your plan, you may need to know about the different SIM card sizes there are.
Essentially, all SIM cards do the same job. Using a built in circuit board, they allow your phone to connect with the network you’re signed up to so you can receive and send calls, texts and data. Every SIM card has its own unique identity, assigned to your contract, so your network knows exactly how to bill you for what you’ve been using. The only real difference between standard, micro and nano SIM cards are the size – and how this allows them to fit into today’s increasingly slim, compact smartphones.
Manufacturers like Apple are keen to make sure the components that go into their gadgets are as small as possible, so they can squeeze even more functionality in. This is why the iPhone has used nano SIM cards since 2012 (iPhone 5), having switched from standard to micro SIMs in 2010 (iPhone 4 and 4S).
But that’s not to say all modern phones and tablets use nano SIM size. There are plenty of gadgets out there that are still using the micro SIM size – and even a few that will have a standard SIM tucked away and working hard.
SIM card sizes: Which one is right for you?
Apple iPhone and iPad – If you have an iPhone 3GS or older (for example, an iPhone purchased in 2009 or before), you’ll need a standard SIM size. If you have an iPhone 4 or 4S, you’ll want a micro SIM size, and if you’ve an iPhone 5 or anything newer, then a nano SIM will be right for you. When it comes to network-enabled iPads, it’s even simpler. The first iPad and the iPad 2 both use a micro SIM, but since then all the tablets (Air, Mini and Pro included) have used a nano SIM.
Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets – As there are so many more different models out there, it gets a little more complicated with SIM card sizes when talking about Samsung phones and tablets. In short, the manufacturer introduced nano SIM cards for its Galaxy Alpha and Galaxy A5 smartphones in late 2014. If your phone or tablet was bought after that time, chances are it will need a nano SIM – but there’s no guarantee.
And the rest. There are phones, smartphones and tablets of all shapes and sizes out there – and they could be using nano, micro, or possibly even standard SIM card sizes. With that in mind, the easiest way to find out which one you need is to check your user manual. Alternatively, you can always measure the SIM card or SIM card tray inside your gadget and compare it against the guide picture above.
If you find yourself with the wrong sized SIM card for your phone or tablet, don’t worry, as there are solutions available. You can either contact your network and ask for the right size, or you can adapt the SIM yourself by cutting it or buying an adaptor.

If you have a Micro SIM card and wish to use it in an older handset, buy an inexpensive adapter, which can be picked up from retailers like Amazon for around £1. You can convert a Nano SIM to a Micro SIM and create a Standard SIM from a Nano or Micro SIM.

There’s very little science to these adapters. Effectively, they provide the extra plastic necessary to make the card sit securely in your phone’s SIM card slot.

If your SIM card is too big for your phone’s SIM card slot, a bit of DIY can come to the rescue. While you need to be careful, you can turn a Standard SIM into a Micro or Nano SIM simply by trimming it. This can save you getting a new SIM when you upgrade phones to a model which uses a different card standard.  There are a host of tutorials you can follow online and on YouTube, but do so at your own risk – if you damage the chip, the SIM won’t work at all.
You’ve been warned!

Using Your Phone Abroad

Using Your Phone Abroad:
1) Make sure your phone will work in the country you’re travelling to – if you’re not sure, contact your network directly.
2) Call your network to set up your account so you’re ready to go. When you call they may:
a) Set up roaming on your account so your phone will work when you’re abroad
b) Ask if you’d like an additional bolt-on added to your account to save you money on calls, texts or data whilst you’re away
c) Did you know there is a cap on the amount you spend on data whilst abroad that applies across the whole of the EU?
3) If you use the internet on your phone, make sure you know how much it costs and how to turn off automatic downloads before you go away.
4) Turn off your voicemail. You’ll be charged when your phone diverts a call to voicemail. This is because your phone is receiving a call and then making one back to the UK to record the message.
5) On some phones, there’s an option to forward all your calls to another number when you’re roaming. Check your phones manual for more information.
EU data cap:
When visiting the EU, your internet usage will be automatically capped at 50 euros per billing period (subject to change)
To stop you running up huge bills while you’re abroad, EU legislation means networks must cap your data usage in EU countries at 50 euros (roughly £40) excluding VAT. The cap only applies to internet use – calls and line rental charges can be higher
Everyone is opted into the cap. You will need to contact your network to opt out
You’ll usually get text messages to warn you if you’re approaching your limit
When you arrive home, you can use the internet on your phone as normal
Before you travel, check your network’s policy on the data roaming cap
Although the data cap applies to all networks, they have different procedures in place for how and when they’ll let you know you’ve reached your data limit.
When you’re abroad:
Your phone will usually pick up the foreign network immediately. If it doesn’t, you may need to search for it yourself – you can usually do this by selecting Settings > Networks on your handset (Check your phones manual for more information)
You’ll be charged for receiving calls
Making and receiving international calls can be expensive – please carefully monitor the calls you make and don’t use your call limit to budget. This will ensure you don’t get bill shock
You will be charged for listening to voicemail messages
Using your phone outside of the UK is called Roaming. Your phone’s tariff is only valid for use in the UK. So, when you’re abroad, making calls, sending texts and using the internet is possible because a foreign network is providing your phone with the service
The foreign network will then charge your network for this service, which in turn, pasts the cost on to you
When you get back from abroad:
If you changed your voicemail settings, make sure you don’t forget to change them back
Your international call charges will be added on to your bill as soon as they arrive from the foreign network. This can take up to six weeks, so your next bill may not include all these charges
Different countries charge calls in different increments – some by the second and some by the minute
For more information about using your phone abroad, please contact your network directly.

Porting your number to your new phone

What is MNP?
Mobile Number Portability (MNP) is the industry agreed process by which a customer can switch from one network operator to another and take their existing mobile number with them, for example from Vodafine to O2.
Transferring your number – The Mobile Number Portabililty (MNP) process:
1) Request a PAC number from your existing Network customer services.
2) Compare the best mobile phone deals for you on and place your order online, by pressing the buy in now button, to purchase from your prefered merchant.
3) Contact the customer service dept of your new Network when you receive your new phone, and give them your PAC number.
Starting the process:
1) Contact your current network provider and ask for a Porting Authorisation Code (PAC).
2) The PAC number is your authority to request a transfer and will allow the Network you wish to move to, to request your number be transferred to them.
3) Your current Service Provider can only refuse to issue a PAC for the following two reasons:
a) Your number is disconnected – i.e. you must not cancel your existing contract before requesting a PAC number
b) You have not yet fulfilled your obligations under your existing minimum term contract
Note: Your PAC number is only valid for 30 calendar days; your request must be submitted to the new network within that period.
What do I need to do next?
For most networks you are connecting to, it is possible to port your number after connection. When your new handset arrives it will make and receive calls with a temporary number. Simply call the new network customer services and pass them the PAC number you have. The network will arrange port dates with your old network, and on the agreed date your number will be moved across to the new handset.
How long does it take?
After requesting a PAC number from your existing network, they are required to supply it to you within a few days (providing you have fulfilled the obligations of your contract) however some networks will supply it immediately. After relaying your PAC number to your new network, the porting process should be completed within 2 working days. Mobile networks vary.
Important information:
The following points should be read carefully as they may apply to your circumstances:
1) If you are transferring a pay as you go number, any credits with your current network will not be transferred to the new network
2) A request from the new network to transfer your number represents a notice to terminate your existing subscription with your current network
3) The issuing of a PAC number against a mobile number will revoke any previous disconnection request
4) Service charges and any associated subscription charges will continue if no transfer request is received by your current network, even if you’ve previously given notice
5) You can not port your number to your existing network. If you wish to keep your number and stay on your current network you need to follow the current upgrade procedure

How do I cancel my contract with the network?

 Most networks require a minimum of 30 days notification by phone, email or letter of your intention to cancel your contract. During this period you will still be able to make use of your available services.
Most networks require a minimum of 30 days notification by phone, email or letter of your intention to cancel your contract. During this period you will still be able to make use of your available services.
Step 1. Call your existing network provider to request cancellation. The network will inform you of any special requirements to do this.
Step 2. If you wish to keep your number ask the network for a PAC (Port Authorisation Code).
Step 3. If a PAC has been requested you will need to give this to your new network service provider. Read important information on Keeping Your Number. Please be aware that you will remain liable to pay off any outstanding line rental charges


Vodafone: 08700 700191 or 191 from your handset
o2: 08448 090202 or 202 from your handset
T-Mobile: 08454 125000 or 150 from your handset
Orange: 07973 100150 or 150 from your handset
EE: 07953 966250 or 33 from your handset
Virgin Mobile: 08456 000789 or 789 from your handset


Network Customer Services Numbers

Vodafone Customer Services is 08700 700191 or from your Vodafone phone is 191
Customer Services Opening Times are: Monday – Sunday 8am-8pm
O2 Customer Services is 08448 090202 or from your O2 phone is 202
Customer Services Opening Times are: Monday – Sunday 8am – 8pm
Three Customer Services is 0333 300 3333 or from your Three phone is 333
Customer Services Opening Times are: Monday – Friday 8am – 9pm Saturday and Sunday 9am – 8pm
T Mobile Customer Services is 08454 125000 or from your T Mobile is 150
Customer Services Opening Times are: Monday – Friday 8am – 10pm Saturday and Sunday 8am – 8pm
Orange Customer Services is 07973 100150 or from your Orange phone is 150
Customer Services Opening Times are: Monday – Sunday 8am-10pm
EE Customer Services is 07953 966250 or from your EE phone is 150
Customer Services Opening Times are: Monday – Friday  8am – 10pm Saturday – Sunday 8am – 8pm
Virgin Mobile Customer Services is 08456 000789 or from your Virgin phone is 789
Customer Services Opening Times are: Monday – Friday 9am – 8pm Saturday 9am – 6pm Sunday 9am – 5:30pm

Note: Correct at the date of publication. Subject to change without notice. Check call charges with your network operator.