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Problems with ID mobile sim working in old phone

  • 8 April 2018
  • 2 replies
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Hi, I recently took out an ID mobile contract for a spare phone that I use in case of emergencies. For this reason, it is an old Motorola flip phone.

When the sim card arrived, I tried it in the phone and it would not work - it just said 'check sim'.

A couple of points to note:
1) I am pretty sure the phone is unlocked - I have tried a couple of sims in it such as Giffgaff and BT mobile and both work fine.
2) The sim card appears to work ok in my main phone (a Samsung Galaxy S8).

So my question is whether this could be because it is a new sim in an old phone - should ID mobile sims work in any phone regardless of age?

If anyone else has come across this issue or has any suggestions it would be much appreciated.
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Best answer by MrsH 8 April 2018, 22:02

Hi @sopsan, happy posting.

If your using it in a 2g phone, I think ID is 3g and 4g only same as Three. This is my assumption as it works fine in your Samsung.

Best option might be to use a spare phone that is 3g compatible.

Hope this helps.
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Userlevel 3
Hi @sopsan, happy posting.

If your using it in a 2g phone, I think ID is 3g and 4g only same as Three. This is my assumption as it works fine in your Samsung.

Best option might be to use a spare phone that is 3g compatible.

Hope this helps.
Userlevel 4
Hi @sopsan, happy posting.

If your using it in a 2g phone, I think ID is 3g and 4g only same as Three. This is my assumption as it works fine in your Samsung.

Best option might be to use a spare phone that is 3g compatible.

Hope this helps.


Yep this is correct, an 'old Motorola flip phone' is likely to be using the older 2G bands and will not support Three's network.

There are certain sites in the UK which do provide 2G masts from Three but these are very rare and are in special cases where coverage is low or if the network is heavily congested. These 2G masts are usually provided by Orange (now EE) and are called 'MBNL' sites.

I do not think iD Mobile will be suitable for your emergency phone. You can always try to find another handset which supports 3G and this will be fine.

Hi, I recently took out an ID mobile contract for a spare phone that I use in case of emergencies. For this reason, it is an old Motorola flip phone.
When the sim card arrived, I tried it in the phone and it would not work - it just said 'check sim'.


The 'check sim' message is due to the Three/iD sim being a USIM card and not a standard sim card. The sim is made for the 3G networks and is incompatible with the 2G/GSM sim readers. There are some handsets with 2G capabilities which can read a USIM, so its a bit of a hit and miss and even then there are no 2g masts to connect to.

A follow-up question would be:
Does the iD Mobile network allow connection to those remote MBNL (previously Orange) sites for 2G coverage like the Three sim?

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