Mobile Telecommunications: Happy Birthday, SIM!

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Mobile Telecommunications: Happy Birthday, SIM!

2021 marks three decades since the launch of the world’s first commercial SIM card. Created by the German security technology group Giesecke + Devrient (G + D), which handed it over to a Finnish mobile telecommunications company to start selling it.

While 1991 was the year in which the cards became available, the technologies that support it were developed several years before. G + D registered the first patent in 1968. Later, in 1989, these insertable and interchangeable SIM cards were defined and standardized. In 1990, the SIM Toolkit standard was introduced which allowed manufacturers to extend the functions between the card and a GSM phone (acronym for Global System Mobile).

SIM Cards consist of a microprocessor and an operating system that provide secure access to the mobile network. Although it is true that, at first, its size was like that of a credit card, over time it has undergone a process of transformation of its dimensions: from mini to nano SIM.
In order to use these chips, GSM networks are necessary and these, in turn, require a way to identify users through their phone number and device in order to make and receive calls.
In this way, SIM cards include the local area identification number and your key, as well as operator data necessary to be able to be in contact with other users, either by voice calls or by short messages (SMS). Furthermore, they have the ability to save these messages and the device’s contact book, so that when switching to another mobile, it is possible to recover all the phones that have been recorded on it.
The next step in SIM technology. Called the Universal Integrated Circuit Card (iUICC), is smaller, cheaper, more flexible and more sustainable than previous generations of SIM cards and has the potential to revolutionize the market for connected IoT devices and technologies, even though existing solutions such as SIM and eSIM will exist in parallel for the next few years regardless of this forecast.

As a trusted partner in the IoT for over 30 years, G+D is working to drive this new technology forward,

said Carsten Ahrens, CEO of Mobile Security at G+D in an interview with our parent magazine, Smart Industry.

Author: Tim Cole
Image Credit: Pixabay

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