iSIM enables the functionality of a SIM card to be integrated into a device’s main processor
Vodafone has teamed up with Qualcomm Technologies and Thales to develop a working smartphone that features iSIM technology.
This technology enables the functionality of a SIM card to be integrated into a device’s main processor, which allows for greater system integration, higher performance and increased memory capacity.
The major development could pave the way for commercialisation of the technology, which could be rolled out in a host of new devices that will use iSIM to connect mobile devices.
Vodafone along with Qualcomm Technologies and Thales has demonstrated a working smartphone featuring iSIM (based on the ieUICC GSMA specification).
The technology is different to eSIM as eSIM requires a separate chip, whereas iSIM removes the need for dedicated space assigned to SIM services and is embedded directly.
Expectations for iSIM are big, with the solution anticipated to bring mobile services beyond mobile phones and to laptops, tablets, IoT devices, wearables and more.
A proof of concept (POC) demonstration took place in Europe, leveraging Vodafone’s network on a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G chipset, while running the Thales iSIM operating system for the purpose of the demonstration.
The POC took place in Samsung’s R and D labs using Vodafone’s advanced remote management platform.
Vodafone chief commercial officer Alex Froment-Curtil said: “Our aim is to create a world where every device connects seamlessly and simply to each other, and the customer has complete control.
“The iSIM, combined with our remote management platform, is a major step in this direction, allowing devices to be connected without a physical SIM or dedicated chip, making connectivity to many objects – the promise of the connected IoT world – a reality.”
The move will enable operators to remove the need for separate SIM cards adds, Froment-Curtil, who says it will reduce additional plastic usage.
He also confirms that Vodafone will continue working with Qualcomm and Thales to further develop iSIM technology.
Qualcomm Europe/MEA senior vice president and president Enrico Salvatori added: “iSIM solutions offer great opportunities to MNOs, free-up valuable space in devices for OEMs, and provide flexibility for device users to benefit from the full potential of 5G networks and experiences across a wide range of device categories.
“Some of the areas that will benefit most from iSIM technology include smartphones, mobile PCs, VR/XR headsets, and industrial IoT. By engineering the iSIM technology into the SoC, we are able to create additional support for OEMs in our Snapdragon platform.”