SIM card technology in our phones has grown outdated. We’ve been using the same technology for decades now, just decreasing the sizes. Also, we’re heavily reliant on the Netherlands-based company for SIMs.
What’s basically a Sim?
A SIM card is the small chip offered by telecom operators that you put into your phone to get cellular signals. These can be removed and lets you switch from one phone to another while retaining the same number. There’s a movement happening now in the industry that could spell the death-knell for outdated Sim card technology. The same one we are already evidencing with 3.5mm jack removal.
The GSMA (or GSM Association) is an organization that represents the interests of 800 telcos worldwide. Of late, it has been vocal about Remote SIM Provisioning with the use of an embedded SIM (or eSIM). It is primarily for devices where putting a SIM card isn’t feasible.
What actually is an E-sim?
“An eSIM is a programmable SIM card that can be permanently fitted into devices such as smartwatches during manufacturing. This is a consequence of the embedded SIM design, which uses a much smaller secure element in the mobile device.This replaces the traditional SIM card and associated holder”.
There have already been rumors of smartphones going the eSIM way too. After all, phone hardware too can benefit from the removal of the SIM card slot. Real estate inside a smartphone is expensive, as evidenced by the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack from phones such as the iPhone 7, the LeEco Le 2, and the Moto Z. Removing the jack gave phone-makers more room inside for more components, battery. This even eased the process of making a device water resistant,
The GSMA is working with mobile operators, device and SIM manufacturers to create a common global specification. By this, mobile networks can remote over-the-air services provisioning subscriptions for consumer devices.This will allow consumers to download operator credentials directly to the SIM embedded in their device, such as a tablet, wearable or smartphone with the mobile network operators of their choice.
Advantages of e-sim:
So what are the other advantages of smartphones switching to eSIM cards?
For one thing, this switch might make life easier for people who travel abroad a lot. International roaming rates almost always are ludicrously expensive.This requiring most of us to choose from the following three options – either use the phone only on Wi-Fi, find a place to buy a local SIM upon arrival, or use a service like Matrix to get a SIM before travel. This process could change – or at least become a lot simpler because of eSIM cards.
In 2014, we saw the launch of the Apple SIM, a reprogrammable SIM card available for the iPad Air 2 and iPad Pro.This lets users pick a data plan when they land abroad.
Some other benefits eSIM cards are easier to speculate. SIM cards were made a bit smaller -micro SIM.These are followed by nano-SIM, which smaller than most people’s thumbnails. This makes them easy to lose, especially when you have more than one SIM to manage on a phone that doesn’t have multi-SIM slots (iPhone).
But, In countries like India and China, the use of two SIM cards in one phone is a popular phenomenon. This use case isn’t addressed by the current eSIM specification, but we can expect to cover that in a future version.
But If we presume it’s going to be all sunshine and rainbows, then it’s Wrong? Because a shift like this will require massive collaboration between manufacturers, operators, and others. It may also cause temporary confusion and headaches for some channels, but it has its long-term benefits.
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