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Goodbye SIM Card
23 Nov 2015

Goodbye SIM Card

23 Nov 2015

When the SIM card, also known as Subscriber Identity Module was introduced in Europe 25 years ago, it gained worldwide adoption. This chip lets a phone identify the owner and the device that connects to the network. It is very convenient to remove a SIM card from one phone and install it in another device, effectively moving the identity and phone number to the new device. But now all this is just about to change.

With technology advances, more of what was done in hardware is now done in software. Apple, Samsung and worldwide carriers have agreed to move to a “software SIM” or e-SIM, and the next generation of phones will use e-SIM. This could mean that the phones you buy as early as 2016 may no longer have a slot for a SIM card.

The passing of the SIM card may indeed be a good thing for individual freedom and privacy. Proponents of individual privacy claim that the only effective way for individuals to protect themselves from “Ki theft-enabled surveillance” is to use secure communications software, rather than relying on SIM card-based security.

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A little known fact is that your iPhone or Android phone will work today without a SIM card. To use the smartphone, you don’t need service from a carrier, and you can avoid paying any carrier a monthly fee. All you need is Wi-Fi and a few apps including iPlum calling and texting app on your unlocked iPhone or Android device. You can do most everything you do today without a carrier plan.

During initial setup, you can connect to the internet using Wi-Fi, sign into your Apple ID or Gmail account and sync all your contacts, emails, apps, and data. You can then download and open iPlum app and purchase a US phone number for only $1 per month. Then you are all set for calling and texting. You can download more apps, browse the web, get maps and directions, listen to music, or anything else you normally do on a smartphone.

Using the wireless internet connection in your house, at a hotel or airport, or a nearby Starbucks or other open Wi-Fi is all you need. If you want broader data access when you are on the move, where Wi-Fi is not available, simply sign up for a data service, which is usually provided today with a Data SIM which will evolve in the future to an e-SIM.

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