Long time, years, has been talking of the possible disappearance of the physical SIM card. The possibility technique integrated into devices, virtualize or make a SIM card blank not requiring users to change it each time they change their operator lead time as possible, but the damage which could have its adoption in different industry players have delayed until now that possibility.
But it seems that the time has come. As he unveils today the economic newspaper Expansion, the GSMA, bringing together both operators as to device manufacturers, would have the advertisement ready for the next Mobile World Congress which will be held at the end of this month. The Association would have prepared the draft of the plan that would lead to the end of the physical SIM in all new devices manufactured from this year.
Apple has already experimented with the SIM card in white, which lets you select from the device itself rates for different operators in different countries, but the step that seems to want to give the GSMA goes much further. Unlike on the initiative of the Cupertino, the proposal would integrate the SIM in all hot-plug device to mobile networks, by removing the SIM card slot.
The first tablets and other devices, then smartphones
The implementation of this new card would have two phases. In a first and imminent, all devices with the possibility to connect to mobile networks except smartphones (tablets, smart watches, sensors of all kinds, cars…) could incorporate the virtual SIM, while After the summer came the turn for smartphones.
According to Expansion, the virtual SIM would store multiple profiles from different operators, although only one can be active. With this facilitate greatly the task of changing operator, It could be a step almost instantly, but it would also help to lower the cost of roaming, to selecting any operator in any country.
A challenge for physical stores
The biggest challenge, since the technical part seems eliminated, will be for stores of the operators. Without the need for a physical card, the traffic of users who go through them currently could be reduced drastically, which would lead to more than one to have to lower the shade. Nor forget the manufacturers of SIM cards, of which we would like to hear their arguments against this measure.
Equally, if it is confirmed the beginning of the end of the physical SIM card (since will continue having many old terminals that need them for years) may be a revolution for the industry. Not only will affect the above-mentioned actors, the operators will also have to put the batteries before the ease of users make the jump from one to another. We’ll see what happens, because this important step will also have to pass under the magnifying glass of regulators.