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Each SIM Card is activated by

Each SIM Card is activated by use of a unique numerical identifier; once activated, the identifier is locked down and the card is permanently locked in to the activating network. For this reason, most retailers refuse to accept the return of an activated SIM Card.

Those cell phones that do not use a SIM Card have the data programmed in to their memory. This data is accessed by using a special digit sequence to access the "NAM" as in "Name" or number programming menu. From here, one can add information such as a new number for your phone, new Service Provider numbers, new emergency numbers, change their Authentication Key or A-Key code, and update their Preferred Roaming List or PRL. However, to prevent someone from accidentally disabling their phone or removing it from the network, the Service Provider puts a lock on this data called a Master Subsidiary Lock or MSL.


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