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View Full Version : Anyone swap sim cards to use two different cell phones?


Wisp00
05-01-2014, 04:22 PM
I'm looking for anyone who has experience regularly using two different cell phones on the same plan by swapping out the sim card. Basically, does it work fine, are there any issues, can the phones themselves hold up? Do you have to work it out with your carrier, or can you just swap it on your own? Also, what carrier do you use?

I have a Galaxy S4, and while I like it very much, it's also huge. Sometimes I wish I had a smaller phone, especially for times when I need to carry it, but not really use it. Something that could fit in my pocket when I'm taking a walk. Or when I'm going out and only want to carry a small wallet. Or even to have another phone I wasn't so worried about damaging.

I guess my biggest concern is that I have to remove the back cover to get to the sim card (and it appears most phones are the same way) and I worry about how many times I can do that before it breaks.

ETA: I have AT&T

cochrane
05-01-2014, 04:46 PM
I have a Straight Talk sim card which I use in an iPhone 3GS. I can swap it into my other iPhone, a 3G without any difficulties. I did have to download an APN so I could use data, but otherwise for voice and text, it was just a matter of inserting the sim and turning on the phone. If your other phone is an AT&T phone and uses the same type sim, it should work. There are different size sims, so it's not one size fits all. Both phones need to take the same size sim card.
Also, your phone may vary, but I don't have to take the back off the phone to swap the sim. iPhones have a slot in the top of the phone that has a card holder that pops out when you stick a pin into it.

twickster
05-01-2014, 04:50 PM
Moved to IMHO (from Cafe Society).

Wisp00
05-01-2014, 04:55 PM
I googled APN. It seems like it's to identify what network your phone is on?

Did you do this yourself, or did you need to contact Straight Talk?

Do carriers in general disapprove of customers acquiring and switching their own phones?

It seems if you need a special identifier, the cell phone company would be able to require you to buy their phones or at least renew your contract to get it.

Stormcrow
05-01-2014, 05:04 PM
I used to do this all the time - our department at work had 60-70 Nextel phones with SIM cards, and we'd swap them frequently. However, they were all the same phone model; I don't know if that would affect things. I wouldn't expect it to. Most phones that I've had where I can swap out the battery myself aren't too hard to do that with, and the backs hold up reasonably well.

Sahirrnee
05-01-2014, 06:10 PM
I have AT&T and used to do it all the time.
The only time it was an issue was when I had a Blackberry and even then all it took was a phone call to get it to work. My other phone wasn't a smart phone and I think that was the problem. Before I had a smart phone it was never an issue.
At one time I had two phones for work and if one phone died I'd switch out the cards rather then have everybody call me on the other number.

It won't work with Sprint/Nextel (or at least it didn't at one time) because the SIM card stayed with the phone, not with the number. Also all the SIM cards were different sizes. I could go online and switch the service by changing the SIM number for the phone. It was a PITA to do.

cochrane
05-01-2014, 07:00 PM
I googled APN. It seems like it's to identify what network your phone is on?

Did you do this yourself, or did you need to contact Straight Talk?

Do carriers in general disapprove of customers acquiring and switching their own phones?

It seems if you need a special identifier, the cell phone company would be able to require you to buy their phones or at least renew your contract to get it.

The carriers don't care what you do with your phone once you're no longer under contract with them. It's your own phone, free and clear. You only need to download an APN if you use a carrier that lets you bring your own phone like Straight Talk or TracPhone that piggybacks on a major network like AT&T or T-Mobile. These are known as an MVNO or mobile virtual network operator. And you just need to go to unlockitco.nz on your wifi to download an APN, which is just a proxy that connects to the main network. If you're under contract to AT&T, you're already using their network and would not need to concern yourself with an APN.

Straight Talk is no contract, by the way. I buy a service plan every 30 days for $45. T-Mobile no longer has contracts, either.

cochrane
05-01-2014, 07:07 PM
Also, (past the edit window), I did not use my AT&T sim when I switched to Straight Talk. I bought a sim card from them, then activated it. I can switch my Straight Talk sim between phones, though.

ethelbert
05-01-2014, 10:32 PM
I have done it with AT&T s GoPhone (although I did it only a few times, not as often as you describe). Just make sure that the new phone is also an AT&T phone (you can buy small cheap phones at Radio Shack or an AT&T store). There is the issue of different Sim card sizes. You can buy adapters, but this will increase the PITA factor. I suspect that this will be a pain even if they both have the same size sim. This is something you might do once or twice, but not every day or even every week. You will inevitably forget which one has the sim and grab the wrong phone.
If you follow through on this, just make sure the little phone you get makes it easy to get to the sim. If you are careful, the sim should be able to survive this.

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