Will SIM cards disappear from our phones?


Will SIM cards disappear from our phones?

People often changing SIM cards in their phones or changing them between different tablet or smart phone devices, know how inconvenient it is. It usually requires removing the battery and sometimes a bit of effort if the producer has not provided a comfortable way of removing the card with one click, for example. In addition, on the market there are several standards of SIM cards of varying sizes (standard, micro, nano). Having the smallest one we are able to use it in different devices with the help of available adapters. In the case of having an older and bigger version of SIM card the situation is not that simple. We are required to visit our operator and exchange it there or make unauthorized attempts to match cards with scissors, which may end in failure.

The solution to this problem is the built-in eSIM card which will not require the physical placement of the card in the phone. This will allow the operator to remotely update user profile information stored on the card. An additional benefit of this solution will be possibility to assign one account to many devices, for example, a smartphone, tablet, notebook etc. It is an element that could influence the development of IoT (Internet of Things) because it easily allows connecting more devices to the network. It does not require several SIM cards. Free use of the Internet on the tablet will not require the purchase of separate data packages, connecting only through WiFi or swapping cards between your phone and your tablet.

Internet of Things (IoT) – is a concept in which all kinds of items such as electronic equipment (including household appliances), sensors, etc. may collect and exchange information through the network. Its purpose is a more direct integration between the physical world and the world of computers. The result of this combination is meant to increase efficiency, accuracy of various types of systems, as well as bring economic benefits.

Similar solution that also allows connecting multiple devices to a single phone number is already available on the market. AT&T, an American telecommunications corporation, calls it NumberSync and it is available at no extra charge on compatible devices (Apple hardware and Samsung Gear S2).

Unfortunately the solution of using eSIM can also have its drawbacks. Older devices will not compatible with this standard, which means that the old Nokia from the bottom of the drawer will still require a SIM card. Damaging a new phone may mean that it will not be possible to quickly replace it with an older one. The same applies to a quick change of SIM cards between phones, for example, when the battery in one of them goes dead and you urgently need to call the number stored on the SIM card. Currently, you can simply borrow a phone from another person and insert your card. In the future, using eSIM it will no longer be possible.

Another case are trips abroad, especially outside Europe. Roaming calls may cost 10 zł per minute, and 1MB of data transfer may cost even 50 zł. In this case it is much cheaper to buy a prepaid card at our destination, especially during a longer stay. In the case of eSIM it may turn out not to be so simple, for example, because of the need to contact a foreign operator who will have to enter the new settings to eSIM in our phone. In such a case it seems to be more complicated and time-consuming than simply swapping SIM cards.

There also can be found different disadvantages, for example, those regarding our privacy. So far we are still dealing only with the concept, not the real solution. It can be expected that disadvantage we face today may be resolved or minimized before eSIM hit the market. The success of the entire project will depend on the commitment of operators and phone manufacturers around the world. There are currently two companies working on this solution, Samsung and Apple.

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