Definition - What does Universal Integrated Circuit Card (UICC) mean?
The Universal Integrated Circuit Card (UICC) is a type of SIM card, a smart card used for mobile terminals/phones utilizing GSM or UMTS networks. The UICC is used to ensure the security and integrity of all kinds of personal data as well as hold information that identifies the user to the wireless operator in order for the latter to know the plans and services associated with the card. It can store contacts and enable reliable and secure voice and data connections as well as be used for data roaming and remotely adding new applications and services. It is best used as a universal application delivery platform to any 3G or 4G device.
The UICC is a type of smart card technology that has its own processor, software and data storage; so, it is essentially a computer in and of itself. It is essentially an evolution of the subscriber identification module (SIM) card, and, as such, it contains many of the latter's features, such as storing contact details and maintaining a list of preferred networks.
A big differentiator and advantage of the UICC over the SIM is that it can have multiple applications stored on it because of its inherent processing power and larger storage capacity. The SIM card, on the other hand, is simply a storage device. One of the more important applications in the UICC is USIM (Universal SIM), which identifies the user and the device to the wireless service provider when using standards such as UMTS, HSPA and LTE. Other applications include CSIM (CDMA SIM) for enabling access to CDMA networks and ISIM (IP Multimedia Subsystem SIM) for securing access to multimedia services and non-telecom-related applications such as wireless and automatic payment.