A smart SIM card is a piece of technology that is used for several purposes. It can be defined as a micro-processor equipped token that stores a wide range of applications and data. It can be used as credit cards, banking cards, ID cards, and especially as SIMs in cell phones. Every year, billions of SIMs are sold in the market. Earlier, Subscriber Identity Modules or SIM was developed by an ETSI committee being a predecessor of TC SCP. Today’s SIM includes the underlying smart card platform, which is known as the UICC – developed by TC SCP and, on top of this platform, the application developed by 3GPP.
In Telecom applications, smart cards are also known as secure elements that are used in the telecom industry throughout the world. According to the Eurosmart, it has been reported that 5.6 billion smart cards were shipped globally for telecommunications applications in the year 2017. In addition to this, the shipment of smart cards was grown in the year 2018.
A smart SIM card is used in two telecom applications, including prepaid (stored value money cards) telephone cards and the microprocessor smart card-based SIM or UICC in cell phones. Here, UICC stands for Universal Integrated Circuit Card. New NFC-enabled cell phones are being used for various applications, including contactless payments, ticketing, and mobile marketing.
Smart SIM Cards and UICCs
As said earlier, SIM is a type of microcontroller-based smart card used in cell phones and other devices. It identifies and authenticates a subscriber to a wireless cell phone network. A subscriber can switch his or her phone service to a new phone by physically moving the SIM. SIMs can also offer roaming, providing subscribers with access to voice, data and other services while traveling in other countries. It can also store contact details and phone numbers and can be used for other applications.
The UICC or Universal Integrated Circuit Card is a new generation of SIM technology that can be optimized for newer wireless standards. It can be used in the industry and with the customers to mean both SIMs as well as UICCs. The UICCs come with several features, including better support for various applications and IP addressing.
SIMs and UICCs are used in the wireless network on the basis of various different standards. However, the fact is that they are mandatory in the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) networks that have been a very important market driver. Both of them are the highest volume products for units and revenues in the smart card industry.
Pay Phones and Smart Cards
More than 100 countries use smart cards in their pay phones in order to boost customer convenience as well as telecom operator’s business models.
NFC-Enable Mobile Applications
NFC or Near Field Communication technology is a standards-based wireless communication technology that can be used to allow data to be exchanged between devices. NFC is used to operate at 13.56 MHz and transfers data at up to 424 Kbits/second.
NFC can be used to connect electronic devices like wireless components in the home office systems or headset with cellphones. It also makes contactless transactions, including payments, access, and ticketing. NFC can also access digital content using a wireless device, including a cell phone to a “smart” poster embedded with an RF tag.