Around the World

  • Qualcomm announces world’s first demo of iSIM tech that integrates SIM card with processor

    Qualcomm Technologies, Vodafone, and Thales together demonstrated the world’s first smartphone with working iSIM (integrated SIM) technology that allows the SIM card to be embedded into the device’s processor, thus eliminating the need for a dedicated slot.

    The breakthrough paves the way for the commercialization of the technology, which if picks pace will not only kill the need for dedicated SIM card slots but also eSIMs — something that has seen a rather slow adoption by both carriers and smartphone OEMs alike.

    The greatest advantages of the SIM and processor integration include better system integration, higher performance, and increased memory capacity. It also does away with the need for a separate chip that’s required by eSIMs.

    The iSIM conforms with GSMA specifications and delivers benefits for both consumers and telecom operators, further paving the way for mobile services to be integrated into devices other than mobile phones. This means that it would be far easier for laptops, tablets, VR platforms, IoT devices, wearables, and others to make use of LTE or 5G services.

    The demonstration of the technology took place in Europe in Samsung’s R&D labs where it made use of Vodafone’s network, illustrating its readiness and efficiency in working with existing infrastructure.

    A Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G powered by the Snapdragon 888 5G was used and it ran the Thales iSIM operating system for the purpose.

    Enrico Salvatori, senior vice president and president of Qualcomm Europe said: “iSIM solutions offer great opportunities to MNOs, free-up valuable space in devices for OEMs, and provide flexibility for device users to benefit from the full potential of 5G networks and experiences across a wide range of device categories. Some of the areas that will benefit most from iSIM technology include smartphones, mobile PCs, VR/XR headsets, and industrial IoT. By engineering the iSIM technology into the SoC, we are able to create additional support for OEMs in our Snapdragon platform.”

     

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  • Get away from shore - US and Japan warn on tsunami

    A tsunami has flooded Tonga's capital after a large eruption from an undersea volcano. Other Pacific islands and the US have issued advisories and have cautioned residents to seek higher ground. The Pacific island of Tonga experienced a large volcanic eruption Saturday followed by a tsunami that flooded parts of the capital, Nuku'alofa.

     

    The surge wave reached a height of 2.7 feet (83 centimeters) in Nuku'alofa, according to the US-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. There is no information yet on property damage or casualties. Satellite images showed massive ash clouds and shockwaves spreading from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai volcano. People all over the South Pacific, including as far away as New Zealand, heard the eruption. Videos posted on social media from Tonga showed the tsunami breach the shoreline, and move into the town.

    Tonga's King Tupou VI had been evacuated from the Royal Palace as many Tongans tried to get to higher ground. Several countries issue tsunami warnings The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said tsunami waves measuring 2 feet in height were observed by sea-level gauges in Pago Pago, the capital of the US territory of American Samoa, around 940 kilometers (580 miles) from Tonga. Officials there initially issued a tsunami warning and told residents to "immediately" evacuate to higher ground. The warning was lifted shortly thereafter.

    A tsunami advisory was in effect for Hawaii, Alaska, the US Pacific coast, and neighboring British Columbia in Canada. Fiji also issued a tsunami warning, telling residents to avoid shorelines "due to strong currents and dangerous waves." New Zealand, more than 2,000 kilometers away from the site of the eruption, has also issued a tsunami advisory.

    New Zealand's National Emergency Management Agency said parts of the country could expect "strong and unusual currents and unpredictable surges at the shore." New Zealand working to establish communications Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Sunday that images of the volcanic eruption near Tonga were "hugely concerning" and that communication with the island was difficult. "Communication as a result of the eruption has been difficult," Ardern said in a Facebook post.

    She added that New Zealand's defense force and foreign ministry were working to establish what was needed and how the country can help. The prime minister will give an update on the situation at a press conference later in the day. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also expressed deep concern in a statement. " The UN offices in the Pacific are closely monitoring the situation and are on standby to provide support if requested," he said.

    Undersea volcano erupts The eruption Saturday was the latest in a series from the undersea Hunga Tonga, Hunga Ha'apai volcano. Saturday's eruption is the second in only two days. A previous eruption on Friday sent plumes of ash and smoke into the air, with smoke clouds extending up to 20 kilometers (12 miles) into the atmosphere.

    The volcano had some intermittent activity through December last year. On Friday, people were advised by officials to stay home and protect drinking water and resources.

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