ICCID Number

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What is an ICCID Number?

An ICCID (Integrated Circuit Card Identifier) number is a unique serial number assigned to each Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card.


This identifier is made up of up to 20 digits, containing information such as the SIM issuer, country code, and individual account number. It’s found printed on the physical SIM card and stored within its internal memory. The ICCID number serves as a key to unlock the network services for a device.

The ICCID’s structure isn’t random. It follows a globally recognized standard that allows mobile network operators to accurately identify the issuer of the card, the individual account, and the network to which it belongs.

This standardization is necessary for the interoperability of mobile services across different regions and networks, allowing for international roaming and making sure that users can maintain connectivity when traveling abroad.

The ICCID plays these parts in mobile communication ecosystems:

Activation and Authentication
When a SIM card is inserted into a device, the network uses the ICCID to authenticate the card’s legitimacy and activate services. This process involves matching the ICCID with the operator’s database to configure the correct network settings and services for the user’s account.

Billing and Service Management
The ICCID allows network operators to accurately track usage and billing, making sure that calls, texts, and data consumption are correctly attributed to the user’s account. This precision is important for managing service plans, allowances, and any additional charges that may apply.

Device and Plan Portability
The ICCID number simplifies the process of switching devices or changing mobile operators. Users wishing to transfer their service can do so without altering their mobile number or affecting their service plan, provided the new device or operator supports the SIM card.
Beyond identification, the ICCID contributes to the overall security of mobile communications. It aids in the detection and prevention of fraud, such as the unauthorized use of network services, by providing a unique and traceable link between the SIM card and the subscriber.

Techopedia Explains the ICCID Number Meaning

Techopedia Explains the ICCID Number Meaning

The ICCID is a unique numerical identifier assigned to every SIM card, allowing mobile networks to identify and manage each subscriber’s account.

This sequence of up to 20 digits encodes information such as the issuing country, issuer identification, and an individual account number, providing global communication and improving security against fraud.

Originating in the early 1990s alongside the introduction of SIM cards, the ICCID became an important component in telecommunications, supporting the expansion of mobile services worldwide. It allows users to connect, communicate, and switch devices or networks while maintaining a secure and personalized mobile experience.

ICCID Number Structure

The ICCID number has a structured format that encodes specific information about the SIM card. This format allows mobile networks and devices to interpret the details encoded within the ICCID for identification and operational purposes.

Let’s break down the typical structure of an ICCID number and explain what each section represents:

  • Issuer Identification Number (IIN): The first 7 to 8 digits form the Issuer Identification Number, previously known as the Major Industry Identifier (MII). This section identifies the SIM card’s issuing network or organization. For example, digits might indicate a particular mobile carrier or country of issuance.
  • Individual Account Identification: Following the IIN, the next section, which can vary in length, is dedicated to individual account identification. This part of the ICCID is assigned by the issuer and is unique to each SIM card. It differentiates one SIM card from another within the issuer’s system.
  • Check Digit: The final digit of the ICCID is the check digit, calculated using the Luhn algorithm. This digit is used to verify the number’s integrity, ensuring it hasn’t been entered incorrectly or tampered with.

For example, in an ICCID like “8901 2345 6789 0123 4567,” the “890” might indicate the country code and issuing organization, “123456789012345” would be the unique account identifier, and “7” is the check digit ensuring the ICCID’s accuracy.

How Do You Find an ICCID Number?

Finding your ICCID number depends on what type of SIM you’re using, as well as the device.

For Physical SIM Cards

  1. On the SIM Card: The easiest way to find the ICCID is to physically remove the SIM card from your device and look for the printed number on its surface. It’s usually a long series of digits, up to 20 characters.
  2. Through Your Device’s Settings:
  • iOS Devices: Go to Settings > General > About, and scroll down to ICCID. Here you’ll see the number listed.
  • Android Devices: The steps can vary slightly, but generally, you go to Settings > About Phone > Status > SIM Card Status. On some devices, it may be under Settings > About Phone > SIM Status.

For eSIMs

Finding the ICCID for an eSIM requires a different approach since there’s no physical card to inspect:

  1. Carrier or Network Provider’s Website/App: Many carriers provide details of your eSIM in your account on their website or mobile app. After logging in, look for device or plan details where ICCID numbers are often listed.
  2. Through Your Device’s Settings:
  • iOS Devices: Navigate to Settings > General > About. Alongside other details, you’ll find the ICCID for your eSIM.
  • Android Devices: Go to Settings > About Phone > Status > SIM Status (or Settings > About Phone > SIM Status). If your device supports eSIM, the ICCID should be listed here.


ICCID Number vs. SIM Card Number

The terms ICCID number and SIM card number are often incorrectly used interchangeably. They refer to different aspects of a SIM card.


ICCID Number

A unique serial number assigned to each SIM card, used globally to identify and manage the SIM.

SIM Card Number (IMSI)

Often referred to as the IMSI, it’s a number stored on the SIM used by networks to identify the subscriber.

ICCID Number

Primarily used for identifying and activating the SIM card in the network’s system.

SIM Card Number (IMSI)

Used internally by mobile networks for authentication and providing subscriber-specific services.

ICCID Number

Visible on the physical SIM card and accessible by the user.

SIM Card Number (IMSI)

Not printed on the SIM card and typically not visible to the user; it’s used internally by the network.

ICCID Number

Up to 20 digits long, containing information about the SIM issuer, country of issuance, and an account identifier.

SIM Card Number (IMSI)

A number that includes the mobile country code (MCC), mobile network code (MNC), and a unique subscriber number.

ICCID Number

8901 2345 6789 0123 456

SIM Card Number (IMSI)

310 150 123456789

What’s the Difference Between ICCID, IMSI, and IMEI?

To truly understand how mobile networks and devices operate, you need to know the differences between ICCID, IMSI, and IMEI.



SIM Card


Activation, service management

Number of Digits

Up to 20


8901 2345 6789 0123 4567




Authentication, securing services

Number of Digits



310 150 123456789




Tracking, theft protection

Number of Digits

15 or 17



So, in sum:

  • The ICCID manages SIM card activation and service provisioning.
  • The IMSI authenticates subscriber identity and secures service access.
  • The IMEI secures devices by enabling tracking and blocking if stolen.

ICCID Number Applications

ICCID numbers are not just static identifiers, but they’re also active participants in making sure that mobile networking, device management, and security protocols operate properly.

Mobile Networking
ICCID numbers handle the activation and management of subscriber services. They allow network operators to efficiently allocate resources, manage billing, and provide customer support by accurately identifying the SIM card – and, by extension, the user – within their systems. This identification process is important for both initializing service on new devices and transferring services between devices without changing phone numbers.

Device Management
Relies heavily on ICCID numbers. They allow carriers and enterprises to manage large fleets of mobile devices, ensuring that each device is correctly provisioned with the right services and plans. For individuals, the ICCID number makes it possible to switch phones while retaining the same mobile service.

Security Perspective
ICCID numbers contribute to safeguarding mobile communications. They are necessary in identifying potentially fraudulent activity by tracking the usage and activation history of a SIM card. Also, in conjunction with other identifiers like IMSI and IMEI, ICCID numbers help secure the user’s identity and device integrity within the network.

ICCID in IoT and Smart Devices

The expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT) has propelled ICCID numbers beyond their traditional role in mobile phones to become a major part in the connectivity of smart devices.

As IoT devices increasingly rely on cellular networks for remote control, data collection, and automation, ICCID numbers are important in managing these connections.

ICCID numbers identify and authenticate each IoT device’s SIM card on the cellular network, just as they do with mobile phones. This identification is necessary for allocating network resources, managing subscriptions, and keeping secure communication channels.

In environments where devices often operate autonomously, the ICCID provides a reliable means to manage and monitor each device’s connectivity status and usage.

The Future of ICCID

Looking to the future, as the Internet of Things continues to expand, the ICCID will be essential in managing the connectivity of a large number of devices beyond traditional smartphones and tablets. This includes everything from wearables to smart home devices, making sure they can securely connect to mobile networks.

Also, with the development of digital SIMs, the ICCID will become more important for providing more flexible, software-based management of mobile services. This will allow users and devices to switch between networks and plans digitally without the need for physical SIM cards.

The Bottom Line

ICCID numbers are necessary for identifying SIM cards, allowing for mobile network connectivity, and managing subscriber accounts.

They differentiate from IMSI and IMEI by focusing on the SIM card itself, providing a foundation for secure and efficient communication across devices.

With the advent of IoT and eSIM technology, ICCID’s role is expanding beyond traditional mobile phones to include connected devices.


What is the ICCID number in simple terms?

Is ICCID the same as the SIM card number?

How do I find my ICCID number?

What is the ICCID number for eSIM?


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Marshall Gunnell
IT & Cybersecurity Expert
Marshall Gunnell
IT & Cybersecurity Expert

Marshall, a Mississippi native, is a dedicated expert in IT and cybersecurity with over a decade of experience. Along Techopedia, his bylines can be found on Business Insider, PCWorld, VGKAMI, How-To Geek, and Zapier. His articles have reached a massive readership of over 100 million people. Marshall previously served as the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and technical staff writer at StorageReview, providing comprehensive news coverage and detailed product reviews on storage arrays, hard drives, SSDs, and more. He also developed sales strategies based on regional and global market research to identify and create new project initiatives.  Currently, Marshall resides in…