Sagem embeds wifi in SIM

It’s amazing what you can do with a SIM card isn’t it? Last week we wrote about a GPS-enabled SIM, while this week SIM card firm Sagem Orga has embedded a tiny wifi modem on one.

The SIM firm, along with operator partner Telefonica, is jumping on the mobile broadband hotspot bandwagon, proffering a 3G (HSPA) enabled SIM card that, when popped into a handset, allows a handful of other devices to connect via wifi and share the cellular connection as backhaul.

The SIMFi can be inserted in any type of classic handset to act as a universal and interoperable HSPA/wifi router for any device, the company said.

The concept of a mobile broadband hotspot, combining wifi and cellular, is being picked up by some of the big operators, including Vodafone, Verizon and Sprint. But still thinks that while useful, it’s a tough sell to consumers and there seems to be some confusion over the usage scenarios.

Perhaps Telefonica is trying to keep web traffic on its own networks, after sticking one in the eye of net neutrality by bandying around statements suggesting that search engines and content providers should pay for generating traffic on operators’ networks.

So where does that leave mobile social network Gypsii? Telefonica said Friday that it is to deploy the Gypsii application to its subscribers in Latin America, making it available on Blackberry, Android, Java, Symbian S60, Windows Mobile and WAP-enabled devices from March.

Genasys will be providing the Gypsii application as a location-based value added services for the 13 countries in Latin America where Telefonica operates.

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