3G SIM cards for mobile phones are increasingly gaining in popularity these days. As with other SIM-only deals, this type of mobile package allows you to keep your existing smartphone and take advantage of cost savings, because the charge for the mobile will not be included in your fees. A 3G SIM will also give you the added benefit of significantly enhanced performance on your phone. The following guide will explain the need-to-know facts about 3G SIM cards, so that you can decide whether they will best suit your needs.
In a nutshell, 3G stands for 3rd generation – it is the technology that lets you use the internet on your mobile phone or have Mobile Broadband on your laptop. As the successor of 2G, which was designed to simply handle calls, texts and basic internet access, 3G enabled your smartphone to work 10 times faster when going online. The result is that you can watch high quality videos on websites like YouTube, or upload pictures to Facebook, while on the move. 3G also offers better quality calls than 2G.
Explaining 3G SIM Cards
A 3G SIM card (also known as USIM) contains the data that permits a 3G mobile phone to access a 3G network. If your mobile does not support 3G though, the 3G SIM card will function as a standard SIM card to store information. The difference between the traditional SIM and a 3G SIM is that the latter offers significant improvements to your mobile experience. These are the main benefits that they offer over the conventional SIM:
USIM's include a more powerful algorithm which is based on the most current cryptology research. This will protect your phone from fraudulent access, preventing charges for calls you've not made. It also incorporates new systems to block illegal eavesdropping on your communications.
3G SIM cards allow you to store thousands of entries and contacts with a larger number of fields (such as email addresses and secondary phone numbers).
Added Performance Power
USIM's are in fact mini-computer's which allow different applications to run at the same time, such as providing a contactless card for the Underground plus an address book and portal to local services.
How to Get a 3G SIM Card for your Mobile Phone
Check if You Have a 3G Phone
Your first step before even considering a 3G SIM-only deal is to check wherever your phone supports 3G. Some major network providers make this easy by offering the simple website service of adding the make and model of your phone for an immediate result of whether it supports 3G.
Unlocking Your Mobile Phone
Then, you will have to look at wherever your phone is locked, meaning it will only accept a SIM from the network provider you originally got it from. To do this, simply contact the network for an unlocking code, known as a DCK (Depersonalization Control Key) – they will give you the easy instructions to complete the unlock from there.
Shopping Around for the Best Deal
If you bought a 3G mobile outright, you will not need to unlock it and can proceed to shopping around for the best 3G SIM deal available on the marketplace. Aside from considering the cheapest rates for calls, texts, internet and other media, it's wise to also think about what package will best suit your usage habits and what method of payment you prefer, such as direct debit or a top up at cash machines.
Keeping Your Existing Phone Number
If you want to keep your existing phone number with a new 3G SIM, contact your current mobile network and ask for a Port Authorization Code (PAC). Then contact the provider of the 3G SIM deal you've chosen and they will complete the transfer, usually within 3 working days.
3G SIM cards are effectively the next generation essential that allows you to take advantage of all the high powered uses and features that smartphones have to offer. Choosing a 3G SIM-only deal is also one of the most affordable ways to pay for your mobile services.