In-the-know travelers learned long ago that swapping their phone’s SIM card when crossing the border can save lots of money.
But the need for multiple SIM cards (phone numbers) is set to go mainstream, in the wake of a 2014 California ruling mandating that businesses pay for business calls, texts and data incurred by employees using their own phones for work (aka BYOD). There’s a bit of a scramble for solutions going on, and not all of them are elegant.
Take this kludgy multi-SIM adaptor that lets iPhone users handle two or three phone lines, highlighted recently by ZDNet:
ZDNet: “The nano SIM sits in the SIM card tray along with the tail of the . . . adapter so that it makes contact with the SIM card pin assembly inside the handset (yes, that ribbon cable is thin enough to fit between the SIM tray and the body of the iPhone 6). Then the other SIM cards fit into the adapter. Now you don’t want to be walking around with a ribbon cable hanging off your handset, which is why you pop it all into a supplied case.”
Assuming you don’t mind having an adaptor jammed into your SIM slot and then hanging tenuously off your iPhone, there’s another catch to deal with.
“You switch between SIM cards from the iOS interface by going Settings > Phone > SIM Applications,” the article explains.
Translated, that means you have to manually select which SIM you want to use at any given time – and you only can have one active at a time.
It gets worse – according to the adaptor manufacturer’s website, “the combination of some SIM cards requires to restart the iPhone 6 after switching between SIMs.”
WorkLife by BlackBerry is the Best Solution, Bar None
Thankfully, kludgy adaptors aren’t necessary.
As Derek Forrest of tech publication Tom’s IT Pro noted this week, WorkLife is “a way for companies to split the bill fairly by adding a separate corporate-controlled account to BYOD iPhones, Android devices, and of course, BlackBerry devices.”
There are plenty of benefits for both companies and employees.
“Unlike other solutions that use third party proxy servers to split and calculate usage, sometimes inaccurately and often at the expense of performance, Worklife cuts out the proverbial middle man by performing all usage calculations right on the mobile device itself,” writes Forrest. “Employers can even reassign the corporate phone number of a BYOD device or remove a personal account attached to a COPE device when an employee leaves the company, keeping corporate contacts where they belong and employee privacy intact.”
Additionally, WorkLife by BlackBerry plays well with others.
As Forrest explains, “[I]mportantly, WorkLife can interface with other existing mobile device management and security apps including BlackBerry’s BES12 and the recently released Samsung KNOX to automatically determine usage based on the enterprise container apps.”
Forrest agrees that last year’s “landmark ruling” in California will likely set the tone for work/personal usage of BYOD phones must be precisely calculated – something that WorkLife handles seamlessly.
It’s a very sensible solution for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry, and it beats cramming an adaptor into your SIM port – unless you like that sort of thing.