Vodafone, Qualcomm, and Thales launch iSIM technology on smartphone

AFRICA – Vodafone, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., and Thales have joined forces to demonstrate a working smartphone featuring iSIM (based on the ieUICC GSMA specification).

iSIM is a new technology that enables the functionality of a SIM card to be integrated into a device’s main processor.

This milestone paves the way for the commercialization of the technology, which could be rolled out in a host of new devices that will use iSIM to connect to mobile services.

The technology, which complies with GSMA specifications, embeds the SIM functionality into the device’s main processor, allowing for greater system integration, higher performance, and increased memory capacity.

This technology is the latest evolution of SIM technology in which ‘eSIMs’ are embedded into devices.

eSIM requires a separate chip: with iSIM, this is no longer necessary and removes the need for dedicated space assigned to SIM services.

iSIM technology is a significant evolution of existing eSIM solutions and delivers wholesale benefits to both consumers and telecommunications operators.

It further paves the way for mobile services to be integrated into devices beyond the mobile phone, taking the mobile experience to laptops, tablets virtual reality platforms, IoT devices, wearables, and more.

The iSIM is integrated into the application processor of the device bringing multiple benefits.

Our aim is to create a world where every device connects seamlessly and simply to each other, and the customer has complete control,” said Alex Froment-Curtil, chief commercial officer, Vodafone.

With new types of networks and devices rolling out, innovation in SIM technology is essential to best serve the connected world,” said Emmanuel Unguran, senior vice president of mobile connectivity solutions at Thales.

A proof of concept (POC) demonstration took place in Europe, as one of the highest global smartphone penetration regions.

This proof of concept took place in Samsung’s R&D labs using Vodafone’s advanced remote management platform.

In the demonstration, the fully operational proof of concept device used on Vodafone’s network was based on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G.

The device is powered by a Snapdragon® 888 5G Mobile Platform, which features a built-in Qualcomm® Secure Processing Unit running the Thales iSIM operating system for the purpose of this demonstration.

The POC illustrates the technology’s commercial readiness and efficiency working on existing infrastructure, leveraging Vodafone’s advanced network capabilities.

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