Qualcomm teamed with Vodafone and Thales to produce the next generation of iSIM technology. Then which will replace conventional SIM cards. The proposed technique can free up capacity in smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, and any object. Therefore that can connect to the internet or make calls and texts.
How the forthcoming iPhone 14 series wouldn’t have a nano-SIM card slot; which created some issues. Recent news suggests the upcoming eSIM-only iPhone 14 series may be optional and market-dependent.
Before proceeding, we must grasp how physical SIM cards; embedded eSIMs, and Integrated SIMs (iSIM) work. This will help us evaluate each technology. This will help us determine which approach will free up space in smartphones, smartwatches, IoT devices, laptops, and more.
SIM Card Definition
SIM is a tiny plastic chip that slips into a phone or tablet or is incorporated into a device (in the case of eSIM or iSIM). It connects your device to a cellular network, which is needed for calls.
Text messages and internet data are also needed. It tracks your data usage, texts, calling minutes, name, and more. Each SIM card is unique and can’t be replicated; so it’s just yours (in an ideal world, that is).
In 1991, Germany invented the SIM card which was larger than today’s. First SIM card was credit card size, surprising everyone. Strange, huh? Modern SIM cards are smaller and virtual.
Each SIM card’s 17-digit number identifies the country, carrier, and card. This code connects the card to your network carrier so it can function.
Embedded SIM cards are called eSIMs. It runs on the same networks as conventional SIM cards; thus there’s not much difference other than initial set-up and number/plan transfer.
The key benefit here is the smaller size. eSIMs are even smaller and easier to insert than Nano-SIMs. Three times smaller.
This makes place for a bigger camera or battery in your phone. It removes a water and dust entry point, making phones more weatherproof.
eSIMS also allows dual SIMs in one phone; allowing you to have both your personal and work numbers tied to a single device; or to buy a foreign SIM card if you’re travelling abroad and want to save money on data costs. T Many smartphones now allow an eSIM to be used simply for mobile data, which is convenient while travelling abroad because you may keep your contact number while avoiding roaming data expenses.
An eSIM is set up on your phone by scanning a carrier-sent QR code. Some eSIM-compatible carriers feature apps for buying plans or setting pricing. Some gadgets; like Apple’s iPad; allow customers to buy eSIM-based plans on the tablet itself.
Moreover, Most modern flagships support eSIMs; but not all phones. Google Pixel phones since Pixel 2 and Samsung phones since Galaxy S20 are compatible. Microsoft’s Surface Duo and Apple’s iPhone 12, 13, 11s, XS, SE, and XR support eSIM.
eSIM compatibility is growing in the Android ecosystem; but you should check a phone’s specs before buying. Check your carrier’s eSIM support.
In the UK, EE, O2, and Vodafone support eSIMs; along with Truphone and Ubigi.
AT&T, T-Mobile USA, Truphone, Ubigi, Verizon Wireless; and Visible offer eSIMs in the US. Google Fi is another option.
OEMs must design cost-optimized devices using low-tier IoT connectivity alternatives like NB-IoT and LTE-M. iSIM integrates the SIM operating system with cellular module. Hardware to offer typical coverage with efficient data and energy consumption. Therefore iSIM saves hardware space. Size-constrained applications need every millimetre. iSIM reduces a device’s footprint because it doesn’t require an eSIM chip or removable SIM card.
iSIM eliminates SIM trays, SIM cards, and eSIM chips from cellular module hardware.
Furthermore, Many MNOs will wait till the GSMA standardises the iSIM. Deutsche Telekom’s nuSIM and GSMA’s integrated eUICC specify factory provisioning for iSIMs. iSIM field deployment is constrained because these standards aren’t developed.
SIM cards have evolved from physical to internal devices. iSIM is a perfect solution for IoT devices and other devices that need to communicate over cellular networks at all times.
With iSIM, the mobile experience could soon be replicated to computers; tablets, wearables, virtual reality platforms; and more. iSIM could be SIM card technology’s future.