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Friday, 18 September 2015


Airtel Nigeria recently introduced a smart 3 in 1 SIM card. This new smart Airtel 3 in 1 SIM comes in 3 sizes; Nano, Micro and Standard sizes. According to Airtel Nigeria, the essence of this new breakthrough in the Airtel Nigeria's mobile technology is to provide for subscribers an easy way to change mobile devices with variable SIM sizes without having to cut or change SIM cards. These 3 SIMs bear one mobile phone number and so, are the same in different sizes and dimensions. They call it "smart", but I ask - how smart is the new Airtel Nigeria's 3 in 1 SIM cards?

What Can the New Airtel Nigeria's 3 in 1 SIM cards Do?

Too many sources have been celebrating the potentials of the new smart SIMs from Airtel. These capabilities include;
  • 3 unique sizes ranging from Nano sizes for latest i-Phones, micro sizes for most conventional android, blackberry and i-Phones and the standard sizes for most mobile phones including yours.
  • ability to store up to 128 kb of contacts and other data. This is an improvement to the former 64 kb of space as found in older SIM cards.
  • Live content and marketing messages will now be displayed on the mobile screen when phone is idle through the Celltic applet value-added services.
    My Digi-Tech Media Blog

The Deficiencies of the So-called "Smart" 3 in 1 Airtel SIM card

When they say that the new 3 in 1 Airtel SIM cards are smart, I say they are not smart enough with these reasons as you shall see below. Even with all the listed capabilities, there are a lot more short-comings which is sufficient enough to rob it of the tagged name "smart".

Automatic Contacts Synchronization Between Mobile Phones

For the new Airtel 3 in 1 SIMs to really be smart, they need to be able to automatically synchronize phone numbers and contacts between all the mobile devices which either of the 3 SIMs is being used on. This feature would enable any subscriber to know the identity of any caller irrespective of the mobile phone or SIM size currently in use. As a way forward, a cloud contact synchronization technology can be enabled on the SIM tool Kit of all the 3 in 1 smart SIMs. Hence, the subscriber can occasionally run the contact synchronization command whenever a new contact or phone number is obtained.

Automatic Internet Data Share Between the 3 in 1 SIMs

If I activate an internet data bundle plan on the standard size SIM embedded on my android smart phone, would this same internet data bundle be available for use if I switch over to the micro size counterpart SIM? This is a big question which needs to be answered before the new Airtel Nigeria's 3 in 1 SIM can actually attain a 'smart' status.

Other Value-added services Available on all SIM sizes

Apart from the auto contact synchronization and the internet data auto availability, other value-added services usually obtainable on the smart mobile technology sphere should also be made available on all the 3 SIMs at any given time irrespective of the device in use. This is the meaning of smart technology.
Until the new Airtel 3 in 1 'smart' SIM is upgraded to accommodate these features, I don't see them really acting smart. However, I applaud the Airtel Nigeria mobile for being the first mobile telecommunication network service provider to introduce this new near-smart 3 in 1 SIM. Maybe after now, other network providers shall tow the same line with improved features that would bring theirs closer to being really smart. Nigerians deserve better and smart telecommunication technology services because, that is where the rest of the world is at this time.


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