How to choose the right SIM Form Factor for your business?

What is the right SIM Form Factor for you?

There is a complete range of SIM Form Factors available to your business. Which one you choose depends on the IoT/M2M SIMs requirement of your application.  For example, IoT/M2M SIMs are used for large global deployments using cellular connectivity, while LoRa is used for Long Range Wireless IoT/M2M.

What SIM Form Factor is best for my Business?

To find out what SIM card is best suited to your business needs, you first need to find out what design options are available.

Most IoT/M2M devices operating in regular conditions will support cellular connectivity using standard plastic SIM cards.

There are four standard form factors or sizes of SIM card available.

First, is the largest Form Factor 1FF, this credit card size SIM is no longer used in modern devices.

The second form factor is the 2FF Mini SIM card, followed by the third form factor 3FF Micro SIM and finally the fourth form factor 4FF Nano SIM.

Also available are embedded IoT/M2M form factor MFF2.

What is a SIM Card and its benefits?

SIM Form Factor 1FF
A SIM card is a subscriber identity module, which is simply a mini circuit board used to securely store the international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) number and its related key, which are used to identify and authenticate subscribers on mobile telephony devices on a network.

The full-size SIM is the first SIM form factor (1FF) to appear and was credit card sized, however they are no longer used in modern devices.

Measuring around 85.6mm long by 53.98mm wide.

What is a Standard Mini SIM Card?

SIM Form Factor Mini SIM

Today's standard SIM is the second SIM form factor (2FF) which is one of the most common SIM card used in mobile phones and IoT devices. Also known a Mini-SIM, measuring around 25mm long by 15mm wide it is the largest of the three SIM cards. Typical IoT/M2M applications include vehicle tracking, vending machines, payments and signage.

What is Micro SIM? And how is it different from Standard SIM cards?

SIM Form Factor Micro SIM

The Micro SIM is the third form factor (3FF) which holds the same amount of data as a standard Mini-SIM. They are half the size of the standard SIM, measuring around 15mm long by 12mm wide. Therefore, are designed to fit into IoT/M2M devices too small for a regular Mini SIM, such as applications include mHealth, GPS, tablets and dispatch units.

You can get Micro SIM cards that are attached within a Standard SIM card sized unit which you can pull off. These are known as a Combi SIM as you can use it for both.

What is NANO SIM? And how is it different from Micro SIM cards?

SIM Form Factor Nano SIM

The Nano SIM is the forth form factor (4FF) holds the same amount of data as a standard Mini-SIM.

Most noteworthy they are 40% smaller than micro-sims, measuring around 12.3mm long by 12mm wide and are about 15% thinner.

In addition, they are the most recent type of SIM card, with the advantage of being smaller in size enabling the smallest form factor M2M applications, including tablets, mobile payment & terminals.

What is Embedded SIM MFF2?
SIM Form Factor Embedded SIM MFF2

The most common option for IoT/M2M applications is the embedded SIM called MFF2. They are soldered directly on the circuit board during fabrication, measuring around 5mm long by 5mm wide.

The embedded SIM is surface mounting and vacuum sealed to protect against corrosion vibration and shock, which is ideal devices that are located outdoors or in constant motion.

Applications using the Embedded chip SIM consequently benefit from increased reliability and physical security.

Most noteworthy is the SIM being soldered directly onto the circuit board of your device, helping to stop anyone tampering with your device.

The lifecycle of an embedded SIM is usually 10 years longer than a standard form factor. Therefore, extending the life of your deployed IoT devices.

What are IoT/M2M SIMs?

IoT/M2M SIMs are specialist industrial strength SIM cards that are used to connect devices and communicate data between each other. This allows for automation of almost any process and eradicate the need for human interaction. 

Most noteworthy, IoT/M2M SIMs are being utilised across almost every industry to improve the accuracy and productivity of business, as a result IoT SIMs need to survive tough conditions in constant movement.

Industrial strength SIM cards are corrosion resistant, therefore changes in weather or moisture will not ruin the card.

As a result, they are designed to continue work through extreme vibrations and temperatures ranging from -40 degrees to as much as 105 degrees Celsius. To learn more about IoT SIMs, check our quick guide to everything you need to know about IoT SIMs.

To successful connect your IoT devices, you need SIMs. Do you know what are the available SIM form factors in the IoT/M2M market?

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Filed Under: Micro SIM 3FF, 2FF Mini SIM card, embedded SIM, General IoT/M2M, IoT/M2M SIMs, Nano SIM 4FF, SIM Form Factor