Virtual Sim Allows Multiple Phone Connections On One SIM Card With Single Handset

by mohit on August 9, 2010

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Few days back, in Delhi Eros Intercontinental Hotel, a massive event known as the “mBillionth Congress, Exposition & Award Gala” was held. I was really overwhelmed by the presence of high quality of nominations, erudite delegates, esteemed speakers as well as by the enriching conference sessions and the electric award distribution ceremony. The underlying theme of the event was ‘how to maximize beneficial impact of the mobile technology on masses?’.

Then there was this enriching Expo comprising stalls of various telecom companies and VAS(Value Added Service) developers showcasing their best mobile content and some innovative applications with mass utility and social purpose. One such stall was of the Comviva Technologies Limited.

Comviva is the global leader in providing mobile solutions beyond VAS. Comviva offers an extensive portfolio of products and solutions that enrich mobile users’ lives. Amongst its many offerings, one innovative application that its representatives got us focus on was the “Virtual Sim”.

“Virtual SIM” technology allows users to connect to their mobile service using a shared or borrowed handset. Up to six users can simultaneously subscribe to mobile services from the same handset. Without the need for a dedicated handset or a SIM, Virtual SIM enables users to make and receive calls and send and receive SMS. Hence, the technology’s main target are the  poor people in India, Africa and other developing markets.

Sangeet Chowfla, chief strategy officer and head of the mobile solutions group at Comviva said – “The technology is expected to be relevant to Indian mobile operators as they target India’s rural market, where many people cannot afford to buy mobile handsets”. This technology is also assumed to be the aftermath of a research conducted by Comviva which founded that the cost of the mobile handset was the limiting factor for the acceptance of mobile telephony by poor people both in urban and rural areas.

And for the security concerns, Using the SIM (subscriber identity module) of a primary subscriber to establish the basic connection with the network, the technology allows other users to authenticate themselves using a code assigned by the operator and thus can set up their own connections on the network.

Main Features :

  • Flexible Usage : Different segments use Virtual SIM for various reasons. Base of Pyramid (BoP) users embrace Virtual SIM as their first experience of mobile communications. Existing mobile users use Virtual SIM to maintain different mobile identities for personal and business contacts. Parents use Virtual SIM to allow controlled access to mobile communication for younger family members.
  • Extended Mobile Communications : Virtual SIM extends the power of mobile communications to new users, enabling operators to nurture new segments and develop new revenue streams
  • Affordable and Profitable : Virtual SIM is affordable for end users and profitable for operators – avoiding the need for investment in new infrastructure and SIMs.

Undoubtedly, the ‘Virtual Sim’ would be the next big thing in the India’s telecom growth and will play an inevitable role in taking the ‘Mobile Boom’ to the rural areas which is still an urban phenomenon.

And just for the readers’ knowledge, Comviva is part of the Bharti Group, which also includes Bharti Airtel, India’s largest mobile services provider. The talks are on with the Dept of Information Technology, GOI to get a green chit to initiate its use at home.

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