4 mobile numbers on a single SIM – Motorola’s iSIM

The dual SIM mobiles which are a latest fad in mobile manufacturing circles could soon be facing some stiff competition from Motorola. If Motorola’s iSIM gains acceptance the sales of all these dual SIM mobile phones will go down drastically. Micromax has a maximum number of models in the dual SIM category.

Motorola’s iSIM is a novel product which will provide four mobile numbers on a single SIM. Motorola will be offering a wrapper around the existing SIM which can be configured for four different numbers. Motorola is talking with the telecom operators for tie-ups.

iSIM solves a very important problem. What if I have two phones – one for personal use and one for business use. Dual SIM mobile phones were born out of the same need. Spice Mobile has introduced it for the first time and soon other mobile makers followed. Micromax is the new kid on the block which has dual SIM as its USP.

iSIM faces two problems. First is the acceptance of the solution by the telecom operators. At least six operators has to accept it for iSIM to be successful.  Second problem is the telecom operators usually give their own SIM for a new number. If a user already has a SIM, new telecom operator would have to feed the new number on this so called wrapper from Motorola. Without proper incentives operators might not find much of motivation to do this.

Airtel had a similar claim where it was piloting 10 numbers on the same SIM. Each number will be password protected. I haven’t heard much about it after the initial news. Four numbers looks like a manageable chunk when compared with Airtel’s 10 numbers. Also this innovation coming from the mobile manufacturing is soothing as there will not be any service provider lock-in, which defeats the whole purpose. Four numbers or 10 numbers either way both look like a logical extension. If one can get four numbers to work on a single SIM, how hard could it be to make 20 numbers work? They might need a thicker wrapper.

Now I can get a Uninor, DoCoMo, Airtel and a Videocon connection in the same mobile phone.

Dual SIM ads so far were pathetic. I am wondering how the ads would look like for Motorola’s iSIM.

Would Motorola’s iSIM necessarily affect the mobile phone sales?

What would happen to the dual-SIM mobile sales which are expected to be seven percent of the mobile phone market by 2014?