By turning the SIM card into a Wi-Fi hotspot, Sagem Orga and Telefonica have developed a solution without all these hurdles. An embedded WLAN modem in the SIM card, driven by the SIM toolkit applets running in the SIM, will enable Telefonica to broadcast High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) Internet access through Wi-Fi to notebooks and netbooks. The new generation USIM card “SIMFi” can be inserted in any type of classic handset to act as a universal and interoperable HSPA/Wi-Fi router for any device.
Interesting, but there’s also not a lot of data in that press release. No word on security or number of users who can be connected. If it works like a normal wifi tether, it’s not going to add much benefit over a wifi-equipped smartphone (possibly depending on plan prices), and how many “classic” handsets offer 3G connectivity (or 4G)? We’ll have to wait and see how it pans out, but I wouldn’t give up on mobile routers just yet. Anyone excited about this?