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New SIM card format for slimmer, smaller phones

 
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BentL
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PostPosted: Monday, 04.Jun.2012 11:06    Post subject: New SIM card format for slimmer, smaller phones   Reply with quote   

ETSI has accepted a new standard for a smaller SIM-card, see press release. Excerpt:
    New SIM card format for slimmer, smaller phones
    ETSI Headquarters, Sophia Antipolis, France – 1 June 2012

    ETSI has standardized a new form factor (4FF) for the SIM card, 40% smaller than the current smallest design.

    At its 55th meeting held on 31 May and 1 June 2012 in Osaka, Japan, ETSI's Smart Card Platform Technical Committee agreed a new form factor for the UICC, popularly known as the SIM card.

    Today's SIM card designs take up a significant amount of space inside a mobile device. This space is more and more valuable in today's handsets which deliver an ever increasing number of features.

    The fourth form factor (4FF) card will be 40% smaller than the current smallest SIM card design, at 12.3mm wide by 8.8mm high, and 0.67mm thick. It can be packaged and distributed in a way that is backwards compatible with existing SIM card designs. The new design will offer the same functionality as all current SIM cards.

    The SIM is the most successful smart card application ever. A SIM card is used to securely associate a mobile device with a customer account, preventing fraud and ensuring that calls are correctly routed to customers. It is an essential security feature of mobile networks, and is integrated into every GSM, UMTS and LTE device. Over 25 billion SIM card and derivatives have been produced so far, and the industry continues to issue over 4.5 billion SIM cards each year.

    The new form factor was adopted by industry with the involvement of major mobile network operators, smart card suppliers and mobile device manufacturers. The new design will be published in due course in ETSI's TS 102 221 specification, freely available like all ETSI standards from the ETSI website.
The new card is smaller than the current micro-SIM.

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Bent Laursen
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BentL
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 05.Jun.2012 11:18    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

It was Apple's proposal for new SIM-card standard that won, see PC Mag. Excerpt:
    Standards Body Sides With Apple on Nano-SIM
    The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) today announced that it had agreed on a new SIM card standard, and the option pushed by Apple was the victor.

    Cupertino wanted a slimmer nano-SIM, which was supported by most European carriers. But rivals like Motorola Mobility, RIM, and Nokia were concerned that Apple might one day own the (very lucrative) patent rights to the technology.

    The nano-SIM is even smaller than the existing micro-SIM. A smaller SIM slot means more room for advanced technologies in new gadgets.

    When ETSI made its announcement today, there was initially some confusion over whether the standards body had selected the proposal from Apple or Nokia, but Nokia this afternoon confirmed that ETSI had sided with Apple.

    "Nokia continues to believe that the selected nano-SIM proposal is technically inferior and not suitable for a number of applications, but the ETSI Smart Card Platform Technical Committee has now made its decision," a Nokia spokesman said. "Nokia believes that the existing micro-SIM (3FF) will continue to be a preferred option for many manufacturers and devices and so ultimately the market will decide whether 4FF is widely adopted."

    Nokia added that ETSI has "taken steps to address Nokia's original concerns over the standardization process, [so] we have advised ETSI that we are prepared to license any Nokia patents which are essential to implement the standard, on FRAND terms."

    The option selected by ETSI is known as the fourth form factor (4FF) card, which the organization said will be 40 percent smaller than the smallest SIM card design currently on the market. It will be 12.3mm wide and 8mm high and 0.67mm thick, and can be packaged and distributed in a way that is backwards compatible with existing SIM card designs, ETSI said. It will function the same as existing SIM cards.

    "Today's SIM card designs take up a significant amount of space inside a mobile device," ETSI said. "This space is more and more valuable in today's handsets which deliver an ever increasing number of features."

    Apple is notoriously particular about smartphone aesthetics, even reportedly eschewing 4G LTE in its latest iPhone in order to avoid making the device any thicker. As a result, the smallest possible form factor is likely a welcome choice for Cupertino.

    ETSI's Smart Card Platform Technical Committee was originally scheduled to vote on the SIM card standard in March, but the battle between Apple and Nokia prompted it to delay the vote until a May 31-June 1 meeting in Osaka, Japan.
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