Tag: sim

Microsoft building its own SIM card

cellular-industry-starts-biometric-verification-of-sims-1421877462-8555Software giant Microsoft appears to be working on its own SIM card.

A free application named “Cellular Data” has been published to the Microsoft Store.  It isn’t available to download just yet, but there are clues.

Cellular Data will allow customers with a “Microsoft SIM card” and select Windows 10 devices to purchase data through the Windows Store. However, the store description currently implies that the card will only work with a select number of Windows 10 devices and will be available in a few markets initially. The full description reads:

Are you looking for a reliable, convenient way to stay connected everywhere you go, even when WiFi isn’t available? The Cellular data app allows you to connect to a trusted nationwide mobile data network using only your Microsoft account.

Connect with – and pay for – a mobile data plan on your Windows 10 device using only your Microsoft account information. That means no fixed contract and no long term commitments to a mobile network operator. Now you can buy and use mobile data at your own convenience. This is the easiest way to get online using a trusted nationwide network. Purchase a plan via Windows Store anywhere network coverage is available. The Cellular data app can get you connected at any time with a secure, high-speed mobile connection.

This app is designed to work solely with specific Windows 10 devices and requires a Microsoft SIM card.  We have pointed out that there is no such animal so it means that Vole will have to build one.

The Service is available in some markets and offers are for domestic plans only – international roaming offers will be available soon.

The company has also detailed a procedure to purchase data, which also suggests that this data plan will be tied to a Microsoft account. Pricing and availability details have not been released as of yet.

Here comes a smarter watch than Apple’s

iType SmartwatchThe iType Smartwatch has an intelligent, extremely fast keyboard interface in a wrist-worn device. With iType, you not only receive messages, but most importantly, can type a response and run any Android app directly from your wrist. Kickstarter and Pepcom’s Mobile Focus served as its launching platforms with Ryan Ghassabian showing off the working product, writes Darleen Hartley.

Historically, the developing company, SnapKeys, invented state-of-the-art keyboards with a unique approach only to discover that QWERTY ruled the typing world. Through its subsidiary, Type Time, SnapKeys is taking its avant garde techniques to the mobile arena using that QWERTY design. It should prove disruptive.

Consider what one reviewer said of competitor Apple’s move into the smartwatch field: “The Apple Watch was a first generation product with bugs, quirks and confusions.” Look out Siri, there’s a better way. Even a whispered message isn’t as private as one that can be typed. No longer do you have to depend on voice recognition that doesn’t always recognise what you want to say. iType displays your developing message clearly on the watch face before you transmit it.

Six large buttons represent the three key rows of the familiar right and left hand QWERTY board. A few taps on the intuitive watch face quickly develops sentences ready for transmission. Other easy operations will make this strapped on device a must have. Simply pressing a button brings up a camera immediately ready to capture any unexpected, transient image.

Time counts and the fast, predictive app that drives the keyboard is a technique to be reckoned with, all on an Android device. If Apple wants to go head to head with iType’s keying capabilities, the industry headlines may be filled with court cases yet again, since all SnapKeys’ technologies are protected by a significant number of globally filed patents.

IType operates with both Wi-Fi and SIM cards. It lets you choose from all the apps available on Google Play. Surf the net, check your health stats, use GPS to find that new restaurant, mark a special date on your calendar, answer phone calls, and even listen to music via the device on your wrist. You can leave those other cumbersome devices at home.

Technology is inclusive: a dual core A7 processor, Android 4.4, a high-resolution 240 x 240 color display, 1G RAM, 8G ROM, Wi-Fi, GSM and WCDMA phone, camera, mic and speaker, Bluetooth, water resistant, all delivered in seven principal languages. Put that smartphone back in your pocket or purse. Conveniently carry the only, always at hand … uh, wrist … device you need.

Want one? Until June 11 on Kickstarter, the early bird price is only $184 USD. Once the $100,000 project is fully funded, the price will be $235, one hundred clams less than the cheapest version of Apple Watch.

Check iType out on Kickstarter.

UN group warns of mobile SIM cloning

A United Nations telecoms group has issued an international alert about a bug in mobile phone SIM technology that could enable hackers to remotely attack at least half a billion devices.

Discovered by Berlin’s Security Research Labs, the bug allows hackers to remotely gain control of and clone some mobile SIM cards.

The hackers could use compromised SIMs to commit financial crimes or engage in electronic espionage.

The UN’s Geneva-based International Telecommunications Union, which has reviewed the research, said that it is “hugely significant”.

ITU Secretary General Hamadoun Touré told Reuters that the findings show where the world could be heading in terms of cybersecurity risks.

Cracking SIM cards is a key target for hackers because they allow operators to identify and authenticate subscribers as they use networks.

At the centre of the problem is an old encryption technology known as DES. Once a hacker copies a SIM, it can be used to make calls and send text messages impersonating the owner of the phone

The ITU estimates some 6 billion mobile phones are in use worldwide. It plans to work with the industry to identify how to protect vulnerable devices from attack, Touré said. 

Apple to bypass the carriers with custom SIM

In a cunning plan to kill two birds with one stone, the Fruity peddler of broken iPhones, Apple is planning to embed a custom, writeable SIM chip in future iPhones.

According to GigaOm , Apple will build a custom SIM module which means that Apple could flog iPhones directly to users with little or no direct carrier involvement.

The SIM can be reconfigured to work on a different carrier by uploading a small file with carrier-specific data to the module’s flash memory.

Apparently Jobs’ Mob is working with SIM card manufacturer Gemalto to create the custom SIM chip that would be embedded in the iPhone itself. Instead of popping physical SIM cards in and out of an iPhone.

As far as the user is concerned it would be handy in the European market, where many carriers compete for customers and users frequently roam outside of their local coverage area.

All the user would need to do is phone Apple and update the internal SIM to work on a different carrier’s network.

The files could be uploaded via a Dock connector or over the air via the App Store or directly from a carrier.

Apple could more easily offer iPhones directly to consumers via retail or online, allowing them to choose any available carrier at the time of purchase—which could then be easily encoded into the SIM by Apple or the customer when connecting to iTunes.

Buyers could take the devices to a carrier of choice for activation.

But the downside of this is that it would mean that the Apple blessed SIM would be hardwired into the phone. It would make it much harder to jailbreak and mean that you could only run the phone on Apple blessed telcos. 

Meat cleaver solves Apple technical problem

A Blighty bloke has come up with a novel way of getting his iPad 3G 64 Gb working on a British network by taking a cleaver to it.

John Benson’s shiny new iPad 3G 64Gb arrived from the USA, but the only problem was that it had an AT&T MicroSIM and there no such thing in the UK.

Writing in his bog, Benson somehow hit on the idea of taking a Vodafone Sim card, a chopping board, a meat cleaver and a pair of scissors and converting it to a “microSim”.

He worked out that while the MicroSim and the SIM look very different the only things that matter are the contacts which are common to both.

“Electronically, the SIM and MicroSIM are the same so we can cut the rest away and not worry (so long as we are careful),” he wrote.

To begin with, line up the three contact on the MicroSIM with the same ones on the SIM card. You can just look for the 2 centre lines and make sure they are in line and that the top of the MicroSIM is straight. Then get your meat cleaver and press down gently to score a straight line.

It is apparently easy, although you do need a responsible adult to help with the scissors.