Explained: What is iSIM technology and how it may change the use of SIM cards – Times of India

If you look at SIM cards then there hasn’t been much of an evolution. The physical SIM cards still dominate whereas eSIM hasn’t really become mainstream. Qualcomm, one of the biggest chip makers in the world, along with Vodafone and Thales want to change that with a new tech called iSIM. Here we explain what is iSIM and how it may change the way you use SIM cards.

  1. What is iSIM technology?
    iSIM is a new technology that enables the functionality of a SIM card to be integrated into a device’s main processor. So instead of having a SIM card slot in any device, one would have the SIM in-built in the processor. The tech is actually like an eSIM but it is embedded into the devices. iSIM complies with GSMA specifications, embeds the SIM functionality into the device’s main processor. Qualcomm says that this will allow for better performance, more memory capacity and greater system integration. You could get more out of your devices with an iSIM.
  2. What are the benefits of using an iSIM?
    iSIM technology means that SIM cards could go beyond mobile phones. They could be integrated into laptops, IoT devices, smartwatches and even virtual reality platforms. Qualcomm says that the benefits could be on multiple levels. For instance, the device design and performance could be enhanced as it gives more space within a device. With no SIM card slot, there’s more scope of innovation with design. Also, telecom operators can leverage existing eSIM infrastructure. It further brings the capabilities of a SIM card to devices where previous imagining a SIM wasn’t possible.
  3. What may be the impact of iSIM and when it may arrive?
    The technology could open a world of new possibilities, especially for IoT devices. One could use an iSIM on connected devices anywhere in the world and securely be on an IoT network. Plus, it reduces a lot of plastic consumption as well with SIM cards not required at all. Telecom operators, however, will have to embrace the idea for it to become mainstream. It could be several years before the technology actually makes its debut.
  4. Has there been any iSIM device so far?
    No, but Qualcomm with Vodafone did a concept demonstration to show the technology’s commercial readiness and efficiency working on existing infrastructure. A demonstration was conducted in Europe on Vodafone’s network. The device used was Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G powered by a Snapdragon 888 5G processor, running the Thales iSIM operating system. The proof of concept took place in Samsung’s R&D labs using Vodafone’s remote management platform.

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