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New nano-SIM format standardized, 40% smaller than micro-SIM

Dan Graziano
June 4th, 2012 at 10:20 PM

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) announced on Friday a new standardized SIM format for mobile devices. The new nano-SIM cards will be 40% smaller than the current smallest SIM card design, micro-SIMs, and will measure 12.3 millimeters wide by 8.8 millimeters high and 0.67 millimeters thick. Several companies including Motorola, Nokia, RIM, and Apple had conflicting opinions regarding the design for the proposed nano-SIM standard, but Apple’s design was ultimately chosen according to unconfirmed reports. “The new form factor was adopted by industry with the involvement of major mobile network operators, smart card suppliers and mobile device manufacturers,” the ETSI said. “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 ETSI’s press release follows below.

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.




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