Understand the SIM evolution and select the right SIM option for your business needs
The physical SIM card itself has significantly reduced in size — driven by a combination of smaller devices and the requirement to use the available space within a device for an increasingly complex set of features and functionality. The 4FF SIM is the smallest possible size whilst retaining the ability for users to confidently insert and remove them. At the same time, the SIM itself has developed to take on more complex functions. The below picture shows how the size of the SIM has reduced from the original size 1FF SIM to the 4FF SIM (or “Nano SIM”) that is widely used in new smartphones today.
Operators will continue to play a key role in how the SIM develops, the pace of evolution and the associated business models. Recent evolution of the SIM card has focussed around Embedded and Remote Provisioning solutions. They have recently been deployed in some M2M devices and tablets compared to the traditional SIM card approach (a removable SIM card issued by one operator). The main new characteristics of these solutions are:
• Embedded solutions: SIM cards that are fixed in the device and cannot be removed
• Remote provisioning: SIM cards that can be updated over the air and store one or more operator profiles
MFF1 and MFF2 were designed for this new SIM evolution. MFF1 and MFF2 are the same size, the difference being one is soldered and the other inserted into a chip holder.