What is an Assurance Wireless SIM Card?
Assurance Wireless is a telephone service subsidized by the federal Lifeline Assistance program. They offer free phones, free monthly data, free calls, and unlimited texts to low-income eligible customers. It is a no contract, no activation, or recurring fee service and thus a great option for all Lifeline-eligible citizens.
Lifeline-eligible citizens can apply for an Assurance Wireless service and SIM card at assurancewireless.com and in case they qualify they get a free Assurance Wireless SIM card with free minutes, free monthly data, and unlimited texts. In addition, they can receive a free Assurance Wireless phone.
An Assurance Wireless SIM card is simply a SIM card where your Assurance Wireless service data is stored, which allows you to make free calls, send free text messages, and access free mobile data.
Is an Assurance Wireless SIM Card Locked?
Assurance wireless SIM Cards are not the things that get unlocked. SIM cards are specific to the cell phone service and are replaced when switching carriers. On the other hand, it is a device that can be either locked or unlocked. So, if you have an Assurance Wireless phone and wish to go to another carrier, you must unlock the device. So if you want to unlock your Assurance Wireless device, here is how to do so.
First of all, check if your device is eligible for unlocking. The requirements for Assurance Wireless to unlock your mobile device for free are:
- That the device was provided by Assurance Wireless
- That the device was not reported lost or stolen or otherwise flagged as ineligible for unlocking
- That the device has been active for at least 12 months.
As soon as the device becomes eligible for unlocking, Assurance Wireless will automatically unlock the cell phone within two business days. They will do so remotely, as most devices support remote unlock. If the device can’t be unlocked remotely, Assurance Wireless will send you a message within two business days with the exact instructions and steps on how to unlock the device manually. However, some older phone models with a Master Subsidy Lock (MSL) can’t be SIM unlocked – not remotely or manually. In this case, Assurance Wireless may provide an MSL code to eligible customers, which may mean the device will be accepted by another carrier and work with another network, but it is not guaranteed, as it depends on that carrier’s policies.
It is important to note that Assurance Wireless can refuse an unlock request that would in any way abuse their unlock policies. In addition, unlocking a device does not guarantee that it will work on another carrier’s network, as it depends on that carrier’s policies. Plus, unlocking a device may not enable all functionality of the device.
What Kind of SIM Card Does Assurance Wireless Use?
Assurance Wireless previously used Sprint’s network and infrastructure, but since the T-Mobile and Sprint merger in 2020, Assurance Wireless now uses T-Mobile’s network. T-Mobile uses GSM network standards, and it is not a CDMA network.
As such, Assurance Wireless SIM cards are GSM, UMTS, LTE, and 5G-supported and will work with any compatible GSM, UMTE, LTE, or 5G smartphone.
What Carriers are Compatible with Assurance Wireless Unlocked Phones?
If you got your cell phone at Assurance Wireless and now you wish to take the device to another carrier, you must first unlock it. To do so, follow the instructions above. As soon as your Assurance Wireless phone is unlocked you can take it to another carrier.
As Assurance Wireless phones use GSM technology, they will only be able to work with carriers that use GSM network standards. Since Assurance Wireless uses T-Mobile’s network, their phones should definitely be able to work on T-Mobile, therefore, switching to T-Mobile may be your best bet. In addition to T-Mobile, AT&T also uses the GSM network and so do all the T-Mobile MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators), including:
- Best Cellular
- Boom Mobile
- Boost Mobile
- Consumer Cellular
- Eco Mobile
- Gen Mobile
- Google Fi
- Hello Mobile
- Kroger Wireless
- Metro by T-Mobile
- Mint Mobile
- Simple Mobile
- Ting Mobile
- Ultra Mobile
- Walmart Family Mobile
Can I Use My Assurance Wireless SIM Card on Any Other Phone?
Normally you cannot use your Assurance Wireless SIM card on any other phone. In fact, you cannot use any other phone on any free government phone service like Assurance Wireless. Assurance Wireless and other government free phone companies give out their own phones and as those devices come free of charge, there is no need for you to use your own phone.
However, while most phones cannot be used with an Assurance Wireless account, even if they are unlocked and GSM-enabled, there are some exceptions. Selected Virgin Mobile phones may be used with an Assurance Wireless account, excluding the Party Animal, Super Model, Blackberry, iPhone, and Android™ models. Keep in mind, though, that the best customer experience can only be expected when using the device sent to you by Assurance Wireless.
What Happens if I Put My Assurance Wireless SIM Card in Another Phone?
If it’s not an Assurance Wireless phone nor any other of the above-listed phones that may work with Assurance Wireless, you will simply get an ‘Invalid SIM’ or ‘No SIM card installed’ notification and you won’t be able to use most of the phone’s features, including calling, texting, and using data. You will only be able to utilize the features that don’t require a SIM card to work.
What Phones are Compatible with Assurance Wireless Unlocked SIM Cards?
An Assurance Wireless SIM card will work best in an Assurance Wireless phone. However, there are some other selected Virgin Mobile devices that may be used with an Assurance Wireless account, including:
- Samsung Entro Virgin Mobile
- Alcatel OneTouch Retro
- Virgin Mobile Montage Prepaid Phone
- Kyocera Contact Black
- Motorola Triumph Prepaid Android Phone
- Kyocera Brio Prepaid Phone
- LG G Stylo LS770VB Android 5.1
- LG Stylo 2 Prepaid
Can I Switch My Assurance Wireless Phone to Another Carrier?
You may be able to switch your Assurance Wireless phone to another carrier. To do so, you must meet certain requirements:
- Your Assurance Wireless phone must be unlocked.
- An Assurance Wireless phone is only able to work with carriers that use GSM network standards, such as T-Mobile.
Note that unlocking a device does not guarantee that it will work on another carrier’s network, as it depends on that carrier’s policies. Additionally, unlocking a device may not enable all functionality of the device.
What is the Assurance Wireless PUK Code?
PUK is an abbreviation that stands for ‘PIN Unlock Key’. It’s an eight-digit code that is linked to your individual SIM card. As it is linked to your SIM card, there is no such thing as a universal Assurance Wireless PUK code.
The only time you may actually need your PUK number is if you enter the wrong PIN number three times. In this case, you will only be able to unlock your SIM card and correct the issue by entering your PUK code. To get your PUK code, call Assurance Wireless or otherwise contact their customer support.
What is a SIM Network Unlock PIN?
If your phone asks for a SIM network unlock PIN, it means your phone is network locked to the original network carrier. In this case, the device can’t be used with any other SIM card until it gets network unlocked. You can network unlock your card by entering an 8 or 16-digit unlock code. The network unlock code depends on the phone model and is unique for every phone. To find your network unlock code, contact Assurance Wireless’s customer service.