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back to article Orange introduces mini-SIM

Orange claims to be the first European operator to introduce mini SIM cards, though it's actually talking about the thing that holds the SIM rather than the SIM itself. Touting the development as an environmental step Orange points out that 11,600 tonnes of SIM are shipped each year, 90 per cent of which is unused plastic that's …

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Bronze badge
FAIL

Ho Hum

Why not just ship the SIM itself stuck with a blob of easy to remove glue or sticky tape to the instructions which accompanies it ?

That's how credit cards are attached.

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Coat

Back to the Old Skool...

It must be the late 90's since I last owned a phone with a credit card sized sim holder - one of early phones that came out on PAYG on the one2one network. I've wondered since then why they need to waste so much plastic, but I guess them's the standards.

Hopefully now, they'll also be cutting down on the amount of 'wrapping' around the sim card too, which usually features a user manual, various addendums, some service reminder inserts, a plastic wrap then usually a cardboard envelope.

The coat, because its green....

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@Jason Bloomberg

"easy to remove glue"

Because that glue is never 'easy to remove' - the stuff they used to stick media on the front of PC magazine was bloody lethal!

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Boffin

If Microsoft were to make SIMS...

...they would probably be triangular. They'd expect everyone to change to suit them.

Anyway, you'd hardly be able to make a call as your phone will be almost constantly engaged as the SIM is dialling the MS upgrade server for upgrades, bug fixes and security patches.

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Alert

WTF?

At a VERY rough conservative guess of 5 grams per sim, 11,600 tons of sims would equate to 2,320,000,000 sims - surely 1/3 of the entire population of planet earth doesn't get a new sim every year?

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Silver badge

Wouldn't it be better to...

... just sell the sims without the credit card bit.

If someone needs the whole credit card size, someone could design and sell an adaptor. After all, you cant put them back in the card when you snap them out.

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Bronze badge

This could be a pain

The phone built into my car needs the full credit card sized lump so that's Orange off the list of potential providers. Although it is just possible I could replace the car with something that's less than 12 years old....or use the handsfree with my other mobile....or....or....or

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FAIL

FAIL

Yep, what the dude above said! WTF do we need all the plastic anyway?

We just need the simcard - bloody morons I tell you morons!

Is this what the executive management of Orange come up with? They are seriously screwed!

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Thumb Down

Pathetic

What an absolutely pathetic attempt at appearing green and consiencious. Orange, you need to try better than that.

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Boffin

@Jason

Because the SIM cards need to be processed by a machine, which will have a stack of the SIM cards + carriers and just feed them in to load the apps/personalise them etc. Most of these machines take normal full size cards (credit card sized) - if you notice, the position on the chip in the normal SIM carrier is identical to the position in a credit card - it's an ISO spec.

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Blimey.....

This takes me back....

"some of the early GSM handsets needed the whole card to hold the SIM in place"

I remember my first mobile, a Phillips 301, it was the size of a housbrick and it took the credit card sized SIMs. It had a single line, sideways scrolling LCD display. Used to take forever to read a text message as there was no way of forcing the scroll. Oh, and it could store a total of.............. TEN TEXT MESSAGES. That being said, I never lost the thing once.

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Silver badge

Old large cards

Some old phones took the full credit card sized piece of plastic too, if I recall correctly, which is why it's been left as that standard size for so long.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 11:49

I don't just get one new SIM card a year, I seem to get several SIM cards every year.

In regular use I've got my day to day SIM, then my work SIM, a SIM in my 3G dongle and a SIM to get cheap calls abroad. I've also got three foreign SIMs which I use when I'm travelling. Then there are odds and ends, like I needed a new phone this week and had to get it with a new SIM in it even though I didn't need it - so there's another one.

So, at the moment I've got 4 SIMs in regular use, 3 which I use a few times during the year and a few others that I have which I didn't need but had to get anyway!

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Megaphone

Big SIM

Used to have a Motorola Startac that took the big credit card size SIM. Funnily enough I was with Orange at the time.

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Badgers

SIM Adaptors

I have a number of phone here that take the larger SIM. An Orange MR1, a one2one M301 and a Motorola International something, as well as a carphone. You can buy SIM adaptors to use the new (now standard) smaller SIMs in these handsets - they're a standard size (full/large) SIM with a cutout plastic "pouch" for the small SIM.

What's more of an issue is that due to different voltages, most modern SIMs won't work in handsets older than about 10 years anyway!

..sorry, badgers??

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FAIL

Orange make all the SIM mess anyway....

Anonymous Coward - "surely 1/3 of the entire population of planet earth" - if most networks around the world behave like Orange (SIM tied to phone, buy a new phone have to use a new SIM) then that may be possible - unlike 02 and T-Mobile where you keep the same SIM for years and years (I wonder how many of their customer have Cellnet and One2One SIMs?).

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Why would you need two SIMs?

If you just have the one subscription?

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Bronze badge

By this logic...

Verizon would be the greenest of all cell phone companies? Their phones don't even have SIM slot....

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Paris Hilton

@Crazy Operations Guy...

Yes, but even the CDMA standard which Verizon uses has evolved to include a SIM slot for the simple reason it offers device portability. If your Verizon phone breaks, hard luck... if my 3G BlackBerry breaks at least I can use the basic phone functionality in one of several one phones I have kicking around (or steal the wife's!).

Paris, because she's never stuck without her phone (must be 3GSM!)

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@John Ferris

"If Microsoft were to make SIMS... "

They did! Going back 10 years ago they made an OS for smartcards that was in SIMs. They were trying to compete with the Java OSs you now find in cards. They failed because there OS was based in Windows CE and was bloated, slow and not optimised for the chips of the day.

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WTF?

Er KevJS

You fail sunshine. Orange SIMs aren't tied to a specific IMEI. The wife works there and uses her Orange SIM across three different phones.

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Badgers

@kevjs

Proud owner of a one2one SIM

Over 11 years old and still going strong.

It even started off as a credit card sized SIM in my StarTac (oh memories), but was popped out to mini size and has served me well ever since

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@ Crazy Operations Guy

No SIM slot? Have you checked under the battery? There might be a sliding metal cover for it. . .

The other option, of course, is that Verizon are selling ancient phones that didn't use SIMs.

Seriously though, why the hell should a person need so many SIMs? Or more than 1 cel-phone for that matter?

Give me a landline any day. I'd rather have clarity than convenience.

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Coat

Hate to point out the obvious, but...

Orange is not Green.

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Boffin

Neither Verizon nor Sprint use SIM's

The CDMA standard does have a similar card to the SIM called the R-UIM. Though it is not in use by US CDMA carriers. I having even cracked my phone open looking to see if its just internal but nay. Everything is hardcoded into the phone hence negating the need for said R-UIM. Though it would be nice for when I get a new phone and what not

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Bronze badge
Go

@AC 13:17

"So, at the moment I've got 4 SIMs in regular use, 3 which I use a few times during the year and a few others that I have which I didn't need but had to get anyway!"

Something is tickling my memory - I seem to remember a SIM kit which allowed the copying *and stacking* of SIM information on a single multi-purpose SIM. <looks at his phone> Which would explain why my phone has a "pick your provider" option in its system menu.

And AC@17:03 is quite correct - while phones *may* be locked to a specific provider (a hateful practice as far as I'm concerned - I'm looking at you, Apple) and SIMs may also be locked, at least down here in Oz I have successfully transferred my SIM from phone to phone. I admit I always buy my phones outright and re-flash them to the manufacturer's default firmware (instead of the crippled crap offered by most TelCos) but swapping SIMs even with a friend's phone ('cause mine had run out of power) did not seem to make a bit of difference.

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Vigin mobile US phone lack sims

as they run on sprint network.

Boost , metro PCS two others.

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Integration

Like Kevin Johnston, I have a ten year old cellphone that requires the full credit card size SIM, and I can't upgrade it because it is integrated into my Jaguar XJ Sport V8. The sound goes through the entertainment console, the microphone is in the mirror, it uses the buttons and display on the entertainment console and even has controls on the steering wheel. Plus an antenna on the roof. Just too convenient to ditch. I managed to replace the handset for a tenner on eBay when the old one got tatty, but batteries are no longer available, so it only works when the ignition is on.

It is no problem fitting a SIM back into the credit card surround (of which I have kept several spares). You just put a piece of cellotape across the back.

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FAIL

erm.. here's a boring anecdote..

All three of my Orange 'phones didn't have the offending plastic card nonsense (even the one I put in the wash still works fine). The 10 year old brick phone worked fine too, just the fact that it couldn't hold it's charge forced me to upgrade. Now all the nonsense I said I wouldn't bother with (camera, internet etc etc) causes me not to use it for calls, defeting the whole purpose of the damned thing. There's also the irony of the Sims game where they all speak in garbled tones (they do it without GSM though)....

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