Deactivating both SIM cards


Hello. I got a Fairphone 2 just recently after giving up an Fairphone 1 due to outdated and insecure operating system software.

With Fairphone 1 and Android 4.2 I have been able to easily deactivate both SIM cards when I use WLAN.

With Fairphone 2 and Fairphone Open OS 18.02.mostrecentasoflastmonday (Android 6) I did not manage to do that. I always get “Error: can´t disable all the SIMs” for the last SIM card I choose to deactivate. I even rebooted the Fairphone in order to skip entering the PIN, but unlike the Fairphone 1 it does not let me do it.

There is a bug on where it is stated that I am supposed to be able to disable both SIM cards in airplane mode, but then the buttons to deactivate a SIM card are just greyed out and not clickable.

Also unlike the Fairphone 1 airplane mode also deactivates the WLAN (which makes sense to me).

This however means I am not able at all to have the Fairphone be online with WLAN without also connecting to a mobile network provider.

For me this is a major regression due to mainly two reasons:

  1. Privacy. None of my mobile network provider have any business whatsoever to know where I am when I just use WLAN as a means to connect it to the internet. For example when I choose to use the Fairphone as a device to flip slides of a training I hold via KDE Connect.

  2. Being in control of the device. I switched to Fairphone OpenOS for exactly that reason.

In Android 7 according to what I heard its again possible to disable both SIM cards.

So what is the status on above bug report? I did not see anything to comment and ask in Taiga directly. I am supposed to be able to disable both SIM cards in airplane mode? Are there any other ways to be able to use just WLAN without connecting to a mobile network in any way (no, not even just for phone calls and sms, really not at all). I already read LineageOS 14.1 does not have the functionality yet. But I´d also be willing to root the device, use a script, whatever – anything that works to circumvent this anti-feature.

Of course you can. Just enter airplane mode and then re-enable wifi.


Dear Paula. Thank you very much. This indeed appears to work and seems to be a good work-around for not being able to disable both sim cards.

Can I be sure that in flight mode the phone will not connect to the mobile network provider? Thank you.

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Well, can you ever really be sure a phone does exactly what you tell it to and nothing more if it contains proprietary software unless you have a hardware swich? I don’t think so.
But from a theoretical standpoint flight mode should do the same as deactivating both SIMs.


Well, nope. But I let your answer be enough for me for now. :slight_smile:

I look forward to use Plasma Mobile on Fairphone 2 at some time… but even then, as long as there are proprietary drivers…

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