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Intel and Microsoft moving forward with always-on eSIM PCs

Intel and Microsoft moving forward with always-on eSIM PCs
Intel and Microsoft moving forward with always-on eSIM PCs
Notebook PCs will soon have WWAN/LTE capabilities without requiring external SIM cards or special modems.

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Intel and Microsoft are taking a page off smartphones to push "always-on" PCs that can more easily connect to the Internet. The plan involves integrating non-removable LTE radios onto Intel chipsets called eSIM that the end user can then customize through software based on the desired network service. PCs sporting eSIM would work similarly to current smartphones except that eSIM would require no removable SIM cards from the user to run properly.

Major manufacturers like Asus, HP, Huawei, Lenovo, Xiaomi, and even Vaio have pledged to produce Windows PCs with eSIM technology. Asus, for example, unveiled a prototype eSIM-enabled laptop codenamed "Kukuna" during a Microsoft press conference at Computex 2017. It will be interesting to see how eSIM can impact the design of future tablets and laptops as existing WWAN-enabled products require special dedicated M.2 modules and antennae.

Privacy, of course, will always be a concern with "always-on" devices. Users should still be able to disable Internet connectivity as usual, though there's no denying that eSIM will make it even easier for Microsoft to collect user data or force certain updates at will. No word yet on when we can expect to see the first eSIM PCs come to market.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 06 > Intel and Microsoft moving forward with always-on eSIM PCs
Allen Ngo, 2017-06- 2 (Update: 2017-06- 2)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.