Dual SIM is Better Than One

Nokia Researcher Younghee Jung has an fascinating two-part post about how people are hacking their phones to support multiple phone numbers.

We found a service offered by a local mobile phone dealer (Mobile Phone People, one of the Nokia authorized dealers) in Ghana. It costs 15 euros to have the two SIM cards combined into one. There is an even more advanced operation, which requires a special SIM card imported from Finland. This card can host up to 16 SIM cards into one, but costs 40 euroes. Either of these operations costs considerably high for the market, as it is more than purchasing a mobile phone. Therefore the clientele is mostly business people who do need to have two or more numbers but do not want to go through the inconvenience of switching SIM cards or carrying multiple phones.

I did a little research and it turns out the 16 in 1 SIM cards are no longer available but you can still pick up a 6 in 1 backup kit for $50 and clone your existing SIMs onto a single chip. Features include:

  • Fast number switching, normally takes less than 30 seconds (phone dependence)
  • Dual speed (9600/19200bps) USB SIM reader/writer, allow scanning old SIM card which can’t be scanned with high speed.
  • Allow to edit SIM card name for easy identification of which SIM is being used
  • Allow to show either SIM name, operator name or SIM + operator name on the phone. (phone dependence)
  • Super large phone book capacity with 250 contacts and 50 SMS
  • Supports English, Traditional and Simplified Chinese user interface
  • Manage SMS and contacts in PC with “SIM Editor”

*It should go without saying, that cloning your SIM most likely violates your agreement with your mobile provider.

3 Replies to “Dual SIM is Better Than One”

  1. Hi Ian,

    I read Younghee Jung’s article last night and while I understand the dual sim (work v personal lines), why more than 2?

    Is it for Africa where one may be on pay as you go & one is paying the cheapest carrier right now so that is the line one wants to use? Or is it about what carrier has coverage in the space one is in right now? Or do folks really want that many numbers out & about?

    1. Hi Jen!

      I hear from my colleagues who have been to Africa that it’s primarily to take advantage of cheaper rates, different plans and the fact that often times a family would share a single phone. They also tell me stories of people in villages that have a number of phones hanging off a chain on their belt sort of like “human phone boothes.” You choose which phone matches the network of the person you want to call and then the vendor hands you the phone.

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