10 Replies Latest reply: Apr 10, 2013 4:49 AM by Alan Wade RSS

Anyone using 3ff SIMs?

Newbie

I'm thinking about using 3ff SIMs for my product launch in the summer. I realize that it's basically a 2ff SIM without all of the plastic, but has anyone heard of a major deployment using these new SIMs? Has anyone done testing using these SIMs and what have the results been? We are still early in the testing phase.

Thanks in advance!

Andy

  • Re: Anyone using 3ff SIMs?
    Newbie

    The Apple iPad uses the 3FF SIM.

    I do not know specifically what Apple's testing results have been - but there should be no difference to a 2FF SIM. As you pointed out, the 3FF SIM is the same as 2FF but with a less plastic. All electrical and logical functions of the SIM are the same.

  • Re: Anyone using 3ff SIMs?
    Newbie

    Pardon my ignoance, but what is the difference between a 3FF SIM and a VQFN-8 SIM?

    • Re: Anyone using 3ff SIMs?
      Newbie

      3FF is simply the same as a standard plug-in SIM with even more of the plastic removed, so that there is very little plastic between the face plate of the SIM and the edge of the card. Imagine that you take a standard plug-in SIM and trim off as much as possible of the plastic, then you will have a 3FF SIM.

       

      A VQFN8 SIM is a SIM on a chip. It is soldered to the board of the device and is not removable.

      • Re: Anyone using 3ff SIMs?
        Newbie

        Thanks.  Then what is the benefit?  Smaller form factor?  Or does it have a longer lifespan or other benefit?  Seems like it would be challenging to go to a brand new standard unless you know all operators support it (or is this a non-issue).           

        • Re: Anyone using 3ff SIMs?
          Newbie

          Smaller form factor is about the only benefit of the 3FF SIM. There is no other difference from a 2FF SIM, therefore no other benefit.

          This does not stop any operator from having 3FF SIMs that have different characteristics - e.g. providing 3FF SIMs that use stronger plastics for a greater temperature range. But that would not be a benefit that is unique to the 3FF form factor.

          I do not know how many operators support the 3FF SIM. It is not a technical issue for an operaor to support the 3FF SIM, but may be an operational one - yet another SKU to manage.

          • Re: Anyone using 3ff SIMs?
            Newbie

            Just to add that 3ff has already been deployed in Italy by H3G - it's not a prototypal technology, it is a product. But as it has already been written, it doesn't add anything else then a smaller size with less plastic, it was introduced to make handset smaller, not really for M2M.

             

            M2M UICC specification is under approval by ETSI (ETSI TS 102 671), with a form factor close to QFN8 and with specific requirements of Temperature, endurance, etc.

  • Re: Anyone using 3ff SIMs?
    Newbie

    We have been using 3FF SIMs for a few months now and have noticed no difference in quality from the typical "plug-in" type that are used in most mobile phones. One aspect that we he found useful is the dual cut-out that allows the SIM to be used in either the "plug in" or 3FF application - and we have also used the re-pluggable versions that allows the smaller 3FF size to be inserted back into the "plug in" carrier. Note that these two types of SIMs have subtle differences in the pad layouts - see ETSI TS 102 221 for complete specs.

     

    We have also tried to laser cut down the plug-in type to create the 3FF size... it is not quite as simple as it seems due to substrate positioning. And anyway, most of the manufacturers now support 3FF.

  • Re: Anyone using 3ff SIMs?
    Novice

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