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Firm targets SA with paper-thin SIM cards

By , IT in government editor
Africa , 27 May 2013

Firm targets SA with paper-thin SIM cards

Paper-thin technology that ‘sticks’ to a single SIM card, enabling it to access two mobile networks, may become available in Africa after being sold to 6.7 million subscribers in Asia.

Taisys Technologies, which makes the film-like technology dubbed the ‘KingSub UICC’, has opened a South African office with a plan to produce its SIM products for the African market.

According to a company statement, Taisys officials say they use SIM ‘overlay technology’ to enable one SIM card to access multiple service providers, allowing subscribers to switch networks on their phone.

This means that using the KingSub SIM could allow a single-SIM handset to access up to two mobile networks, while a dual-SIM handset could access up to four networks if it uses this product.

And in a bid to sell the technology in Africa, Taisys Africa’s managing director Adriaan Greeff says his firm has started talking to South African mobile operators.

Greeff says his company also has plans to target operators and banks in other African countries.

“Taisys has its origins in South Africa. Therefore, setting up an office in the country was the next logical step,” he told ITWeb Africa.

“This technology is a proven concept, now instead of using one network provider subscribers can use two operators for one phone,” Greeff said.

Demand for the likes of dual-SIM handsets already exists in countries such as Nigeria and Kenya.

Despite these countries having mobile number portability (MNP) services, some subscribers in these nations use dual-SIM handsets to help them access benefits such as cheap call rates on one network and low data costs on a second network.

Greeff says Africa’s market potential for dual SIM card services is estimated at “90 million users”.

But for Taisys to break into markets such as South Africa, the company’s KingSub product further has to comply with SIM card registration processes.

Greeff says that the KingSub SIM product is going to have to comply with the likes of of South Africa’s Regulation of Interception of Communications Act (RICA) in order for it to be sold in the country.

Nevertheless, Greeff says that the KingSub technology is capable of being used on all types of SIM cards, including micro-SIM cards that are found in smartphone devices such as Apple’s iPhone and Samsung Galaxy SIII handsets.

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