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what's this about a sim card?

Discussion in 'Northeastern US Wireless Forum' started by shae, May 22, 2002.

  1. shae

    shae New Member

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    I live in Somerset NJ and have cingular service. Soon the NY market (which includes north jersey) will open up and the technology will be GSM. At that time, I will be able to move from TDMA to GSM. Should I? The change is expected around the july/august timeframe.

    In the meantime I have been looking for GSM phones on ebay and I keep seeing these sim cards... what are they used for? Would i need one? Thanks
    -s
     
  2. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
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    My personal choice would be to wait until the network is more filled out. GSM will be patchy until the networks are fully converted.

    Think of a SIM card like an electronic key. Without a car key you can't start the engine. Without a SIM card, a GSM phone won't work. Theoretically, the design of SIM cards is such that you can pick up any GSM phone, stick your card in, and the phone is operable. The card contains your account information and also some memory for holding phone numbers. (In practice, some carriers have initiated the use of certain codes that keep the actual handset loyal to the issuing carrier.)

    Be careful about phones on EBay unless you are very experienced in buying phones off there. There have been a few reports recently about people who got burned.

    (P.S. The SIM card is about the size of a thumb nail, if you have big hands.)
     
  3. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    If you sign up with Cingular in Somerset they will put you on their TDMA system. GSM will start rolling in north jersey and NYC this summer but Somerset is not part of the NYC market so I dont know if they will start rolling GSM in your area at the same time. They won't switch all at once but they are introducing GSM/TDMA/Analog phones known as GAIT phones. The transition will probably take years. Like Kevin says I would wait until GSM spotty coverage is more dense. TDMA is much older therefore more reliable in this area.
    Click here to read about it from Cingular website
     
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  4. Jack

    Jack Silver Senior Member
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    I like the idea of sim cards. You can transfer all your information from phone to phone in a matter of seconds. I wonder why tdma and cdma don't use sim card technology. I think that it is a great idea, especially for someone who likes to change phones alot

    Jack
     
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  5. ComicalMoodyDan

    ComicalMoodyDan Gold Senior Member
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    The SIM card is a nice feature and I like it myself Jack, all you have to do is buy a new GSM phone with your provider and just put the chip in yourself no need for them to program it or anything and that's a nice feature. However there is one dis-advatage to the SIM Card, if somebody stills your chip they can put it into another GSM phone as long as its with the same provider and run up your account. I remember most of my friends back in high school had GSM phone's and we would always swap each others SIM cards and put them in other phones just to tick people off LOL.
     
  6. Jack

    Jack Silver Senior Member
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    good point

    Jack
     
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  7. Dukedog

    Dukedog Senior Member
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    If you already have Cingular service in your current market, That means you are in a market that Cingular covers, Meaning that your market is not going to be in the NYC (market) so you would be using their Tdma service until sometime next year when they upgrade your market to gsm.
     
  8. Matt

    Matt Twin girls!
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    Shae, I'm guessing that you live in the Philadelphia-Trenton market (which is TDMA former Cellular One I think), so that's why dukedog's explanation is correct.
     
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  9. Dukedog

    Dukedog Senior Member
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    One of these are Markets is your.
    Atlantic City - TDMA-A
    Camden - TDMA-A
    Freehold - TDMA-A
    New Brunswick - TDMA-A
    Trenton - TDMA-A
    Vineland - TDMA-A
     
  10. Airb330

    Airb330 Silver Senior Member
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    Hey I am in DE, which is near those markets (PHL anyway), any idea when Cingular is converting to GSM here?
    In DE, there are only 2 good choices for service, VZW or Cingular. ATT has a little bit of service up north, and VS
    is just too spotty, SPCS is OK though. It'd be nice to have a GOOD GSM service provider here.
     
  11. Jack

    Jack Silver Senior Member
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    voicestream is newer and is still building out there network (just like sprint)-there coverage is expanding

    Jack
     
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  12. Dukedog

    Dukedog Senior Member
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    I think Cingular is coverting (De) in the 3Q of this year or very early next year.
     
  13. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    Even after Cingular converts to GSM, current TDMA customers will be able to use their TDMA phone for a long time. Complete conversion will take a long time. I don't think Cingular is expanding the existing TDMA network in south Jersey to simply shut it down next year. As for North Jersey, I dont know what they will want us to do this year since I am using Cingular through the AT&T TDMA system. I do know that to ensure a smooth transition, once they switch on GSM, TDMA will still be available simultaneously for some time. They are testing the new GAIT phones that work on both TDMA, GSM and analog.

    Airb330, Delaware is in the same market as south jersey/philadephia.

    TNDan21 & Jack, I tought SIM cards would have some kind of security where you would need to "activate" the card (like entering a password) before using it in a new phone. Can anyone comment on this? I am just imagining this as common sense security since I've never used a phone with a SIM card.
     
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  14. ComicalMoodyDan

    ComicalMoodyDan Gold Senior Member
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    As far as I know Bobolito, no they don't at least not by default. All you have to do is just pick up a phone from the same provider and put your chip in that phone and bam it works, pretty simple. My friend Matt, who liked to bug me a lot would always get my phone and switch chips with me. I wouldn't know he did it until somebody called and asked for Matt or something like that and realized I had his SIM card and he had mine.
     
  15. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
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    That's funny and sad at the same time. What did he do, ring up an astronomical bill on your account? With friends like that who needs enemies.
     
  16. Malial

    Malial Senior Member
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    SIM cards definitely are not secure-



    << A team of researchers from I.B.M.'s Thomas J. Watson Laboratory in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., said they would present a report at the conference based on their discovery of a different vulnerability in subscriber identification module, or S.I.M., cards. These are used in the type of digital cellphone known as G.S.M., widely used in Europe and to a lesser extent here.

    The vulnerability would make it possible for a criminal to find the secret information stored in the card, steal the user's cellphone identity and make free phone calls.
    >>





    Full Article

    Also- Jack...SIM cards for CDMA phones are already being developed. We'll probably being seeing those shortly....I think they are calling them RUIM (Removeable User Identity Module)...
     
  17. aiwapro

    aiwapro Silver Senior Member
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    There is a security feature that you can program into the SIM card from the phone. With this feature, you set your SIM card so that it requires a secret code when removed from one phone and put into another, or removed at all. If you forget the code, than you should call your provider immediately for a 'fixed' code, that is made when you account is made. Only the provider has this 'fixed' code, not the customer. I found out this information when I was playing around with my security features in my phone (HIGHLY NOT RECOMMENDED), and I got locked out. It said enter SIM security code, and after I entered it 3 times wrong, it locked me out of my phone. I tried everything; I took the battery out, took the SIM card out, and then put it all back together, and it still wouldn't work. That is SECURITY. I then had to call Voicestream and tell them what happened, and they gave me a 'fixed' code that worked. They told me that after you enter the wrong SIM codes after a certain amount of times, they sort of like self-destruct. They clear everything.

    I think that's a good security. Also, you have the old stand-by of calling your provider to turn off your account if you loose your phone.
     
  18. Jack

    Jack Silver Senior Member
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    Very good information aiwapro

    I really like the idea of simcard technology

    Jack
     
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  19. ComicalMoodyDan

    ComicalMoodyDan Gold Senior Member
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    nahh, Kevin he didnt run up my bill at all just to mess with me a little. Thanks for the info Aiwapro I thought SIM cards had some sort of secuity code feature but I didn't meantion it cause I wasn't sure.

    By the way the SIM card vulenrability can only be achieved if you manage to get a hold of a chip and phone for a minute or 2 that cannot be done over the air in any way from what I read.
     
  20. aiwapro

    aiwapro Silver Senior Member
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    What do you mean about the vulnerablility of the SIM card cannot be changed over the air?
     
  21. shae

    shae New Member

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    Cingular put me in the New Brunswick market, but I was told that I would have the option to move to GSM when it comes. My actual area code is 08873 which would put me in the NY market . But it seems that the best choice for me would be to stick w/tdma. I do wonder though how Cingular's Nationwide program would work w/GSM. Am I to assume that if I get placed in the NY market (gsm) and actually travel in south jersey, I will not have service? (I may move further north in jersey).
     
  22. Airb330

    Airb330 Silver Senior Member
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    Yes I am aware I am in the South NJ, Philly market I live here! [​IMG] So CIngular GSM is kinda close here, thats cool, and I suppose with a national plan I could roam of of VS and ATT, might not be such a bad idea when I go off to college (fall 03). I am sure I will stick with VZW anyway tho.
     
  23. Guest

    Guest Guest

    though how Cingular's Nationwide program would work w/GSM. Am I to assume that if I get placed in the NY market (gsm) and actually travel in south jersey, I will not have service? (I may move further north in jersey).

    ---------------------

    You would roam off of Voicestream's towers in South Jersey, although I am unsure as to whether GAIT would allow users to selectively lock onto ATT's TDMA towers in New York if in the event GSM was unavailable or simply 'clogged' for lack of a better word?
     
  24. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Regarding SIM, a downside is also the waiting time one would experience if in the event their handset were lost. Personally, If I were to looze a TDMA handset right now, I could simply dig up an unactivated unit from the closet and request an ESN change following my reporting the present unit as lost. SIM technology would require me to physically visit a corporate store, go through nonsense, and perhaps pay for a card replacement. Oh, not to mention the high rates of SIM cloning, along with personally identifiable information held within the chip itself, which occur in Europe/Asia resulting from instances of sheer theft or brief possession of activated handsets. Rather than theft resulting from ESN duplication, which is a more tedious process these days, GSM is vulnerable to fraud by way of physically accessing the identification card.
    -------
     
  25. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Fraud Alert: GSM cloning!
    Added: 2002-01-29
    Information from Asia indicates that GSM cloning now is a reality. The required equipment can be bought on the black market for about 10 USD, enabling cloning of GSM phones within hours. An increase of GSM cloning can be expected in a near future.

    This new technology puts the operators in a position where they need to be able to detect SIM card cloning, as soon as the phone is used, to prevent loss of BIG money. Most likely, the cloned SIM cards will be used in a roaming environment. This will cause the operator to lose even more money, due to roaming and interconnect charges.

    When mobile operators moved from analogue networks to GSM networks, the risk of getting the phone cloned went down to zero. The built in security in GSM networks requires an identification key and an authentication algorithm, and the equipment to hack these mechanisms was not available.

    About two years ago, in 1999, Basset got the first indications that it was possible to clone a GSM phone (the SIM card). These first indications came from former Russian states. Still a lot of technology and knowledge was required from the fraudsters, and the actual time to clone a phone was several days. Hence, Basset did not see these first indications as real threats to the GSM market.

    Until recently this was still the case, but now we have indications from Asia that phones have been cloned within hours, with equipment bought on the black market for about 10 USD. Since the technology and the knowledge now can be obtained at a low cost, we expect to see an increase of cloned phones in a near future.

    Cloning a phone is one of the smartest tricks from a fraud point of view, it’s an easy way of making money on the expense of the operator. If no equipment is present to detect cloned phones, operators will not detect it until their customers receive the invoices and complain to the operator. In the best case.
     
  26. Guest

    Guest Guest

    How sad a world we live in to have all these wonderful electronic aids in our lives and we have to be in fear of an invisible thief. This is true in computers and wireless phones. Its not even Robin and His Merry Men, because in many cases the people that get hurt are not gluttonous rich but just the average person just trying to make a living.
     
  27. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    for what I've read here it sounds like SIM cards have powerful security features. Its just a matter of learning how to use them.

    Shae, whether you get on Cingular TDMA or GSM depends on the kind of phone you get. If you get a TDMA phone, you'll have more coverage than with GSM at least for the time being. I think it doesn't matter what plan you sign up. As long as there is a signal available compatible with your phone (TDMA or GSM), either AT&T or Voicestream or other roaming partner will let you use your phone anywhere in the US. The only thing that your plan will determine is if you'll pay for roaming or not depending where you are.

    If you get a GAIT phone, as long as you get either GSM or TDMA signal you're good to go.
     
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  28. Jack

    Jack Silver Senior Member
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    can not wait for the introduction of gait phones. Because of having tdma and GSM with analog. GSM is great but it is nice to have backup.

    Jack
     
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  29. aiwapro

    aiwapro Silver Senior Member
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    Are you all sure that Voicestream allows Cingular to roam on their network in Jersey? They do have roaming agreements in some places, but not everywhere. I know that their are no roaming agreements between AT&T and Voicestream at all.
     
  30. dobby10

    dobby10 Senior Member
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