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How do dual-SIM phones work?

News Samsung

Consider a Standby Dual SIM Phone

A distinction can be made between traditional and standby dual SIM phones. Traditional dual SIM phones have two SIM card slots that need to be physically turned on and off. These cannot be used at the same time. By contrast, standby dual SIM phones have two SIM card slots that are usually held on standby. They do not need to be manually switched on and off. When one SIM is in use, the other is temporarily out of service as only one processor is used to control both SIMs.

Advantages of Standby Dual SIM Phones

Indeed, standby dual SIM phones are becoming more popular as people realise their inherent advantages over the older system. Whereas traditional dual SIM phones cannot alert the user to incoming calls on either network, standby dual SIM cards can be on call to receive both. This may be important if the phone is simultaneously used for business and personal use or for two separate business accounts.

Consider an Active Dual SIM Phone

Active dual SIM phones have two SIM card slots that are always available, even when the other one is in use. This is because two processors are used, one to control each SIM.

Advantages of Active Dual SIM Phones

In comparison to standby dual SIM phones, active dual SIM phones have even further advantages. For example, rather than the caller receiving a not reachable message, as typically found with standby dual SIM phones, they will be kept waiting, knowing that the person they are trying to reach is aware of their presence on the other end of the phone. In this way, an active dual SIM phone is rather like a typical landline office phone, with the capability to handle more than one call at a time. This is often better for those using their phone for business use, as it both conveys a more professional image and makes people easier to contact.

Don't Buy a Standby or Active Dual SIM Phone Unnecessarily

On the other hand, not everyone requires a standby or active dual SIM phone that gives dual concurrent use. Those that use a separate SIM just for travelling to a different country, for example, may have no need for anything more than a standard dual SIM phone. In this case, it does not make sense to pay extra for a feature that is not required. Likewise, if the phone is mostly used for making outbound calls, or if there is a clear distinction in hours between SIM card use – for example, one is used between 9 and 5 and the other only after 5 – then a standby or active dual SIM phone may not be necessary.

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