We all know that recently the tech giant Google just launched its flagship devices, of course, I am talking about the Google Pixel 2 and the Google Pixel 2 XL. And the most interesting thing about these two flagship smartphones of the tech giant Google is that these are the first two devices to support an extraordinary new feature.
Pixel 2 & Pixel 2 XL Are The First Smartphones To Support This New Feature
We have already talked about several devices that already have this new technology, such as the tech giant Apple’s Watch 3 with LTE. Even the tech giant Google has provided eSIM support in its latest flagship devices, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.
The traditional SIM card we have known for several decades has also evolved and today eSIM seems to be the future tomorrow for this technology.
What is a SIM card?
The SIM card is a subscriber identity module, which has a printed circuit such as a smart card used to identify, track and store data from mobile phones and GSM smartphone (Global System for Mobile Communications). This chip has the ability to store data such as subscriber information, calendar, preferences (settings), contracted services, SMS and other information.
The first SIM card was created in 1991 in Germany, which was manufactured by the company Giesecke & Devrient, which sold the first 300 SIM cards to a Finnish company.
The SIM card we know consists of a microcontroller, as it has RAM, ROM, and EEPROM, as well as UCP and ULA, Timer, Security and I/O ports. SIM cards are divided into versions, linked to the phases of GSM technology and their capacity (in kilobytes – KB). There are SIM cards of various sizes, with a maximum of 256 KB, but the most popular (currently) is the 128 KB SIM card.
Timeline of use:-
- Full-size (1FF) 1991
- Mini-SIM (2FF) 1996
- Micro-SIM (3FF) 2003
- Nano-SIM (4FF) 2012
- Embedded-SIM (eSIM) 2013
What is an eSIM?
The GSMA began to popularize the eSIM, the embedded subscriber identity module. Devices that support the eSIM have an internal SIM card that is connected to the motherboard. And devices can connect to the networks of different carriers without requiring a physical SIM card.
The concept of eSIM is not new. The GSMA has begun to explore the possibilities of software-based SIM cards as early as 2010. The eSIM provides the same electrical interface as conventional, micro and nano cards.
The initial version of the embedded SIM specification was limited to eSIM support on smartwatches, tablets, and physical tracking/monitoring devices. The second version provided support for virtually all consumer devices, including smartphones.
Devices can store multiple operator profiles simultaneously but only use one at a time. On the side of the communications operators, these can configure an embedded SIM via OTA, that is, by using their network, a process known as Remote SIM Provisioning.
Apple Watch has eSIM
In addition to the features mentioned, these devices can even share the same number and moving plane. As an example of this functionality is the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE. It has eSIM support and can use the same phone number as your iPhone and take advantage of the mobile network. In the United States (among other countries) may already have this system, only have to pay an extra fee.
Bringing eSIM to traditional consumption can be beneficial to manufacturers, operators, and customers. This would reduce the hassle of keeping different SIM cards. Operators will be able to modify the eSIM data according to their requirements. In a possible scenario, switching between carriers can become a task of only a few minutes for users.
Devices that have a built-in eSIM can also save space indoors. This helps manufacturers when designing smaller hardware as there will be no SIM card slot.
eSIM on Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
eSIM support on Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL is currently limited to Google Project Fi subscribers. However, you can always use your traditional SIM card as there is a slot available.
But Pixel devices are not the first on the line. The Samsung Gear S2 Classic 3G, launched in February 2016, was the first to support the GSMA eSIM specification. And even before that, Apple activated similar features in selected iPad models through its technology called Apple SIM.
The arrival of the embedded SIM can benefit various categories of devices such as Internet Of Things, health devices, etc. Soon, more devices will require a direct data connection, and also because modernity will require that the user does not have to be changing his/her SIM card whenever he/she wants to change operator simply because it does not make sense.
So, what do you think about this? Simply share your views and thoughts in the comment section below.