Almost all the GSM phones released in North America have a single SIM card, but there are a lot of areas of the world where having a dual-SIM device is a big advantage. These devices can utilize two networks at the same time for calls, data, and SMS. For when two just isn't enough, LG is going to soon offer phones with three SIM slots.


LG is teaming up with MediTek to create the new triple-SIM devices, which will almost certainly never arrive in the US. We don't even have three legitimate GSM networks to connect to. The devices will essentially be capable of grabbing data from one network, receiving an SMS on a second, and having a voice call on a third all at the same time.

The companies didn't say if the triple-SIM device were going to be unique one-off phones, or tweaked variants of standard single-SIM models. But if you just love SIM cards, LG has your back. Full PR below.

HSINCHU, July 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announced the world's first triple-SIM technology for 3G Android smartphones. The cutting-edge solution, which comes in response to widespread demand for multi-SIM devices in emerging markets, was recently commercialized in Brazil by Optimus L4II smartphone from LG Electronics.

Building on the success of its popular dual-SIM predecessor, 3G Triple-SIM technology allows for three SIM cards to be used simultaneously. Each can receive calls, transmit data, send SMS messages and remain in standby mode concurrently without consuming excessive battery life.

A key feature of the 3G Triple-SIM solution is its high level of stability, which prevents the occurrence of dropped or poor-quality calls, and reaffirms MediaTek's reputation as the leading producer of multi-SIM chipset technologies.

"MediaTek has long provided state-of-art solutions for multi-SIM mobile devices. 3G triple-SIM is yet another example of that," says Brian Kwon, Head of Product Planning Group from LG Electronics. "Thanks to its groundbreaking technology, our new smartphones will significantly expand the connectivity options of our customers, and in so doing allow them to take advantage of multiple tariff plans."

Beyond its pioneering technology, the 3G Triple-SIM technology also serves as a turnkey solution for manufacturers through its built-in user interface, which enables end-users to directly adjust or turn off the multi-SIM function if and when desired.

"In many emerging markets, multi-SIM support has become an absolute requirement. By creating a comprehensive total solution packed with premium features and advanced technologies, MediaTek is not only catering to end-user needs, but also attracting the attention of the world's tier-one device makers," says Jeffrey Ju, GM of MediaTek's Smartphone Business Unit. "With our long line of exciting new products in the works, we expect to bring many more affordable-premium mobile device solutions to emerging markets and others in the near future."

[PR NewsWire]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play.

  • http://shwetank-shukla.blogspot.com/ Shwetank Shukla

    Not new for LG though, I have already seen triple sim feature phones from them here(India).

  • Frekko

    lol. now people will triple date at a time

  • Nomaan

    Believe it or not, there are many manufacturers with 5 sim slot phones.

    • r4v5

      What is the use case for them? Does it require paying five different GSM companies?

      • crackinthewall

        Prepaid man. In the Philippines, there are three prepaid networks each with exclusive (on-network) unlimited calls promo. Bringing one phone instead of three is a lot more convenient.

      • Nomaan

        In India on DOCOMO you pay less than 3 cents for 100 sms, while other providers charge more. One carrier costs 1 paisa (thats less 0.02 cents) per second voice charges while others charge more. Some provide cheap data so you can use one provider for sms one for voice one for data and maybe one for international calling. You only pay for what you use. If you want to activate some plans with some benefits, you can do that. All providers here have prepaid and postpaid.....

      • Guest

        Pay to use a network? So American :P This would be very useful in my country (Portugal) since we have free plans (with only 35c per day activation fee) with free calls and sms within each carrier's network. I dont use more than 1 carrier, but i think businessmen can benefit from this. But 5 SIMs is really too much imo.

        • r4v5

          Well, you're paying to use the network (though 35c/day makes me jealous). So, despite my American outlook, the answer is "yes" :)

          It also seems like it would be a pain to keep straight having a different number for texts and phone calls. I have enough difficulty getting android to distinguish between work and mobile numbers. Unless the OS on those phones is tweaked to accommodate that system, that is, in which case it's a really clever hack.

          • http://twitter.com/Rodrigost23 Rodrigo Tavares

            I think it is, actually. I've seen Motorola phones here in Brazil running modified Android 4.2 with options like two "call" buttons etc.

          • Cerberus_tm

            Yes, every phone with two SIM slots here comes with a slightly modified OS, which makes it easy to set up and forget about.

    • Sergii Pylypenko

      I have a close friend who has 5 sim cards, he is carrying three dumbphones around, one of them supports 3 sim cards. And he has a legitimate use for all those simcards - three are for calls, the calls inside a network are free or very cheap, but calks between operators cost a lot, fourth simcard is for tethered 3g internet, and he keeps fifth one because of historic reasons - he gave that phone number to a lot of people, when that operator did not suck. PS I live in Ukraine.

      • Freak4Dell

        People like to bitch about how expensive US carriers are, but honestly, what you just described sounds like the biggest pain ever. I'd way rather pay US carrier prices than have to carry multiple phones and remember which people have which carrier (or which number and which phone to use to reply to a message from someone else who uses 5 phones). Convenience is well worth the money.

        • Cerberus_tm

          That guy is an exception. I don't know anybody here (Holland) who has more than one SIM, except for a work phone. It would be great if you could have your work number and your private number both available and active at the same time in the same device.

          As to costs, my plan costs € 14,25 a month, which gives me about 1 GB of data and some minutes/texts. It's plenty for me. Many people I know have similar plans. The average person spends about € 27 or so a month on his mobile plan here. I think that's $ 70 or so in America, and $ 100 for Iphone users! So there's a lot of money that could be saved.

          Of course there are bigger plans too. For € 20,50 you can get 2.5 GB plus 100 minutes, or € 34,50 for unlimited calls/texts plus 2 GB, or € 44 for the same with 4 GB; and those are just a few random plans, there are loads.

        • Nomaan

          Even if you only use the most expensive carrier in india, you will save more than 80% of what you pay in the US for the same plan.
          Again you can manage 2-3 sims quite easily by using call forwarding options, and using only one number.....But I use a Sprint phone in india ;)

    • shane


  • sourabh

    As if dual SIM phones arent enough.

  • BBXiong

    yo dawg, I heard u like simcards...

  • Alain Lafond

    It's a typical american reaction. If you don't need it the STATES, there's no need. We, the others living on this planet are used to this behaviour... You are the world... (Sure gonna be ban...)

    • r4v5

      No, the reaction was "we've seen dual SIMs but couldn't imagine a use case for tri-sim phones." I was unaware of the situation in other countries with free in-network calls or other wildly different rate structures, but now that several commenters have clarified that, I can totally see the use case provided the interface for it isn't god-awful.

      • Cerberus_tm

        What if you were to go abroad and you wanted to be available on your normal phone number, on your work number, and use a local pre-paid card for Internet access? Then even you and I might actually use three SIM slots if our phones had them. There are so many possible scenarios...

        • r4v5

          Typically, US carriers charge out the ass for international roaming to the point that it's not worth the risk. You'd just pull the American SIMs and check your google voicemail box.

      • Rohit

        "No, the reaction was "we've seen dual SIMs but couldn't imagine a use case for tri-sim phones".....precisely his point. You dont need them in America coz you have, like 3 carriers. The rest of the world might need them. India has about 14 carriers (varies by region). In Mumbai, for example, there's about 10 carriers to choose from. 3 sims suddenly seems too few.

  • Elias

    In Brazil phones up to quad sim actually make sense. We have 4 carriers (Oi, Tim, Claro, Vivo) and you can often make very cheap or free calls inside a given network but calls outside that network are very expensive. Often carriers give you a "credit bonus" which might be used to make free calls only within that network.
    I have a prepaid SIM on my N4 which I use for data and calls within the same carrier, and a family plan SIM (from another carrier) on a dumbphone for calls to other carriers. Now if only my N4 could take two SIMs...

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    What, nobody caught the pun in the title? I admit myself at first my OCD blinded me and I wanted to fix the capitalization, but then I smacked it right back in its place when I figured it out.

    • r4v5

      We caught it, alright.

    • qwd

      Yes, we got it, sophisticated as it was.

  • shane

    have a dual already samsung grand duos and its fantastic and half the price of s3/s4 .. will probably buy the triple sim when it comes out. I htink they are boxing clever and getting into a niche market which is quite large outside USA ... I travel frequently around europe

  • Anne Onymous

    It's interesting to see that all poster here only see the financial side.
    How about people like me, travelling and living regularly in at least two countries ?
    How about people who just like to keep family and business separate ?
    How about having business in 2 countries and then a family card ?

  • Jacqueline Blas