What is an ICCID Number?

Last Updated: July, 2023

IoT Glossary by Freeeway AG

Quick definition:

ICCID Number, or Integrated Circuit Card Identification Number, is a unique digital code to classify SIM cards. With an 18-22 digit code printed on the back, all SIM cards are classified as per their country, home network, and unique identification number. Occasionally, the ICCID code is printed on the SIM card’s packaging materials as well.

Introduction to ICCID number

The ICCID number on a SIM card is as important as the IMEI number for a mobile device. ICCID is stored under the SIM card’s memory and helps mobile network operators determine the network to connect. Without ICCID, it is not possible for a mobile network provider to identify and register a subscriber to the right network.

A string of 18-22 digits of unique ICCID code has a combination of numbers carrying vital information about SIM cards functioning and classification. Particularly for IoT, the ICCID code of SIM cards identifies the cellular networks IoT (Internet of Things) devices can access.

This article covers what the ICCID numbers mean, how to find ICCID numbers, and where the ICCID number is on SIM cards.

What is the meaning of numbers within the ICCID code?

Any 18-22 digit ICCID number consists of four sets of numbers, each referring to a unique individual property of the SIM card. Here’s the breakdown of all four sets:

  1. Since the ICCID number is used in other industries as well, the ICCID number always begins with a standard industry code. For SIM cards, ICCID always begins with 89, as it is the standard industry code for the telecommunication industry.
  2. The next group of numbers consisting of six digits represents the country code. The country code represents the country for SIM card operations as established by the International Telecommunications Union. For instance, 1 represents the USA and Canada.
  3. The next portion of four digits is called the Issuer Identifier Number, which refers to the Mobile Network Code (MNC). It is for the identification of the Mobile Network Operator that issues the SIM card. The code represents the network in which your SIM card can register and operate the network.
  4. Lastly, the set of remaining digits is a unique identifier for every SIM card worldwide. This unique identification code is the key to managing, activating, and canceling SIM card services.

How to find the ICCID number?

ICCID number is important to manage SIM cards as well as whenever interacting with cellular network support. As such, it is crucial to understand how to find the ICCID number and where the ICCID number is contained. One way to find the ICCID number is on the SIM card or on the packaging itself. However, that is not convenient once the SIM is in a device that is being used.

Another way to find the ICCID is to generate a query within the device to get the ICCID number. Particularly, for the IoT devices, you can create a query through an AT command based on the IoT mobile network module used in the device as given below:

  • “AT+CCID=?” for SIMCOM modules
  • “AT#CCID=?” for Telit modules
  • “AT+QCCID=?” for Quectel modules

You can always check the manual to identify the accurate AT command for your device. For smartphones, you can easily identify the ICCID number under the settings in the About division.