Phones Without SIM Card Slots Could Soon Become a Reality, Thanks to Google

Phones Without SIM Card Slots Could Soon Become a Reality, Thanks to Google and eSIM improvements in Android 13

Although we have had phones with eSIM support for years now, the technology has not caught up enough to replace traditional SIM cards. One key hurdle with eSIMs is in the way it supports dual SIMs. While you can set up multiple SIM profiles in an eSIM, only one of those profiles can be active at a time. According to a new report from Esper, however, Google is working to improve eSIM support on Android 13.

Android 13 to Multiple Enabled Profiles (MEP) for eSIM

As Esper’s Mishaal Rahman reports, Google has implemented what it calls Multiple Enabled Profiles (MEP) on Android 13. Patented back in 2020, the technology allows a single eSIM element to connect to two different carriers at the same time. This way, the OEM doesn’t have to add two eSIM elements (which takes up space) or use a combination of eSIM and physical nano-SIM card slot to offer dual SIM functionality.

The best part of MEP is that it is software-based, and hence, backward compatible with existing phones in the market. The process involves using multiple logical interfaces multiplexed on a single physical interface. The report mentions that Google has been testing MEP support on Pixel hardware and has added new APIs to manage eSIM profiles in Android 13.

“Google is proposing the creation of logical interfaces that are multiplexed on a single physical interface. Each logical interface can then provide an independent communication channel between a SIM profile and a modem, so there’d only need to be a single actual physical connection to the modem. No rewiring is needed, so existing devices with a single eSIM chip wired to a modem can theoretically support MEP,” explains Rahman.

It’s also worth noting that the method in Google’s patent is platform agnostic. Hence, we could also see it in action on other platforms in the future. That is if the company has plans to make it available to other companies through a license. Speaking of other platforms, the iPhone 13 series supports two eSIMs at the same time. However, it remains unclear how the company has implemented it.

Either way, we will hopefully have more details on multi eSIM support when Google officially launches Android 13 at Google I/O 2022 later this year. So, do you think MEP could increase eSIM adoption in the smartphone industry? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

comment Comments 0
Leave a Reply