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Embedded SIM Design Means No More Swapping Cards 192

Posted by timothy
from the but-watch-for-the-new-skimmers dept.
judgecorp writes "A new remotely-programmable embedded SIM design from the GSMA operators' group means that devices can be operated on the Internet of things and won't have to be opened up to have their SIM card changed if they move to a different operator. The design could speed up embedded applications."
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Embedded SIM Design Means No More Swapping Cards

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  • why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 19, 2013 @03:43PM (#45739165)

    why is this needed?

  • by langelgjm (860756) on Thursday December 19, 2013 @03:44PM (#45739189) Journal
    Sounds good in theory, just so long as the "remote provisioning" can be handled by the user of the device, and the user doesn't have to ask permission from anyone.
  • Internet of Things (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rogueippacket (1977626) on Thursday December 19, 2013 @03:51PM (#45739289)
    This buzzword annoys me even more than Cloud. Cloud has more or less become common vernacular for describing Internet-connected servers which you may or may not own, but the term Internet of Things seems to imply that a) there were no "things" on the Internet before now and b) the "old Internet" simply isn't hip enough to run more devices, and you should be clambering all over a vendor to be a part of it. Ugh.
  • by CokoBWare (584686) on Thursday December 19, 2013 @03:59PM (#45739405)

    I view this as bad for a number of reasons:

    1. Normally, when you have service, it's attached to the SIM, not the phone. With this new embedded SIM model, this goes away. Your service is attached to the phone. Bad.
    2. Remotely programmable means that it will be even easier for hackers to fuck with your phone. Bad.
    3. Your phone is really no longer your phone. The carrier will have ultimate jurisdiction over the phone, unless you pull the battery. Bad.
    4. If I lose or seriously damage my phone, my SIM is gone, and I HAVE to buy a new phone and activate it again. Bad.

    I won't want a phone like this if this is how the carriers want to do business. I'll keep my removable SIM card thank you very much.

  • Re:why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by maliqua (1316471) on Thursday December 19, 2013 @04:00PM (#45739411)

    so you think it will be easier and more painless to have to call your provider each time you want to switch to activate it?

    i'll take fidgeting with a small sim card over dealing with a call center

  • Re:why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wycliffe (116160) on Thursday December 19, 2013 @04:03PM (#45739461) Homepage

    Not only why? But I don't want it. This seems like a huge step backwards for consumers. One of the great things
    about GSM vs CDMA is the ability to move a phone from carrier to carrier or a number from phone to phone. I don't
    want an embedded sim that only the carrier can change and I can't swap to a different handset or carrier. Some
    things I routinely do are swap a sim when in a foreign country or put my sim into an old cheap phone when I take
    it to the beach or if my phone is acting up, dies, or needs to be charged.

  • Re:why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by poetmatt (793785) on Thursday December 19, 2013 @04:06PM (#45739481) Journal

    Not only that, but imagine what happens when they refuse to assist you in switching?

    When you have a physical sim you can swap it yourself. You have no such choice if you don't have control over the sim.

    This is actually a very large loss to phone users unless you can reprogram it yourself.

  • Re:why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by poetmatt (793785) on Thursday December 19, 2013 @04:09PM (#45739513) Journal

    So that you have to replace your entire phone if you have a bad sim.

    I'm not sure how that's a good thing, but I'm guessing the carriers didn't think about that.

  • Re:why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mrchaotica (681592) * on Thursday December 19, 2013 @04:30PM (#45739759)

    And FISA wasn't "intended" to allow the NSA to spy on Americans. But you can see how that worked out!

  • Re:why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Thursday December 19, 2013 @04:56PM (#45740001)

    "I'd say it is not needed. Because anything described as "remotely programmable" means "remotely abuse-able". Botnet operators will love it."

    My thoughts exactly.

    If I buy a phone, I want it to be MY phone. I don't want or need "remotely programmable" bullshit. I am so tired of this kind of garbage I can hardly put it into words.

  • by Pop69 (700500) <billyNO@SPAMbenarty.co.uk> on Thursday December 19, 2013 @05:22PM (#45740283) Homepage
    "Embedded SIM Design Means No Longer Able To Swap Cards"

    There, that reads better
  • Re:why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ArhcAngel (247594) on Thursday December 19, 2013 @05:50PM (#45740623)

    Did you even RTFA? This is for the 'internet of things' - Imagine you want to move the anti-theft system in your motorcycle from carrier A to B. Or a city wants to move their digital parking meters to a cheaper carrier. Instead of needing to move a physical SIM you could do is online. Or an online watch, where there are advantages to having it sealed up, with no SIM slot. Heck even with a 'phone' it's useful. Imagine you arrive in Hong Kong at midnight and you want to move your phone to Vodaphone. You don't have to seek out some store and buy a SIM - Just happens presto.

    Imagine all of those scenarios except the person/entity making the changes isn't the owner.

  • Re:why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Obfuscant (592200) on Thursday December 19, 2013 @06:19PM (#45740947)

    Heck even with a 'phone' it's useful. Imagine you arrive in Hong Kong at midnight and you want to move your phone to Vodaphone. You don't have to seek out some store and buy a SIM - Just happens presto.

    When I travel with my phone, I don't even want to turn it on before I put in a new SIM for the local system. Turn it on, it registers with the local carrier and your home carrier starts forwarding calls to it -- at international rates.

    I certainly don't want "presto" reprogramming my SIM. I don't want to have to call my home carrier to tell them to move it to X, and then X to have them move it back, and have one or both of them charge me for the privilege of screwing it up so I have no working phone at all. No thanks. That's one of the benefits of having GSM versus whatever. The phone is the SIM, and I can carry more than one to be more than one thing. And I can use the second SIM in my backup phone without it costing me a second plan on both carriers.

  • Re:why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Thursday December 19, 2013 @07:35PM (#45741707)
    This.

    It's YOUR phone. You should be able to do anything you want with it, and use it with any carrier of your choice. I see no justifiable reason why "someone else" should have control over ANY kind of "remote" control over it.

    As I wrote to someone else: that's trading freedom for a little bit of convenience. In the long run, that will turn out to be a bad trade almost every time.
  • Re:why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aaronb1138 (2035478) on Thursday December 19, 2013 @09:36PM (#45742445)
    This is stupid. Moving a physical token is easier, faster, and more intuitive than digging around for credentials to some website or worse yet, dealing with your mobile provider to transfer an account. It's nice to know if my phone breaks, I can grab my previous model on the spot and shove the sim in and have a working phone without trying to deal with the provider. Even more so if I am playing with ROMs and hacking away at a couple pieces of hardware.

    Doing things online to physical devices is usually slower, less efficient, and less intuitive.

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