Do I need a new SIM card for 5G? Answers to all your questions
5G is rapidly rolling out across the globe, with India being the latest region to auction 5G spectrum. As 5G becomes mainstream, we’ve compiled some crucial resources for you. Now you can learn how to check supported 5G bands on your phone. Other than that, you can check out a list of all supported 5G bands in India. And in this article, we answer whether you need a new SIM card for 5G services or will your 4G SIM work in a 5G phone? Well, to find all the answers, let’s dive in.
Do you need a new SIM card for 5G? Find the answer here (2022)
Whether you need a new SIM card to use the 5G network or not, we’ve answered this popular question in this article. We’ve also added information based on regions and mobile carriers, so expand the table below to learn more about 5G SIM cards.
Do I need to change my SIM card to use 5G services?
The direct answer to this question is no. You don’t need to buy a new SIM card for 5G services. However, there are a few tricky points you need to keep in mind.
At the beginning of the 2G era, the smart card we call SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) was based on an old mobile communication standard. In the future, the term was replaced by USIM (Universal Subscriber Identity Module) with the deployment of 3G, and new smart cards were based on the new 3GPP standard. Technically, these new SIM cards are also called Rel 99+ USIM cardsand they are backward and forward compatible with 2G, 3G, 4G and even 5G networks.
So if you have a SIM card that works well with 4G/LTE networks, it will also work with 5G whenever it goes live in your country. You should be able to connect to a 5G network to use mobile data and make calls using your existing 4G SIM card. That said, some mobile operators are asking users to change their SIM card for enhanced 5G services. So what is it?
Well, to access standalone 5G (SA 5G) services, a few carriers want users to get a new 5G SIM card for better coverage and speed. SA 5G is a premier service where the entire network infrastructure is built on the 5G architecture. This network offers near-zero latency, unparalleled speed, and improved network coverage indoors.
That said, SA 5G is a expensive technology, and it will take operators many years to implement worldwide. So, for the foreseeable future, you won’t need a new SIM card for 5G. For now, let’s not generalize the notion and look at what mobile carriers in the US and UK are saying about getting new 5G SIM cards.
5G services will work well on 4G SIM cards, but if you want to enjoy SA 5G services from T-Mobile, you need to get a 5G SIM card from T-Mobile. The company is asking 5G users to stop by its store to get an instant replacement at no cost.
You can use your 4G SIM card to access Verizon’s 5G services, assuming you already own a 5G phone. You don’t need a new SIM card for 5G on the Verizon network.
You do not need a new 5G SIM card to access 5G services on AT&T’s network in the United States. However, you need to upgrade to a 5G data plan.
You do not need a 5G SIM card to access 5G services on EE’s network in the UK.
O2 requires its customers to obtain a 5G SIM card to access its 5G services. However, if you got a SIM card after 2019 from O2, you don’t need a 5G SIM card. The new SIM cards are already compatible with the 5G network. If you have an older one, you need to get a 5G SIM card.
Three’s 4G SIM cards are already compatible with the telecom operator’s 5G network in the UK. You don’t need a new 5G SIM card.
You don’t need to upgrade to a 5G SIM card to access faster 5G services on Vodafone’s network in the UK.
Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea (Vi): do you need a new 5G SIM card in India?
In India, none of the telecom companies have stated that you will need to get a new 5G SIM card to access 5G services. As we mentioned in our article on the development of 5G in India, India is not implementing SA 5G and opt for an indigenous solution called “5Gi”, which is essentially a non-standalone 5G infrastructure.
So yes, you will not need a 5G SIM card in India for Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vi or the new entrant i.e. Adani Data Network. However, in the future, if any of the Indian telecom operators decide to roll out SA 5G services, you may need to ditch your 4G SIM card and get a new 5G SIM card.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do I need a new SIM card for 5G?
Most likely, you don’t need a 5G SIM card. However, if your mobile operator asks you to get a 5G SIM card, you should go for it. To access SA 5G services, which provide better coverage and network speeds, you need a new 5G SIM card.
Should I change my SIM card from 4G to 5G?
No, 4G SIM cards are compatible with 5G networks. You can use 5G services with your existing 4G SIM card. That said, if your mobile operator asks you to get a 5G SIM card, you should upgrade to a new SIM card as it will improve speed and indoor coverage.
Will my 4G SIM card work in a 5G phone?
Yes, your 4G SIM card will work with a 5G phone. And if your country hasn’t rolled out 5G services yet, you can access 4G/LTE services until then. Once 5G services are rolled out in your country, just head to “Settings -> Mobile network -> select operatorand switch the preferred network type to “5G/4G/3G/2G” or “Only 5G”. In this way, you can enjoy 5G services with a 4G SIM card on your phone.
Can you get 5G without a 5G SIM card?
Yes, you can get 5G services without a 5G SIM card. 4G SIM cards are compatible with 5G networks.
Use 5G service using a 4G SIM card on your phone
So, as I mentioned above, you definitely don’t need a 5G SIM card to access 5G services in most cases. You will be able to use data and make calls with 5G network services using a 4G SIM card. However, if your telecom operator asks you to buy a new 5G SIM card, do not hesitate to change. It will definitely improve download speed and coverage in dense areas. Anyway, it all comes from us. To find a list of 5G bands in the US for Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile, check out our curated list here. And if you have any questions about 5G services, 5G SIMs, or phones, let us know in the comments section below.