FC community SIM cards made

Mychaela Falconia mychaela.falconia at gmail.com
Thu Apr 1 19:06:18 UTC 2021

Hello FC community,

Our FreeCalypso Community SIM cards have now been fully produced
(getting ready to ship from China to California), and we got pretty


Once these cards arrive in California (probably another week or two),
I will be making them available to anyone who may have a use for
programmable GSM/2G-only SIM cards.  If someone needs just one card or
a few of them, buying cards from me would probably be the most expedient
route, but if someone needs 100 or more cards, then you would be better
off buying directly from Grcard, in which case you get to put your own
brand printing on the plastic - Grcard are awesome in allowing such
small order quantities!

I paid a total of $582.72 USD for this batch of 200 cards ($2.00 per
card in qty 200, plus $100 for printing, plus shipping and Paypal fees),
thus a resale price of somewhere between $3 and $4 per card (the latter
to account for my own labor) seems reasonable for me.  For comparison,
Sysmocom's webshop version is 68 EUR for 10 cards with full
programmability, or 40 EUR for 10 cards if you order the cheaper
variant with ADM1 and OTA keys withheld.

I also take a different approach to card programming and security with
FCSIM1 compared to Sysmocom webshop products.  Instead of programming
every card at the factory with per-card unique identities and keys
like Sysmocom does (and then maintaining a database of those per-card
identities and keys and emailing extracts from that database to every
customer who buys a 10-pack of cards), I take a much simpler approach:
I instructed Grcard to leave the cards completely unprogrammed, with
the SUPER ADM key left at the default 88888888, and this is how I am
going to ship these cards if anyone buys them from me.  With the SUPER
ADM key set to the same 88888888 on every card, I do not have the
option of selectively providing or withholding ADM keys - instead
every downstream owner of each individual card has full reprogramming
ability with fc-simtool.  And because the initial state of the cards
is blank or unknown, programming with fc-simtool is always required
prior to use.

There is also a potential use case which I consider quite unlikely: it
is at least conceptually imaginable that someone might wish to take a
batch of FCSIM1 cards, program them, and then issue them to end users
of their GSM network - but unlike me, treat those end users as
untrusted and not allow them to have ADM access to their SIMs.  What I
just described is the traditional model used by mainstream cellular
network operators, though I see no point in it - I don't see what is
so wrong with letting your paying service subscribers know their own
Ki and allowing them to clone their SIMs if they wish.  But if someone
does wish to implement this (non-sensical to me) traditional security
model with FCSIM1 cards, it is possible - you can change both ADM5 and
ADM11 keys to your own secrets, if you wish.  But then you will have
to maintain your own database of per-card secret ADM keys, and if you
forget your secret SUPER ADM key, there is no recovery.

The only parameter that should be regarded as fixed on FCSIM1 cards is
ICCID.  The actual EF_ICCID record is freely writable with ADM access
(not like sysmoISIM-SJA2) and you can write whatever you like into it,
but at least to me it makes no sense to program a different ICCID than
what is printed on the plastic.  And I did have these cards made with
per-card unique ICCIDs printed on them because in my view, it is quite
important to be able to distinguish cards from one another visually:
if you have a bunch of otherwise identical-looking SIM cards lying
around on your lab bench, how would you tell which is which?

In any case, if anyone would like one or a few cards from this batch,
please let me know, and I will put you on the queue to send you some
cards once I receive the batch.  Alternatively, if anyone is interested
in buying 100 or more cards, please let me know and I will put you in
touch with my contact person at Grcard, and guide you so you can order
the exact same card model with your own printing, if you so desire.

Hasta la Victoria, Siempre,
Mychaela aka The Mother

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