In these past few years, I am sure you all may have heard a lot many things becoming electronic or embedded, for example eVouchers, eTickets, eCigarettes, eSims etc. However going by the trends in technology and computing, I have observed one constant thing and that is seeing physical things turn to virtual or software devices. Following the very pattern is the latest participant in the “e” world – the eSim.
Since the evolution of the mobile devices, the modest SIM card has been around and survived for quite a while, but now it looks like it is on its way to extinction. So to save the day, here enters the eSIM – a much smarter technology of today.
What is an eSim? eSIM (embedded subscriber identity module) is an embedded rewritable chip that eliminates the need for a physical SIM in electronic devices, which requires M2M and telecom communication. eSIM enables remote SIM provisioning for mobile devices and is currently supported by several telecom carriers. There are no physical SIM cards involved and no physical swapping over required by you.
It may be a while before the full potential of the eSIM is realized, but you can take advantage now with the right phone and service. Few of the major tech companies, including Apple, Alphabet (Google), Samsung, and Huawei, have released devices that have eSIM capability. Google’s Android framework has started providing standard APIs for accessing eSIM and managing subscription profile on the eSIM since Android 9.
eSIM is similar to traditional physical SIM in aspects such as access points and IMEI numbers. However, when an organization hands over an eSIM to an employee, the organization loses control over the data used by the SIM, since the employee can use it across multiple devices. Through an eSIM, the organization can restrict the employee to use a pre-defined device for data consumption and thereby could exert more control over the data consumed.
Advantage and Demands for eSIMs
Phone makers will be at an advantage of making smaller devices, as there would be no need to add a tray to hold the SIM card. The other benefit is the ease of changing mobile network operators. This will affect the carriers negatively since more customers will have the tendency to shift connection if they are not satisfied, provided the mobile number does not change. However, network operators have several advantages of using eSIM, including reduced cost, increasing subscribers, and better security. There has been growth in the number of telecom companies supporting eSIM capabilities with many major companies, including NTT Docomo, AT&T, Etisalat, Vodafone, and Telefonica, providing eSIM solutions.
The global eSIM market is expected to cross $700 million mark by the end of 2019, with the demand for eSIM increasing in areas including connected cars, consumer electronics, and IoT devices. The market will grow at a CAGR of over 90% during the forecast period 2019–2025. Other advantages include the use of eSIM devices for environment safety and security services used across all urban areas including smart cities. In addition increasing R&D on connected vehicles and autonomous vehicles will fuel the demand for eSIM during the forecast period.
As the world turns towards compact and nano products, eSIMs will be great for other devices like laptops and tablets providing seamless connectivity. Besides getting to switch operators quickly for better connection, it will also free up space for new features in the device, as well as lower the risk of device theft. So are you in for the new era of SIMs of the “e” world?