Basic Information about the 1NCE SIM Cards.

For the normal user, a SIM or eSIM looks just like a chip that is inserted into a mobile to allow this specific device to connect to some mobile network for connectivity. As usual, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to the details of a SIM. In the following section, the specifications of the 1NCE SIM, general features, and 1NCE specific implementations are pointed out. For more information about the 1NCE products, pricing and ordering please refer to the 1NCE Website.

General SIM Knowledge

In a basic sense, a SIM and eSIM store and secure customer-specific, personal data. This data includes the unique serial number (ICCID), International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI), security authentication, and ciphering information to authenticate the SIM as a valid subscriber to a mobile network, temporary local network information, access service list, Personal Identification Number (PIN), and a Personal Unblocking Key (PUK). Please note that 1NCE SIM do not have a PIN set by default.


SIM cards are identified by their Integrated Circuit Card Identifier (ICCID), an identifier of the actual SIM card itself (chip). ICCID are also used to id eSIM profiles. The ID can be up to 22 digits long, including a check digit calculated using the Luhn algorithm. An extra digit is sometimes returned by AT Command, but this is not an official part of the ICCID. The ID is used throughout the 1NCE ecosystem (CMP, API, Data Streamer, etc.) as a common parameter to identify each SIM.


Description & Example

MIIMII - Major Industry Identifier, first digits of the ICCID, which represents the category of entity which issued the SIM card.
Major Industry Identifier

2 Digits
"89" - Telecommunications

CCCC - Country Code, number prefixes for reaching telephone subscribers in the networks of the member countries or regions of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
Country Code

1 - 3 Digits
"88" - No Geolocation

IIII - Issuer Identifier, a 1 to 4 digit code identifying the issuer of the SIM.
Issuer Identifier

1 - 4 Digits
"228" - 1NCE
"280" - 1NCE

IINIIN - Issuer Identification Number, first 4 to 9 digits of ICCID of a SIM card.
Issuer Identification Number

4 - 9 Digits
"89 88 228"
"89 88 280"

SIM - IDSIM - ID - SIM - ID, a unique number for each SIM to identify the card.
ID Number

11 - 13 Digits

CC - Checksum, a check bit of the ICCID calculated by the Luhn Algorithm.

1 Digit
"x" - Luhn Algorithm

ICCIDICCID - Integrated Circuit Card Identifier, a unique number that identifies the SIM card itself.
Integrated Circuit Card Identifier

16 - 23 Digits
"89 88 280 666xxxxxxxx x"
"89 88 228 0666xxxxxxx x"


A IMSI is the International Mobile Subscriber Identity in a mobile and consists of max. 15 digits. For the 1NCE IoT Flat Rate China+ tariff, customers have a SIM card which stores a 2nd IMSI.


Length & Example

MCCMCC - Mobile Country Code, a 3 digit number which is used in mobile telecommunication to identify a country.
Mobile Country Code

3 Digits
"901" - Worldwide Shared Mobile Country Code
"454" - Hong Kong

MNCMNC - Mobile Network Code, a 2 to 3 digit number which is used in mobile telecommunication to identify a local network.
Mobile Network Code

2 - 3 Digits
"40" - 1NCE MNC
"31" - China Telecom Global Limited

MSISNMSISN - Mobile Subscriber ISDN Number, a number uniquely identifying a subscription in a Global System for Mobile communications or a Universal Mobile Telecommunications System mobile network.
Mobile Subscriber ISDN Number

8 - 9 Digits
"51000xxxxx" - Mobile Subscriber ISDN Number

IMSIIMSI - International Mobile Subscriber Identity, a subscriber number in a mobile network used to identify the SIM.
International Mobile Subscriber Identity

13 - 15 Digits
"901 40 51000xxxxx"

The MCC and MNC identify the country of domicile and network operator of that network in this country. Both together result in the home PLMN code of the mobile subscriber.

The 1NCE card has a slightly different but important change. Since the MCC and MNC identify the country and the network in a certain country the 1NCE SIM card is not bound to a real country or network. On 1NCE cards these values are defined as: MCC-901 and MNC-40. The MCC-901 has a special meaning, i.e. this is a shared Mobile Country Code which is used worldwide instead of identifying a certain country. Hence, 1NCE as MNO has reserved the PLMN 901-40 for their purposes and uses it for the standard 1NCE product.


For the 1NCE IoT Flat Rate China+ tariff, besides the normal coverage, this tariff offers additional coverage in China (Mainland) Hong Kong, Macao & Taiwan. Multi-IMSI refers to customers having a card which stores a second IMSI which starts with PLMN 454-31 and as soon as the serving cell is detected as such the second IMSI will be used. The customer doesn't need to do any manual changes to the card. Unlike the 1NCE standard SIM the China+ card does belong to a country and operator: China Telecom Global Limited / Hong Kong.

Device Characteristics

Some characteristics presented by the 1NCE services are not only SIM specific but also device specific. In the following sections, parameters of IoT devices which are relevant for the 1NCE service are outlined.


The International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) is a unique number for identification mobile SIM devices. Each device that uses a SIM to connect to a mobile network operator has a unique IMEI. The IMEI, 15 digits: 14 + check digit, or IMEISV, 16 digits: 14 + two software version, consists of information on the origin, model, and serial number of the device. The structure of the IMEI/SV is specified in 3GPP TS 23.003. The model and origin is encoded in the 8 digit Type Allocation Code (TAC). The rest of the IMEI is manufacturer-defined, with a Luhn check number at the end. In the 1NCE Data Streamer and API, the IMEI/SV for some roaming operators might have an additional 'f' at the end of the IMEI.


Each device in a mobile network has a IMEI number which identifies the hardware uniquely when connecting to a network. 1NCE offers the functionality to lock a given device to the SIM card using the IMEI. This means that once the IMEI Lock option is enabled the network will save the IMEI and subsequent connection attempts with this card using another device with different IMEI is blocked. This feature can be disabled and enabled by the customer for each SIM card individually either via the Connectivity Management Platform or API.

For the IMEI Lock functionality the IMEISV is used. The IMEISV is derived by the IMEI but is slightly different.

SIM Characteristics

Each operator has its own SPN which is stored on the SIM card. The SPN might be shown on devices that have a user interface available and display the operator name. This parameter can be seen the easiest way with the help of a smartphone. The 1NCE specific SPN is 1nce.net.

SIM vs. eSIM

Besides the visual difference between an eSIM and a normal SIM , the technical purpose and functionality of both products are nearly identical. Normal cards can easily be exchanged and are commonly used in many off-the-shelve IoT products. The eSIM are Integrated Circuit packages that can be directly embedded into custom hardware solutions. They offer the same functionality in a more compact and elegant integrated package. 1NCE offers both types, the SIM as the Flex SIM in 4in1 and 3in1 format and the eSIM in a MFF2 format. Please find below the characteristics of both SIM card types:

Flex (4in1 / 3in1)
Form Factor (1FF), 2FF, 3FF, 4FF MFF2, QFN8
Supported RAT 2G, 3G, 4G, CAT-M1, NB-IoT
Environmental Temperature -25 to +85°C
-40 to +105°C
Operating Voltage
Class A, B & C (1.8V –5.0V ±10%)
Data Retention 10 years
Read/Write Cycles min. 500,000
Key Standard Compliance 3GPP TR 31.919
ETSI TS 101 220
ETSI TS 102 221
3GPP TS 31.101
3GPP TS 31.111
3GPP TR 31.900

Form Factors

Besides the special Form Factor (FF) of eSIM, normal SIM cards also come in different FF. 1NCE offers the most common FF used in IoT devices.

SIM Card

The standard 1NCE Full Size product is a so-called 4in1 SIM card which provides all four common form factors. The 1NCE Half Size product offers only 3in1 form factors because the 1FF is so rarely used in the IoT world.

1NCE Flex SIM 4in11NCE Flex SIM 4in1

1NCE Flex SIM 4in1

1NCE Flex SIM 3in11NCE Flex SIM 3in1

1NCE Flex SIM 3in1

eSIM Chip

The embedded variant of the 1NCE SIM, the MFF2 is the smallest option provided for the customers. Besides the size advantage compared to the smallest plastic card (4FF Nano), the embedded option is more robust and because it is soldered to the circuit board it cannot be easily stolen and abused. More information can be found in the 1NCE eSIM Specifications.

Electrical Specifications eSIM

The eSIM shares a similar pinout to the typical plastic 4in1 SIM card. In the picture below the pinout of the 1NCE eSIM is shown. In the table below the pinout of the eSIM chip is explained in reference to the shown figure.

1NCE eSIM Pinout1NCE eSIM Pinout

1NCE eSIM Pinout

Contact Pin


1NCE eSIM Pinout


Supply Voltage



Reset Pin



Clock Signal


C4 and C8

USB interface according to ETSI TS 102 600



Ground Connection



Programming Voltage



Input Output Data


C8 and C4

USB interface according to ETSI TS 102 600


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