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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

OP-ED

e-SIM and it’s future in Bangladesh

In Bangladesh we all use physical SIM cards. A question might arise: why should we use e-SIMs?

Update : 31 Mar 2022, 02:40 PM

From March 7 later this month, for the first time in Bangladesh, Grameenphone is going to introduce e-SIM services.

We have all seen how far technology has progressed in the last decade.

We are living in a digital transformation, from wireless gadgets to allowing smart appliances in homes, businesses, schools, and ordinary stores.

It is crucial for us to adapt with the technologies we have at our disposal.

In Bangladesh, Grameenphone is the largest operator and it is the first company in Bangladesh to offer e-SIM services, reflecting a global trend.

A few months ago, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) allowed e-SIM for operators.

What is an e-SIM?

An e-SIM is a small electronic chip that is embedded into our phone or gadget and performs the same functions as traditional SIM cards.

E-SIM essentially allows us to alter our wireless provider, data, or service plan via software.

On most e-SIM devices, we can switch our operator or service plan on the fly by going to a menu or taking a photo of a QR code.

We do not have to go to the store, wait for the mail, or fiddle with a little chip.

It is better than a physical SIM card since it offers numerous advantages: – e-SIM is compact: This not only frees up space for additional elements or a bigger battery, but it also allows manufacturing equipment to reorganize the interior arrangement of their devices.

It is a smaller version of the physical SIM card that now connects phones to a mobile network.

The most significant distinction between an e-SIM and a physical SIM is that, unlike regular SIM cards, an e-SIM is permanently attached to the device or the device's motherboard.

In Bangladesh we all use physical SIM cards. A question might arise: why should we use e-SIMs?

Let’s talk about some limitations of physical SIM cards.

Disadvantages of physical SIM cards

Physical SIM cards have been critical to the expansion of our present mobile network.

They do, however, have some drawbacks.

Companies have reduced the size of SIM cards multiple times over the years, progressing from SIM to micro, and micro to nano.

However, the outside plastic packaging that held the connections and chip was merely reduced as a result of these size reductions.

The chip and contacts haven't shrunk in size in any way.

In essence, SIM cards appear to be as compact as they possibly can be.

That is an uncomfortable possibility in an industry that is always looking for ways to shrink gadget footprints.

While e-SIM devices have the potential to be very useful for mass-produced smartphones, they are not without problems.

The transfer of credentials to a separate device is the first issue that must be addressed.

SIM cards are not able to be easily copied or accessed remotely.

This implies that if a user's phone breaks and they need to move their information to a smart smartphone, all they have to do is manually transfer the SIM card.

Another concern with e-SIM devices is that, while they provide privacy and the capacity to be programmed, they are actually attached to the phone and cannot be uninstalled.

This could be a concern for those who don't want to be followed because phones with just an activated Sim are easily traced by the operator.

It was formerly possible to eliminate a phone's SIM card and so stop it from connecting to a network, making it difficult to trace.

As we know this is the first time Grameenphone offers e-SIM services in our country.

Reality

Unfortunately, only a few handsets are compatible with e-SIM according to the Grameenphone website.

Apple handset users of only 15 models are available.

Samsung users only have 13 models available. And Google Pixel has only 8 models available.

This e-SIM will be available for Prepaid (Nishchinto), Postpaid (My Plan), Replacement of these three products only.

Customers who use Business Solutions (Prepaid & Postpaid) are currently outside of their scope.

It is foolish to expect to get everything in life in one day.

In the same way, the hope of availing the services of e-SIM from day one is foolish.

We have to remember that Grameenphone has come up with this service for the very first time in our country.

It will take much longer for everyone to fully serve e-SIM services.

 

The author is a student of finance at North South University

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