Microsoft Corporation to Roll Out its Own SIM Card for Windows Devices

Published by Talfryn Taylor on January 8, 2016 at 10:03 am EST

The software giant plans to provide contract-free cellular data to customers through its own SIM card.

The news has been leaked through an app listing titled “Cellular Data” that has given reference to the SIM card. Since it is the first time that Microsoft is offering such a service, its complete use is currently unclear. However, The Verge has speculated that the company is trying to build a Mobile Virtual Network (MVN), which will make use of other network providers to deliver cellular service to Windows devices. The service is also quite similar to Apple’s strategy where it sells SIMs that allow cellular access to other networks like AT&T and Verizon.

The cellular app has not been publicly announced since it is in a testing phase, but the app is available on Window’s store. The pricing of the data has not been disclosed yet, but it is expected that data will be tied to a Microsoft Account since the company plans to sell it through Windows Store. The contract-less service also may mean that the company will have to create its own network with cellular partners to deliver such a service.

The publication of the “Cellular Data” app on the store follows a deal with French company Transatel, which says that it will support Microsoft to deliver the paid cellular service it has planned. Transatel said in a statement, “Laptops and tablets equipped with Windows 10, a cellular broadband modem, and a Microsoft SIM Card utilizing Transatel’s 901 technology, will allow consumers to easily and conveniently purchase pre-paid 3G/4G-LTE data services.”

The latest move by Microsoft is likely an attempt to compete with Apple, which also offers a SIM for selected models of iPad, allowing users to switch between mobile carriers without actually changing the SIM card. Apple was also reported to be working on a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) service early this year, but the company has declined to comment on these reports. With these two companies working to deliver this unique service to their customers, a strong and healthy competition is on the cards, with obvious benefits to the consumer.