SIM Cards As eSIM Technology Hits The Shores Of West Africa.
The Expozer News has just discovered that many Nigerians might lose their current SIM Card either Full, Mini, Micro etc. This article as sourced would let you know better as you are advised to ready keenly.
This subscriber Identity Module (SIM or simply “Chip”) which is the basis for the operation of mobile phones, especially phone calls has experienced quite a lot of evolutions over the years. However, from the year 1991 to 2012, these evolutions were mostly in the areas of physical size and data holding capacity. Thus, the primitive look of a SIM card remained the same over these long years of evolution.
Let’s take a look at the various sizes, and corresponding names of SIM cards been used in the last few years.
The first SIM card module launched in 1991 was a full-sized one. By full size, I meant that it was exactly the same size and nature as today’s bank cards (ATM Credit or Debit cards). These SIM cards were used the same way ATM cards are being used today, since the Telephones in those days were similar to ATM machines. They were referred to as “Full” SIM cards. Those that used Nigeria’s Telecom (NITEL) cardsknows exactly how this SIM card is used.
The second model came in 1996 and was known as “Mini” SIM card. The new card was just a cutout from the Full one. This particular model is still in use today by most feature phones (“Yam” phones). It is the biggest SIM card we have today hence everyone might have seen it before.
The third model also known as the “Micro” SIM was launched in 2003. As usual, this model was just a reduced model of the previous Mini SIM. However, this Micro SIM maintained almost same width as the Mini SIM, but has experienced some reduction in it’s height. The third model was necessitated by the invention of smartphones. According to reports, it was used first in an Apple’s iPhone 4 smartphone.
The fourth model which is known as the ‘Nano SIM’ was launched in 2012. This model experienced reduction in both height and width as compared to the previous models. This change was necessary due to the need for slimmer, and inbuilt battery models of phones. Since, it became necessary to reduce the size of a smartphone’s motherboard; in order to give room for bigger inbuilt batteries. Certain components and ports such as the SIM slots had to be minimized.
However, as the traditional SIM chip couldn’t be resized beyond that of the Nano, there is the need for another model of SIM architecture. This led to the invention of the latest SIM technology known as eSIM in the year 2016. The “e” here simply means “embedded”. Thus, the eSIM means embedded SIM.
It is referred to as embedded SIM because the structure of this SIM is just like an Integrated Circuit (IC). This IC is usually attached to the phone’s motherboard (by the phone manufacturer). Therefore, one would have to enquire how to use our pre-manufactured phone numbers on such phones. The manufacturers took all these into consideration, hence, they made the integrated chip a programmable one.
What this means is that, upon purchase of an eSIM-enabled smartphone; you would only need your subscriber details, from your network carrier in the form of a QR code.
Once you have such details, you can just use the eSIM settings app to scan the QR code. This process programmes the eSIM with your subscriber details, and becomes exactly as your SIM card. All your contacts and everything on your original SIM, will instantly be transferred onto that chip making it simple and easy to use.
This is how SIM cards will be sold in the era of eSIMs. Instead of the one with gold-plated metal interface, we’ll only get QR code.
One good thing about this type of SIM is that, you don’t have to continue inserting SIM cards into your phone (especially those who have more than one SIM cards). You can just re-programme any eSIM with your SIM cards. You just need to keep your QR codes, instead of SIM cards.
Also, the invention of the eSIM has now made it easier for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) such as Apple, Google and Samsung to produce smartphones with dual SIM cards. This dual SIM feature was achieved given the eSIM and traditional SIM capabilities.
Currently, the phones that have deployed this eSIM technology are the Google Pixel 2, Google Pixel 3, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, Samsung S20, Samsung S20+, Samsung S20 Ultra. Some watches with eSIM include: Huawei Watch 2 Pro, Apple Watch Series 3, Apple Watch Series 4, Samsung Gear S2, Samsung Gear S3, Samsung Galaxy Watch.
Obviously, Apple the leading stakeholder in this eSIM promotion should be commended. It been estimated that, by 2022, eSIM enabled smartphone deployment could hit about 420 million users worldwide.
Fortunately, this eSIM technology has reached the shores of West Africa, precisely Nigeria. This initiative was brought by the telecommunication giant, MTN and was launched in July 2020. It is scheduled to be tested for about one year, before the nationwide deployment and adoption.
The Expozer Communication has just helped you to know.