Mobile Phone SIM Cards Destined for Tech Scrap Heap

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2015-07-18 Print this article Print
Mobile SIM Cards

For businesses, however, this likely change to e-SIMs should be welcome. For companies that provide phones for their employees, the same logistics nightmare that costs carriers time and money affects them. The need to stock and distribute SIMs would vanish. Very quickly the logistics would involve only the phones, which is complicated enough, but is only half the problem of phones plus SIMs.

The change to e-SIM cards would also ease the complexity in a BYOD environment. While the company may not own the phone or the SIM, most companies want to have some say in which devices they support. With traditional SIMs, the user could change to any device they wished, regardless of whether the company approved it. With the e-SIM, you can at least tie one phone to one SIM.

The planning for implementing the change to e-SIMs is well along. Apple has already started including soft SIMs in its latest iPad models, for example. Those soft SIMs can be provisioned for any wireless carrier that supports them, including AT&T and T-Mobile in the United States. A change to an e-SIM would require nothing new in terms of provisioning.

In addition, the GSMA has already developed a standard for remote provisioning of embedded SIMs used in machine-to-machine communications. M2M, which is an important part of the Internet of things, needed the remote provisioning because the components, which could include anything from traffic signals to flood monitors, made accessing the SIM very difficult.

The e-SIMs in phones and tablets would be very similar to the embedded SIMs in other devices, and they could be managed in much the same way. For your company, this has clear advantages beyond the immediately obvious. You could, for example, change the wireless carrier your company uses, while keeping the same phone numbers in an instant, giving you vastly more flexibility in managing your communications costs.

In addition, you can get some control over the theft of your devices. If they're taken, all you have to do is disable the e-SIM and they can't be used again, eliminating the profit factor from selling the phone or the stolen data.

For end users, the benefits are less clear. It will make things easier when the phone is put into commission because there's one less thing to lose, but as I mentioned earlier, it also means you can't switch phones just by transferring the SIM. But it will help make phones even smaller and thinner than they are now. Whether this will offset things depends on the end user, but for your company and its logistics, this seems like a win-win solution.



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