We answer: What is Dual SIM and how to use it?

by Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as... read more
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What Dual SIM

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Over the years our cellphones changed a lot. Cellphones became smarter, and many of them use Dual SIM technology. Since number of Dual SIM cellphones is rising, today we’re going to explain you what is Dual SIM and how to use it.

What is Dual SIM and how does it work?

Dual SIM means that a cellphone can have two SIM cards and use any of them to make calls or send text messages. Dual SIM technology was invented in 2000, but it gained its popularity in late 2000s. Dual SIM is available on both Android and Windows 10 Mobile devices, and the number of Dual SIM devices is on the rise.

We have to mention that there are several versions of Dual SIM, and some of them, such as Passive Dual SIM, don’t allow you to use two SIM cards simultaneously. This type of Dual SIM is usually found on affordable phones, and even though your phone can hold two SIM cards at the time, you’ll have to switch between them manually. This means that only one SIM card will be active, and you can only use that card to receive calls or text messages. In order to use the second card, you’ll need to go to the options menu and activate it manually. As you can see, this is a major limitation since you have to switch between two SIM cards quite often.

Dual SIM Standby allows you to use both SIM cards thanks to the time multiplexing technology. By using this technology both of your cards are active, and you can use both to receive calls and text messages. When you receive a call, one card will become active and the other will become temporarily disabled during the duration of the call. This technology has its benefits because you don’t have to switch manually between the two cards in the options menu, however, some users might find it limiting that you cannot use both cards simultaneously.

Lastly, there’s Dual SIM Active technology that allows you to use both SIM cards simultaneously. This means that you’ll receive calls or text messages on your second SIM card, even if you’re making a call using your first SIM card. Thanks to this technology both of your SIM cards are permanently active. We have to mention that phones with Dual SIM Active technology come with two radio transceivers, and each of these transceivers is in charge for one SIM card. In practice, it means that phones with Dual SIM Active technology consume more power and drain your battery faster. Due to two transceivers, the price of these phones is usually a bit higher.

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As you can see, Dual SIM can be extremely useful, especially if you need to use two different SIM cards but you don’t want to purchase an additional smartphone. Many people use Dual SIM phones for business, thus allowing them to use one phone for both business and personal use.

Dual SIM phones are also great if you want to use two different mobile providers. For example, if your mobile provider doesn’t have a suitable data plan but you don’t want to switch to a different mobile provider, you can easily use a SIM card from a different provider that offers a better data plan for you.

Lastly, Dual SIM phones are great for people that travel a lot. If the roaming rates are too expensive, you can just get a local SIM card and use it alongside your main SIM card.

We have to mention that you can use both SIM cards for data connections, but bear in mind that most smartphones come with support for 4G + 2G connection in Dual Standby mode. Models that support 4G + 3G or 4G + 4G are rare since they require a powerful processor in order to achieve that.

Dual SIM technology is great, and we hope that you understand a bit better how Dual SIM works after reading this article.


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