Smart SIM to solve card size issue

Smart SIM to solve card size issue

 Rishi was ecstatic. His brand new phone, complete with a 13 mega pixel camera, quadcore processor and a 6-inch, ultra high resolution screen had just arrived. But the nightmare was just round the corner, a frustrating three-day wait for a micro-SIM from his service provider. The handset just wouldn’t take his old mini-SIM.

That was an year ago. Last week, he exchanged the old phone for an iPhone-5S triggering a repeat of the SIM problem. For, the iPhone wouldn’t work without a nano-SIM, a chip that was 40 per cent smaller than the micro. Clueless, he approached the service provider yet again. But this time, there was a solution: A Smart SIM, nano in size but convertible to a micro or mini SIM with adapters.
  
Airtel offer

Airtel recently launched the Smart SIM in Bangalore, allowing its customers to use the same SIM card across different mobile devices for multiple purposes. For instance, this SIM could be used on a data card or on a feature phone when the smartphone turns off due to low battery. 

Currently, users have to swap their micro SIMs for nano SIMs at an additional cost and wait about 24 to 48 hours for activation. Many others visit third party mobile stores to cut or resize their SIM cards. However, SIM cards that are cut manually often result in poor signal strength. The Smart SIM was offered as a safe alternative. Third-party adapters have also entered the market lately.

Size matters

The mini SIM is the standard size, commonly used in most phones. This card is 25 mm long and 15 mm wide. The micro SIM, with 15 mm X 12 mm dimension, was first used in the iPhone 4, emerging as the standard in most Android smartphones including Samsung S4 and S5.

The latest nano SIM, 12.30 mm long, 8.80 mm wide and only 0.67 mm thick (older SIMs are 0.76 mm thick), has been incorporated in iPhone 5, 5S and 5C for both 3G and 4G networks.

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) had introduced the Apple designed nano-SIM format way back in June 2012. The ETSI rationale for the size reduction was this: That the older SIM cards used a significant amount of space inside a mobile device. Space was getting more and more valuable inside the new handsets that had to deliver an ever increasing number of features.

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