Technological developments and evolvements have not been limited to certain spheres of life, rather it has been all-encompassing one reaching out to every nook and cranny of human existence. Even the SIM has not been left out.
Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) functions as an integrated circuit that stores and identifies every user of a cellular network. Contacts and messages are also stored on SIM.
The SIM has a personal identification number (PIN) and a personal unblocking number (PUK).
The PIN serves security purposes while the PUK is used to unblock the sim in cases where the pin was entered
The SIM over the years has been through evolvements, the 2FF, 3FF and 4FF which is commonly called the nano SIM.
The eSIM is the latest evolvement of SIM cards, and it stands for Embedded-SIM.
Also read, MTN commences Trial of e-SIMs as approved by NCC
While the SIM card is removable and allows access uniquely to a particular network, the eSIM is soldered directly onto the device and gives access to more than one network.
It has a height of 6.0mm, width of 5.0mm and its thickness is 0.67mm an improvement from the 4FF nano SIM which has a height of 12.3mm, width of 8.8mm although both share same thickness size.
The first eSIM was announced in March 2016, the next was in November of the same year. Samsung Gear S2
the smartwatch was the first product to utilize it.
The eSIM allows a lot of flexibility in its use as multiple SIM profiles can be stored on it, an advantage for people who want to manage personal and business accounts in one device and also vary their connectivity options among service providers.
The eUICC software makes this possible, it serves as a bank for multiple SIM profiles.
Another of its advantage is that there is no need to physical swap SIM, the eSIM can be activated remotely.
With this, when one travels out of a particular country, one only needs to subscribe to the network used in that country without swapping SIM.
Also, losing of SIM cards and information stored on them is drastically reduced as they cannot be removed.
Global System for Mobile Communication (GSMA) calls eSIM the SIM for the next generation, GSMA also specifies the remote SIM provisioning as a prerequisite for eSIM.
There is also no need for phone companies to include SIM slots on their devices.
Despite the numerous advantages, concerns are been made over some shortcomings of the eSIM.
The possibility of a phone having a preloaded service provider instead of being open to all networks and also the fact that before switching network, one has to contact the service provider of the network.
Currently, the devices supporting eSIM are very expensive and are not affordable for an average person. Some of such brands and the product which support eSIM include Google Pixel 3, 3XL, Apple iPhone 11, 11 pro, 11 pro Max and Samsung S20 series.
This is another concern towards this new technological trend.
About the Author
Chibuzor Elizabeth Chijioke a graduate of Abia State University is a Nigerian-based entrepreneur and content writer. She trained as a digital marketer at Innovation Growth Hub. She is committed to teaching people how to apply technology to better their lives and businesses. She spends her leisure reading sci-fi and fantasy novels.
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