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Orange takes the cloak off Super SIM

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3GSM Orange has announced the availability of its much-anticipated Super SIM supplied by Sagem Orga. The Super SIM has 128MB of storage and, when inserted into a Super SIM supporting handset, automatically installs "the Orange Homescreen, Packet Video player, F-Secure anti-virus client, and a whole series of Orange branded wallpapers and themes".

Users will be able to put their own stuff on the SIM, via a USB connection to a PC, in the same way as any other removable memory in a Windows Mobile device.

Of course, there won't be many Super SIM supporting handsets as Orange is still using the MMC interface, which recently got rejected as the standard for next-generation SIMs, so some sort of migration to USB can be expected over the next 12 months or so. Orange is launching with the HTC S310 Windows Smartphone which, ironically, won't support the standard when it's introduced.

It is the use of MMC (and later USB) which enables such clever functionality to be gleaned from the diminutive SIM. Both standards include a specification for automatically installing applications from pre-defined memory locations, and software running on the SIM modifies those applications for the user. The software is provided by SNAPin.

This is, without doubt, the most compelling application of next generation SIM technology. But whether it justifies the expense and complicity is another question. ®

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