Em­bed­ded SIM cards are a great thing for most peo­ple, no mat­ter what the net­work car­ri­ers say.

Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - How Your World Works -

THERE IS A CON­CERN that solder­ing the SIM card to the logic board opens up a world of net­work-locked hell for the av­er­age con­sumer. The other side of the coin is that con­sumers are now free to buy a de­vice di­rectly from the man­u­fac­turer.

Sherry Zameer is head of telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions so­lu­tions for Africa and the Mid­dle East at Ge­malto, a dig­i­tal se­cu­rity com­pany and the world's big­gest SIM card man­u­fac­turer, and he is pas­sion­ate about e-sim.

“The SIM card it­self, when you move it into de­vices, whether they're IOT (in­ter­net of things) de­vices or M2M (ma­chine to ma­chine) sen­sors, which need con­nec­tiv­ity, can be in­serted at the point of man­u­fac­ture,” Zameer ex­plains. “From that per­spec­tive in or­der to man­age the sup­ply chain bet­ter and to have less stock keep­ing units, e-sims have faster go-to-mar­ket and are able to be dis­trib­uted in­ter­na­tion­ally. (This) will open up new economies at the same time. The data, when it's dis­trib­uted, is (cur­rently) em­bed­ded into the SIM card, but that can ac­tu­ally be done over the air. That's re­ally where the fu­ture is.”

The GSM As­so­ci­a­tion has strict guide­lines to help level the play­ing field and rule out the pos­si­bil­ity of net­works lock­ing down de­vices. In the fu­ture the net­work car­rier will be the cus­to­dian of your per­sonal pro­file data, which you can then down­load di­rectly onto a de­vice and have your ecosys­tem uni­fied. Your car, smart­phone, tablet, watch and wash­ing ma­chine will all carry your pro­file data and you will, for a small fee, be able to con­nect to your net­work of choice as your­self, di­rectly from the de­vice.

The Sam­sung Gear S2 3G (which won't be mak­ing it to our shores) is one such de­vice. For all the smart­watch fea­tures like no­ti­fi­ca­tions and app con­sump­tion, it needs to be teth­ered to your phone via Blue­tooth. But you can make and re­ceive calls on the de­vice, as long as your phone is on and con­nected to the same net­work.

Hav­ing your pri­mary phone num­ber on two de­vices seems in­tu­itive, but causes a prob­lem for our un­pre­pared net­works be­cause they now have to sup­port this new con­nec­tion. Also, South African mo­bile com­mu­ni­ca­tion reg­u­la­tions aren't set up for cloned pro­files.

In the end, our coun­try has some way to go be­fore em­brac­ing e-sims.

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