Vodafone has integrated a SIM card into a smartphone processor: will it save scammers?

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The new iSIM technology promises users easy connection and full control over any smart device, but the telecommunications expert says iSIM will not reduce the risk of a mobile number being stolen.

Source: focus.ua

Qualcomm, Vodafone and Thales have developed a smartphone with a processor that has an integrated SIM card. Details of the project have been revealed by Qualcomm’s press service.

What the new iSIM technology will change

A new technology called iSIM is integrated into the central processing unit of the device and gives it the functions of a conventional SIM card, in addition to increasing performance, memory capacity, improving the interaction between components and free up space. According to the developers, this will allow you to transfer the capabilities of the phone to laptops, tablets, virtual reality platforms, IoT devices and portable devices that do not support “SIM cards”.

“This technology represents the latest evolution of SIM technology, in which “eSIM” embedded in devices. However, eSIM requires a separate chip: with iSIM, this is no longer necessary, and there is no longer any need for a dedicated space for SIM cards,” the site notes.

iSIM works according to the standard of the international organization GSMA, which represents mobile operators. Its capabilities have been tested in Samsung labs in Europe using the Vodafone network.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G smartphone based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G mobile processor with integrated iSIM was chosen as the basis for the concept device. Tests have shown that the technology works effectively within existing infrastructure and is ready for commercial use.

Vodafone has integrated a SIM card into the smartphone's processor: will this save you from scammers?

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G smartphone

Photo: Samsung

“Our goal is to create a world where every device is easy and simple to connect to each other, and the customer has full control over all of their gadgets. iSIM, together with our remote management platform, is an important step in this direction, allowing devices to be connected without a physical SIM card or a dedicated chip, allowing to connect to many IoT objects”, comments Alex Fromant-Kurtil, Director Vodafone commercial.

He added that iSIM will allow people to connect multiple accounts on one device and opt out of separate external cards, ultimately reducing plastic consumption.

Vodafone will continue to work with partners to develop new applications and rapidly deploy technology.

“iSIM supports the design and manufacture of new devices while providing the same digital experience as eSIM and certified levels of security,” said Emmanuel Unguran, senior vice president of mobile solutions at Thales.

According to Enrico Salvatori, senior vice president of Qualcomm Europe, the embedded SIM card will open up many new opportunities for operators and mobile users, especially when using 5G networks. Moreover, it will help manufacturers to integrate Snapdragon processors.

Vodafone has integrated a SIM card into the smartphone's processor: will it save scammers?

Vodafone has integrated a SIM card into the processor of a smartphone: will it save scammers?

A telecom expert is sure that iSIM technology will not protect users from scammers

Photo: pexels.com

Does iSIM protect against scammers?

Focus already wrote that the exchange of SIM cards, the so-called exchange of SIM cards, is popular in Ukraine. Knowing the phone number of the alleged victim, the scammers could present themselves as the real owner and ask for the reissue of the SIM card in order to take possession of all the data stored on it (by the same token, the “SIM” of the real owner is blocked).

Recently in Lviv, scammers reissued the SIM card of citizen Irina Ilyk and literally stole her digital identity. Having access to his phone number, they issued several loans in his name at various financial institutions. The Ukrainian learned about this only through a notification in the “Diya” service. As a result, Irina restored access to the phone number and linked the number to her passport.

Representatives of the mobile operator “Kyivstar” said that they had no reason to refuse to replace the SIM card of Irina Ilyk. According to them, the scammers provided the necessary information to reissue a physical copy with a number attached. The card was anonymous, so the company was unable to determine the subscriber’s exact identity except by asking a few questions – and the scammers answered them correctly, the operator claims.

Focus asked telecom expert Roman Khimich if Qualcomm and Vodafone’s iSIM can protect against SIM card replacement. As the specialist explained, technology will in no way reduce the risk of number theft:

“We are talking about the fact that instead of a separate physical object, a dedicated SIM card or microcircuit, as in the case of eSIM, a central smartphone processor. The theft of the number is possible because the SIM card and the number are two different entities. Banks and other institutions that use a mobile number as a user identification/authentication factor knowingly and, to put it bluntly, maliciously identify these entities in order to make their lives easier.


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