Sim Local FAQs

Below we have tried to anticipate all queries which may arise regarding SIM Local products. If we haven't answered your question here, please contact us at:


I have seen other low cost solutions to high roaming charges. Why is SIM Local the best option?

Other companies use low cost call cards. These cards are still based on roaming charges, but are attempting to offer reduced roaming charges. SIM Local are offering a solution which completely avoids roaming charges. We are work with all local networks to achieve the best international and domestic rates available for you.


What is a SIM card?

SIM is short for Subscriber Identity Module. A SIM card is a portable memory chip (like a mini hard disk) that automatically activates the cellular/mobile phone into which it is inserted. They are used with carriers that operate on the Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) network. Typical international frequencies for GSM cell phones operate on two or three out of four different frequency band types: 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 1900 MHz.

SIM cards make it easy to switch to a new network by simply swapping the SIM in an unlocked phone with a local network SIM card. The SIM holds personal identity information, your phone number, phone book, text messages and other identification data.


Installing your SIM card

How do I install my SIM Local SIM card?

Remove your current SIM and store safely. Open the SIM Local packaging and insert the new SIM card exactly as the previous SIM was positioned. If prompted by your phone, enter the relevant codes, usually a pin. The activation codes will be printed on the accompanying packaging. Your phone is now immediately operational with call credit pre-loaded on to the SIM Local SIM card.


Using your SIM card

How long is my new local SIM card valid for?

SIM cards are typically valid for a period of 6 months from the last call/text made. Some variations may apply per network. Full details will be provided to you at point of purchase.

How do I check my call credit balance?

This can be done simply by texting the relevant code assigned by each network provider. These codes are included in your SIM card pack. You can also obtain them from each network provider’s website.

Where can I buy additional call credit?

Mobile phone call credit, also known as top-up or re-fill, can be purchased over the counter in all newsagents, petrol stations and post offices. Credit can also be purchased from each local network provider and in selected SIM Local Airport retail stores.

When does the billing period of my prepaid credit start?

It starts as soon as you put the SIM card into your phone and follow the steps to activate your credit. If you have requested that someone in our store activates the SIM card before we post it, please be aware that the card is active before it's in your possession. This would have an impact on your credit if it was time-sensitive e.g. if you bought a bundle which included 30 days unlimited data.

Using your SIM card with your phone

How do I know if my phone is locked?

To check if your phone is locked, simply contact your network provider. Networks can unlock phones on request, subject to the terms and conditions of your network agreement.

If I buy an unlocked phone, can it be re-used if I travel somewhere else in the future?

Yes. All of our unlocked phones will accept all international standard SIM cards.

How do I know what size SIM card I need?

There are three sizes of SIM card: standard, micro and nano. We have versions of all three sizes for each SIM card that we sell. If you're not sure what size you need, we've listed some of the most popular phone models here.

Can I keep my existing phone number?

Once you swap the SIM cards, you will be contactable on your new local network phone number. This number will be written on the SIM Card packaging. Your existing number is not transferable between international network. But don't worry, all you need to do is put your new number on your voice mail and share it with family and friends. Alternatively if you can buy an unlocked phone from us so you can keep both active at once.

Can I transfer my contacts to my new SIM Local SIM Card?

The easiest way to do this is to go to your address book on your phone and follow the instructions allowing you to copy the numbers from your current SIM card to your mobile phone memory. All contacts will then be accessible from your phone regardless of the SIM in use. You can copy all downloaded contacts in the address book onto your new local SIM.

Is it possible to retrieve voice messages from calls made to my home network number?

Yes. You need to dial your local number (with country prefix) and include the code required by your home network provider

Can I use the SIM card in a tablet device instead of a phone?
This depends on the type of SIM card you buy. Data-only SIM cards can be used in your tablet, and are for sale in our online store.

Can I use my phone as a tethering device with my new SIM card?
This depends on the individual network and SIM card.

Why can't I connect to the internet?

In most cases, when you insert a new SIM card into your phone, you also need to update the APN settings. APN is short for Access Point Name, and each network has their own APN, user name and password.

Each type of phone differs slightly in their instructions, but here are a sample of menu options you need to find in order to change your APN:

We recommend that you take a note of your existing network APN settings before overwriting them in case you need them when you put your original SIM card back into your phone.


Here are some of the most frequently used APNs in the UK:





If you are using a Lyca SIM card, please note that you will need to leave the roaming button on in order to access the internet.

What if there's a problem with my SIM Local SIM card?

In the unlikely event of there being any problem with your SIM Local SIM card, please contact us at Our friendly, professional staff will get back to you with a solution as soon as possible.