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Thread: T-mobile sim card not working in certain phones

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    T-mobile sim card not working in certain phones

    I recently purchased a T-Mobile prepaid sim card to use in my old cell phones for fun. I had it activated and when I popped it in my Motorola v60i it said "check sim". It had the same warning for all of my old Motorolas even though they are unlocked. I tried it in my Nokia 6500 slide and in my Motorola Razr v3i and it worked fine.

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    It could be the contact spacing on the phone vs the small footprint of the nano-SIM.
    Donald Newcomb

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    Would there be any way to rectify this?

    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    It could be the contact spacing on the phone vs the small footprint of the nano-SIM.
    Would there be any way to rectify this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NK1075 View Post
    Would there be any way to rectify this?
    I don't think there is. All of the SIM adapters I've seen are just frames that position the SIM so that it's in the right place. There might be one with some sort of foil contacts that extend the contact area but I've never seen one. If you have a really old phone with the SIM holder contacts exposed so you can see them, you might try measuring the distance between them to see if it's farther than the nano-SIM is wide or tall. I'd probably put a tiny bit of prussian blue on the phone's contacts to see if they transferred to the right spots on the SIM. Beyond that, there may be some electrical issue (e.g. 3v vs 5v) but I don't know about all that.

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    Latest T-Mobile SIM cards (manufactured in 2017/2018 and later) indeed do not work in old GSM phones.

    Simplified explanation:
    If the phone produced around 2004 or earlier it does not recognize new T-Mobile SIM cards. In general, modern SIM cards simultaneously support two types of embedded software (applications) on them: SIM (2G), USIM (3G/LTE). Yes, there are applications on each SIM card.
    Old phones are not capable of accessing USIM app embedded on your SIM card but they can still read SIM app embedded on your SIM card.

    The problem with T-Mobile is that T-Mobile SIM cards do not have SIM app on its SIMs anymore, only USIM app.

    As result of this, old phones (manufactured in +/-2004 or before) can not be used with new T-Mobile SIM cards. 2G GSM phones (even without 3G/LTE support) manufactured in +/- 2005 or after can read USIM app on T-Mobile SIM and can be used with new SIM cards.

    Motorola v60i was manufactured in 2002, Nokia 6500 - in 2007. It explains why T-Mobile SIM does not work with Motorola v60i but works with Nokia 6500.

    By the way, the same is true for Three UK SIM cards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFK View Post
    Latest T-Mobile SIM cards (manufactured in 2017/2018 and later) indeed do not work in old GSM phones.

    Simplified explanation:
    Thanks for the great information and explanation. It's good to know why there is an incompatibility.

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    Thanks for the info! It really cleared everything up. That's too bad that I won't be able to use my old v60.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFK View Post
    Latest T-Mobile SIM cards (manufactured in 2017/2018 and later) indeed do not work in old GSM phones.

    Simplified explanation:
    If the phone produced around 2004 or earlier it does not recognize new T-Mobile SIM cards. In general, modern SIM cards simultaneously support two types of embedded software (applications) on them: SIM (2G), USIM (3G/LTE). Yes, there are applications on each SIM card.
    Old phones are not capable of accessing USIM app embedded on your SIM card but they can still read SIM app embedded on your SIM card.

    The problem with T-Mobile is that T-Mobile SIM cards do not have SIM app on its SIMs anymore, only USIM app.

    As result of this, old phones (manufactured in +/-2004 or before) can not be used with new T-Mobile SIM cards. 2G GSM phones (even without 3G/LTE support) manufactured in +/- 2005 or after can read USIM app on T-Mobile SIM and can be used with new SIM cards.

    Motorola v60i was manufactured in 2002, Nokia 6500 - in 2007. It explains why T-Mobile SIM does not work with Motorola v60i but works with Nokia 6500.

    By the way, the same is true for Three UK SIM cards.
    Are there any American sim cards that have SIM app embedded on them?

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