The SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card has stood up to a number of transformations over the years. It was first introduced in the early 90s, together with GSM mobile communications. Since then, its physical form has changed and shrunk continuously over the years, but its core function and code that is stored inside it has
remained the same. Every mobile or
Every mobile or smartphone user requires a SIM card in order to be able to establish a connection with his or her provider’s network. Without a SIM card, the only thing that works is the emergency call feature. If the customer signs a contract with different providers, they will get a different SIM for each provider.
There are also devices with multiple SIM slots (dual-SIM). The customer can use this
function to log onto another wireless network when he is abroad. In some cases, telcos also offer a multi-SIM facility: This involves the presence of multiple SIMs within the
framework of a single contract so that the customer will be able to connect to the network using a mobile phone, a tablet or a smartwatch.
An eSIM In Every Mobile Device
The dual-SIM and multi-SIM constructs show that the SIM card does not belong to an era in which everything is networked and the devices are always becoming smaller and thinner. In this case, the SIM slot is the only problem. Companies that produce hardware for the internet of things have already responded.
This group includes suppliers for the automobile sector such as Infineon, which produce special chips. In addition to facilitating the communications involving the individual components in the car, these chips also play the role of a SIM by establishing a connection
with the networks. Cars need robustly soldered chips, not sensitive SIM cards. Such an
embedded SIM (or eSIM) is being produced in the well-established SON-8 designs.
All the big players in the mobile communications industry – from network providers like Deutsche Telekom to device manufacturers such as Samsung and Apple – want to pull the eSIM out of the mechanical world and integrate it into the daily routine of
their mobile communication customers. The
The Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA) is currently developing a standard whose final version is supposed to be targeted at the market. In the future, all mobile devices are supposed to be connected to the network providers via the eSIM as the SIM slot is
supposed to be removed completely from new mobile phones and tablets. Instead, a chip will be integrated into the circuit board of the device. Since the
Since the eSIM is firmly embedded, it must be programmable: If the owner of the mobile phone switches over to a new provider, his new access data is written onto the chip, and the data associated with the previous provider is deactivated. The eSIM can also save data associated with multiple providers, which means that it can practically replace the dual-SIM facility. At the same time, each eSIM device can be activated for a specific user; this means that the multiSIM construct will finally become part of our daily routine. From the customer’s point of view, this will translate to a smaller degree of effort and a larger measure of flexibility, in case he wishes to rapidly switch over to a new telco provider.
This is how the embedded SIM works
The tiny little eSIM chip is programmable, and it can store multiple provider profiles. As soon as the appropriate infrastructure has been set up on the internet, it makes it possible to switch over to a different mobile network at the touch of a button.
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