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New SIM cards ensure faster mobile internet


Around 48 million SIM cards – around 45 percent – are only connected to the Internet with 3G. How to find out if you are affected.

The figures in the current annual report by the Federal Network Agency are astonishing: of the 107 million active SIM cards in Germany at the end of 2019, only around 59 million supported the fast LTE mobile communications standard, which has been in use for years, and thus the fourth generation of mobile communications (4G). Conversely, this means that around 48 million SIM cards – around 45 percent – are only connected to the Internet with the previous 3G generation.

If your mobile phone only shows “3G” or “UMTS” as the connection status, regardless of location, this can have different causes: Your provider or tariff may not support 4G / LTE or the function has not yet been activated in your customer profile. Or LTE use can fail on the SIM card, as described, which is particularly true of older SIM cards that have been in use for years. Thirdly, some older cell phones do not yet support LTE; fourthly, LTE support can be deactivated in the phone’s settings menu.

You can find out whether the SIM card, tariff and mobile phone support LTE / 4G via the website IMEI.info: This is the case on the left in the example, but not on the right.

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You can find out whether the SIM card, tariff and mobile phone support LTE / 4G via the website IMEI.info: This is the case on the left in the example, but not on the right.

You can quickly find out whether your tariff, your SIM card and your device support LTE via the website

IMEI.info
find out. The abbreviation IMEI stands for “International Mobile Station Equipment Identity”. The IMEI number is a 15-digit serial number of the SIM card, with which your phone can be uniquely identified worldwide. The IMEI can be found printed on the SIM card, alternatively the phone displays it after you have entered the command * # 06 # on the keypad. If you now enter this number (only the first 15 digits without spaces or slashes) in IMEI.info, the test result will appear below. If LTE support is missing, you can use Google search to find out whether the phone you are using is 4G-capable. If this is the case, there is probably a problem with the tariff or the SIM card. Then ask the provider or on-site in the provider’s shop whether one of the two is not LTE-compatible.

The tariff option can usually be changed immediately; you have to apply for a new SIM card first. It usually takes a few days until this is ready and you have it sent to you by post. Incidentally, numerous providers do not charge any fees for a new SIM card.

Further information on the annual report of the Federal Network Agency and on the shutdown of the 3G / UMTS networks planned for next year

you’ll find here.

Tip:

5G smartphones: These phones are the fastest on the market

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