Wednesday, February 15, 2006

MegaSIM

When you think about the capabilities of modern handsets, and how much raw storage you can cram into an SD or MMC card these days, the fact that a standard GSM SIM can still only store 64k of data is actually pretty poor going...

About time perhaps that something was done about it? It's being reported that Orange, M-Systems and Oberthur Card Systems are set to rollout a new MegaSIM, which will have up to 1GB of onboard storage, sometime this year.

Presumably however these new super-sized SIM cards won't be fully useable in non-Orange phones. No more moving your SIM between your collection of unlocked GSM handsets. So you have to wonder who this is supposed to benefit, us or them?
More crucially, analysts pointed out, the product should help Orange to discourage customers from switching to rival mobile networks. - The Times
Despite the product specifications claiming that the new MegaSIM will maintain USIM functionality compatible with "legacy standards", which presumably means that it'll act like a USIM in a normal handset, I'm not so sure how seamless the transition would be between enabled and non-enabled handsets would be...

Technically this is a good step forward, although you have to hope that M-Systems are talking to the right people in the standards bodies. But it could either be a really good thing, or a really lousy thing, for those of us who actually want to use our handsets in ways that Orange haven't thought of already...