In most of the cases, the SIM can be removed from the mobile phone, enabling you to carry your mobile subscription and data through different types of mobile phones that you may choose to have along the line of GSM phones available. It may so happen that the mobile phone with the SIM card in it is misplaced somewhere, stolen or lost. You may, at the earliest, request the service provider to deactivate that SIM, giving them the reasons as to why, and acquire another replacement card for your new phone. You may be liable to pay a charge to the service provider for issuing the duplicate Three Data Sim 12GB card to you.
Generally the mobile phones available are 'SIM unlocked' and as such it may be used with any SIM card from any carrier in the world. Guided by the contract you sign, many mobile phones are 'SIM locked' by the service provider, and in most of the circumstances, till a certain contract period. These phones will not work with another SIM card as in the former case.
The embedded circuitry of the SIM card holds information about the service plan that you have chosen as a subscriber. The information about your current area location (LAI) in the network is also stored by the SIM as network information. You will find that when you switch on your mobile phone, the software within, searches for the network that you are registered with and lock you on to that service provider. It does so by taking the necessary data from your SIM and search for the LAI it was in.
The SIM card in your mobile phone identifies you, by holding an International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI). All GSM and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) network users are uniquely associated with IMSI, and this number is stored in the SIM. When a call is made, the mobile phone sends this number to the network which is used to acquire other details from the Home Location Register (HLR) or as available in the Visitor Location Register (VLR). The VLR contains all the data of the subscriber, which are required for any call handling and mobility management in the area controlled by the VLR. Due to security reasons, the IMSI is sent out very rarely and TMSI is sent instead, which is the Temporary Mobile Subscriber Identity and is quite often used.
For security purposes, the SIM card features storage of Personal Identification Number (PIN) code, which is a 4-8 digit password chosen by you, and entered each time you wish to gain access to your mobile phone. There is also a PIN2, used to gain access to more advanced features in the mobile and is available for GSM II applications. On error, the system allows you to enter the password three times before the SIM card get locked and you would need a Personal Unblocking Key (PUK) from your network operator to unblock your mobile. PUK2 is used for similar purpose as PUK, but for PIN2.
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