Do you need to get a new SIM card, and are wondering whether or not you’ll be able to keep the same phone number?
Getting a new phone number is a huge hassle, especially with how many friends, family members, and services you’d need to update it on. So, it makes sense that you want to do everything possible to avoid having to change it.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know, and some tips that will make it possible to keep the same number – even when switching phones or carriers.
Can You Keep The Same Phone Number If You Get A New SIM Card?
Yes. Even if you get a new SIM card, it is possible to keep the same phone number.
In fact, cellular providers have a process for this, as it’s such a common request. And because it results in more calls and texts going to the right person, providers like AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile etc. actually have an incentive to help you keep the same phone number as well!
All you’ve got to do is ask for a ‘replacement SIM’, and specifically request that you keep the same phone number.
Whether you’re visiting a store in-person or requesting a new SIM online, they will know exactly what to do, and will certainly provide you with a SIM card that has the same phone number (and other data attached.)
Note that upon activating the new SIM, your old one may stop working. However, the new SIM should be functionally identical to your previous one.
And of course, if you’re replacing your old SIM because it was causing problems, those problems should be fixed with the new card.
What Should You Ask To Ensure You Keep The Same Number – Even When Switching Carriers?
All that you need to do is notify the customer support or sales associate that you wish to keep the same phone number. They will then make sure that the SIM that they order will be suited for this purpose.
If you are switching providers however, there are different steps that you need to follow.
The process of switching phone numbers between carriers (for example, moving from AT&T to Verizon), is called porting your number.
In order to be able to port your number, it is vital that you do not cancel service with your old provider before your number has been fully ported over. So, you should continue paying the bill for an extra month if necessary, until the number porting process has completed.
To begin porting your number over, contact your new cellular service provider and let them know that you wish to transfer your number from your old service, to the new one.
They may ask you questions such as what the phone number was, and who your previous provider was. You may also need your account number and password for your old provider as well.
For mobile phones, this process generally takes up to 24 hours, but can often be done in just a few. For landlines, the process can take as long as 10 days.
Again, do not cancel your old service plan until your number has been ported over!
Will You Lose Your Contacts / Data When Getting A New SIM?
One of the big concerns that many people have when ordering a new SIM card, is that they will lose their contacts or other data stored on their phone.
Thankfully, this is no longer a real concern.
It’s true that in the past, your phone used to store your contacts on your SIM card. This was back in the era when you had to type things out using a 9-number keypad, and even doing something like moving your contacts over took a lengthy amount of time.
Today, we have cloud storage services and easy backups. Transferring data over to a new phone is simple, quick and easy. So, there really isn’t any need for modern smartphones to store contacts on the SIM anymore.
Instead, these are stored on your device’s memory itself. If you are using any modern smartphone, chances are nothing will be lost when swapping out your SIM card.
Data such as photos and videos are never stored on SIM cards, so you have nothing to worry about in that regard.
If you are concerned about possible data loss or you believe that your phone may be storing contacts / data on your SIM, try taking your SIM card out temporarily and accessing the data.
You can still use your phone even without a SIM card, you just can’t place calls, texts, or utilize your carrier’s cellular network.
However, you should still be able to see any data that’s present on the phone.
If your contacts are missing when the SIM is removed, and return when the SIM is inserted back into the phone, they may be stored on the SIM. If you have questions regarding this data, ask your cellular carrier for assistance.
Again, modern smartphones do not store any of your data on the SIM card – it is strictly for use with your cellular provider. So, you almost certainly have nothing to worry about.
When Should You Get A New SIM
One thing I hear from people quite often, is that they believe that getting a new SIM card will fix their phone’s problems.
Most of the time, this isn’t the case.
In fact, there are only a few reasons you should get a new SIM card in the first place.
The first and most obvious one is if the SIM card is damaged. SIM cards can become damaged over time, and eventually stop working. However, with proper care, they can easily last for over a decade.
If you are experiencing SIM-related issues (such as calls dropping, a failure to connect to your provider’s network, etc.), it may be worth trying out a new SIM to see if that fixes the problem.
The next reason you may wish to get a new SIM is if you’re getting a new phone, and your old SIM isn’t compatible.
SIM cards come in three different sizes – standard, micro, and nano, and your old SIM may not fit into your new phone. While adapters are available, it’s often easiest just to request a new SIM.
Finally, if you’re switching phone carriers, you’ll be required to get a new SIM card, even if you’re keeping the same phone.
Note that you can usually keep the same SIM card, even when changing phones. So, unless you have a specific reason to get a new one, it may not be necessary.
Thankfully, you can keep the same phone number even while getting a new SIM card.
This is true even if your new SIM card is tied to a different cellular provider.
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful. If you have any questions about SIM cards or cell phone service, please ask them using the comment form below.
Wishing you the best,
– James McAllister