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Programmable Wireless: Understanding SIM States

Every Twilio SIM exists in one of eight possible states. Reading a specific SIM’s status will tell you which state it is currently in. SIM states indicate whether a SIM is able to connect to the cellular network and, if so, whether its activity is billable. Some states are achieved automatically; others can be set through Twilio’s Programmable Wireless API. A SIM’s status may also indicate that its status is currently being changed.

You can determine a given SIM’s status at any time using the Console’s SIMs section, or the Sim API.

SIM States

At any given moment, a Twilio SIM will be in one of the following states:

  • New
  • Ready
  • Active
  • Scheduled
  • Updating
  • Suspended
  • Deactivated
  • Canceled

This is what each of these states mean:

State Meaning
New The unused SIM is waiting to be activated. It can remain in this state indefinitely, but once it becomes Ready or Active, it can never return to New
Ready The SIM can connect to the network and can consume network resources in accordance with its Rate Plan, but no monthly fee will be charged. However, once the SIM has consumed 250KB of data, three months have passed, or five commands have been sent to it, the SIM will automatically move to the Active.
Active The SIM can connect to the network and consume network resources in accordance with its Rate Plan.
Scheduled The upstream network operator is temporarily unable to set the SIM’s status. Its status will be automatically set when the upstream network operator once more accepts transactions. You may see this status when you attempt to change a SIM’s state using the API.
Updating The SIM is in the process of being updated.
Suspended The SIM is blocked from connecting to the network. After three months of suspension at no charge, a suspended monthly fee will be initiated. See Suspended SIM Fees for more details.
Deactivated The SIM is blocked from connecting to the network. After 72 hours, the SIM will automatically transition to Canceled. Apply this status if a SIM has been lost or stolen.
Canceled The SIM is blocked from connecting to the network and can never be reactivated or used.

Active SIMs

The common state of most SIMs is Active. In this state — and in Ready, which is a test-oriented preliminary active state — the SIM can be used to connect to the network and transfer data. Check out our Example Code section for actions you can perform with the SIM.

How to check a SIM’s status

The status of each of your SIMs is indicated in the Console:

  1. Open the SIMs section of the Console.
  2. Select any SIM, which will display the Configure tab for that SIM.
  3. Check the SIM’s state under STATUS.

How to change a SIM’s status

You can change the status of a SIM on the Configure tab:

  1. Open the SIMs section of the Console.
  2. Select any SIM, which will display the Configure tab for that SIM.
  3. The current status will be shown in the STATUS dropdown menu.
  4. Change the SIM’s status by selecting a different value.

You can change a given SIM’s status to other values using Programmable Wireless’ Sim API.

When to change a SIM’s status

If you are new to Super SIM, you’ll typically allow your SIM’s status to change automatically: New to Ready to Active. However, under certain circumstances, you may want to update the SIM’s status yourself.

For example, if you simply want to confirm that a SIM is able to connect to the network without triggering the start of monthly billing, place the SIM in the Ready state. You can send up to 250KB of data before it transitions to Active.

You should also place SIMs into the Ready state if you want to test them all without incurring monthly fees. SIMs can remain in the Ready state for up to three months without charge. You will also need to ensure less than 250KB of data is trafficked by each SIM.

If you have a SIM you want to keep operational but inactive for a short period, ie. available for use but not billable until it is used, put it into the Suspended state. This is free for three months, but your account will begin to be charged after that period. Please see Suspended SIM Fees for more details.

If a SIM is lost or stolen, place it in the Deactivated state as soon as possible. If you recover the SIM within 72 hours, you can move it back to its previous state, otherwise it will automatically be canceled.

Once in the Canceled state, the SIM can’t connect to the network or be re-used. This is useful if you need to terminate a specific device. Switching a SIM to Canceled will ensure that you are no longer charged for that SIM.

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