The SIM card’s key function is in its name: the Subscriber Identity Module. It stores information that is used to identify and authenticate users, and to connect devices to the Global System of Mobile Communications (GSM). GSM has been the standard for cellular communications since the introduction of 2G, and advances in SIM card technology have followed closely behind advances in GSM.
When it comes to on-the-go internet, mobile wireless routers — also known as hotspots — have been filling the gap between Wi-Fi and cellular since 2009. Instead of being tethered to a Wi-Fi connection or having to browse the internet on your smartphone, hotspots give laptop and tablet users the ability to connect to the internet whenever and wherever, as long as there is cellular coverage.
Cellular web networks allow for Internet connectivity even outdoors or in remote locations, and for smaller companies or startups without the resources to invest in more expensive Wi-Fi architecture Subscriber Identity Modules – better known as SIM cards – can make all the difference. Similarly, communities with limited resources can leverage SIM cards to cheaply connect everyone at a data rate within their budget. If Wi-Fi changed the world by making high-speed, reliable connections commonplace in the home, SIM cards change the world by letting everyone connect on-the-go for less, with much greater flexibility in terms of service providers, usage rates, and more. With the advent of the Internet of Things, the SIM card has emerged as the key to connectivity. But what are some specific examples of the SIM card’s impact on our world?