SIM cards are an important part of any phone as they let you connect to your network. They’re also a bit of a hassle. If you want to change networks, you have to get a new SIM and make sure your phone can accept it.
But for the last few years, the GSMA, the association that represents the world’s mobile networks, has been working to get Electronic SIMs, or e-SIMs, built into devices. These would be programmable, letting you switch networks much more easily.
Now the technology looks to be a step closer to a global launch as Apple and Samsung have joined in advanced talks on building it into their smartphones.
They’re joining the world’s biggest networks in pushing for e-SIM cards. At the moment, it’s thought that AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchinson Whampoa, Orange, Telefonica and Vodafone are all welcoming e-SIMs. Deutsche Telekom, Hutchinson Whampoa, Orange, Telefonica and Vodafone own all UK mobile networks.
With the world’s top two smartphone makers on board, the GSMA can start working on the technical side of e-SIMs. It’s thought that the plans could be finalised in 2016, with a launch soon after.
The GSMA said: “With the majority of operators on board, the plan is to finalise the technical architecture that will be used in the development of an end-to-end remote SIM solution for consumer devices, with delivery anticipated by 2016.”
So what do you think? Does it sound like a good idea to have built-in SIM cards that can switch networks in an instant? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.