SIM cards are small chips that act serve as miniature passports for using cellular data. Your phone is not dependent on the SIM card. You can test whether your phone works or not without the SIM card.
But your phone won't get any signals, nor will it register any cellular network. That happens since your SIM card holds all the information that establishes the connection to the cellular network.
The information includes the cellular network you've subscribed to, your carrier number (phone number), what data package you use (3G, 4G, 5G, or LTE), your unique ID, and other information. Removing your SIM card means you take along all the data stored on the network.
However, you still have the liberty to connect to the internet through Wi-Fi. Nonetheless, you still need to have a SIM card to access features making and receiving calls/texts. That is because the call data ends up with the network you've subscribed to.
Using Dual SIMs
Using two SIM cards simultaneously is possible if your cell phone supports these features. This feature comes in handy when managing more than a single number. For instance, this feature is handy if you want to keep your work contact information separate from your home network. Inserting both SIMs lets you receive calls and text messages on a single device.
What Data Can You Store on a SIM Card?
SIM cards have some space that allows them to store some contact information. Most SIM cards only support 256 KB of data, so you can't hold much information.
So, you won't have to worry about losing your contacts if you change your phone. You only need to take the SIM card from your old phone and re-insert it into another one. However, you will have to take care of the size of the SIM card. Most SIM card slots support nano, micro, and standard sizes. Most phones use nano in this age, but it is best to make sure what size your SIM card is so it corresponds to the SIM slot.
Data Roaming in SIM Cards
Data roaming is a helpful feature for travelers but comes at a higher cost. Data roaming happens when your cellular company mutually agrees with cellular companies abroad to provide you with services.
Roaming charges are high, so you might want to double-check the prices while streamlining your travel expenses. That is because some countries may incur higher costs for you, so ensure you know your cellular company's packages.
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Before you take off make sure to check with local government of the travel status.