ETSI said the specifications would eradicate the need to have a physical SIM, allowing users and device makers to efficiently manage multiple accounts securely.
New specifications will enable multiple accounts and identities to exist in the same smartphone without needing any physical SIMs in the device.
The new specifications come from the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), which said there is an increased demand for applications – such as banking, transport and identity – to run at the same time on devices.
ETSI said its new specifications address this demand by adding the possibility of hosting and addressing several virtual “secure elements” into the same hardware component.
The European standards organisation said this should remove the need for smartphones to contain more than one physical SIM card to host two different accounts on the same device.
It would allow multiple services to coexist on a device, while having the ability to be addressed independently through the same physical interface.
Denis Praca, chair of the Secure Element Technologies group in ETSI, said the new standards will be able to benefit “so many users”.
“This is a breakthrough for end users who will easily be able to use multiple services and for service providers to deploy their applications on a single mobile device,” Praca said.
Apple has been working to move away from physical SIM cards, with the iPhone 14 coming with an electronic sim – or eSIM – in the US.
Recent figures from ABI Research suggest the global shipment of SIM cards has fallen this year as the effects of the chip shortage continue to impact supply chains.
ETSI said its specifications eradicate the need to have a physical SIM, allowing users and device makers to efficiently manage multiple accounts securely.
“The next stage for us at ETSI is to get mobile network operators and secure application providers to come forward and work with us to creates the applications that will run on the ETSI-developed platform,” Praca said.
ETSI is a nonprofit with more than 900 member organisations worldwide, drawn from more than 60 countries. Its members consist of private companies, research entities, academia, government and public organisations.
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