What is a Virtual SIM Card and why you really need it?

What is a Virtual SIM Card and how it will affect the way we communicate over Mobile Phone ?

Have this question ever came in your mind that why you need a SIM card to use your phone and why not do some setting or install an app and there is an option of putting the number and authentication provided by the network operators and you can start using the phone . Didn’t it make our life a lot more easier , less manpower loss , cutting cost on production & distribution of SIM cards .

Why we use a SIM card : A SIM card is a protected data storage  device for a small data  and a simple computing unit  . It is an authorization of the number provided to you by the network and a gateway of your mobile connection with others.

Earlier we might have seen the pre –programmed phones released by some operators ( DAMPS  or CDMA ) where the phone was programmed to be used with a single number and users were not allowed to put any other number of their choice .

Next came the GSM phone where the phone was an open or detached natured device and you have to put a SIM  card to make it customized and attached to a number . You can change as many number as you want by replacing it with other SIM card and again customizing it for that number.

Now the virtual SIM card gives you best of both the world , not using a physical SIM  card in SIM slot but not being permanently customized ( and hence bounded ) to a particular mobile number . One can use any phone and by installing one app or providing your credentials given by the network provider , you can start communicating . One can use many mobile number on a single phone and in future inserting SIM in the SIM slot may be the thing of past and new phones may come without SIM  card .

Can we do with not using a physical SIM Card : Yes , like we install and use apps in the phone  over internet and we don’t need any physical chip or SIM card for that. The credential and other data needed for communication will be stored in the internal memory of the phone .

What will be  benefits of using a Virtual SIM card :

The cost and manpower needed in manufacturing to distribution of the SIM cards will no longer be needed .

You will be surprised to know that the innovation of virtual SIM card was done due to the felt need of making many people use and communicate by one handset, but on their respective personal  mobile number . The research was done keeping in mind the poor of India who can not afford to buy individual handsets but want to communicate on their particular number . In rural India  for some of the poor a medium range mobile handset may cost approx 3-4 months of their .  So , this was the main reason behind development of  the virtual SIM cards , but the benefits are many .

In case you travel to other countries for a short stay , your one of the first to do list will be getting a local SIM card to be connected . People use their native number for the voice call ( at least receiving )  but for the internet they buy local SIM .  Although ,  you can use your native carrier SIM  but it will be way too expensive even if it works in the that  country . So you should be ready to go and find a retailer your own  , fulfill the requirements (KYC) , get the physical SIM and insert it into the SIM socket of your phone and if everything alright , WOW , you are ready to go . Just this simple !  Actually its not . First it is not easy to find a retailer easily in every country and are you OK  spending half a day’s time for this considering  your short and costly visit to another country , second the company has manufactured the physical SIM and will charge for manufacturing  cost +  logistics + distributors + dealers +margin on each and every step , and they will charge you the same amount either you use if for lifetime or for few days , most of the time the verification done from retailer takes some time as it may not be by the  online way. Some time it is very difficult to communicate with the local dealer due to language barrier and you may end up buying totally different plan which may not be suitable for you.

So , this was another reason for development of the virtual SIM card . A protected section of memory  will be there in the handset to store the data which will be downloaded from the carrier by radio through a secure channel . This data with identifier is same for which we need SIM card . You can understand it in the way that you have purchased the actual  SIM card  ( having some data on it )  but you got the data delivered to your phone via air ( internet ) . It is same like buying an online  book or movie , the content is some as of physical book or movie disc , but delivery happen through online route.