Mobile chipset developer Qualcomm and cybersecurity specialist Thales unveiled the first commercially available iSIM (Integrated SIM) variant at Mobile World Congress (MWC, Global Association for the Mobile Communications Industry), which will be integrated into the flagship mobile platform Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 integrated and certified by the GSMA. The novelty meets the requirements for the latest generation of embedded SIM modules (eSIM).
Like traditional eSIMs, the new variant is fully compatible with the GSMA Remote SIM provisioning standard, allowing for example remote switching of tariffs or even an operator without the need for a card change or physical intervention – on standard platforms.
According to Kaleido Intelligence experts, the market share of the iSIM form factor will grow to 300 million by 2027, accounting for 19% of all eSIM shipments. If traditional eSIMs are separate, “discrete” modules, then iSIM is integrated directly into the chipset at the stage of its production and is an integral part of it. Also, unlike traditional SIM and eSIM, the element area is only about 1mm.2.
Ziad Asghar, senior vice president of product management at Qualcomm, said the anti-counterfeiting element built into the chipset will open up new ways to apply the technology across many markets and product segments.
Thales emphasized that the GSMA certification was preceded by several years of hard development in cooperation with Qualcomm. As eSIMs become more popular, new 5G iSIMs offer manufacturers, mobile operators and end users more freedom in the use of mobile technologies.
According to a GSMA spokesman, the eUICC Security Assurance program offers the highest level of security for the eSIM family of products, whether embedded or “discreet”, and the introduction of iSIM technology further advances mobile technology.