eSIM has become a term widely used and, possibly, equally widely misunderstood. The basics of eSIM are straightforward – an eSIM is an electronic version of the familiar SIM card that can be downloaded and stored on a chip. This means that mobile subscribers do not need to physically swap SIM cards when changing provider.
There’s a little more to it than that, of course, but that’s the basic concept. eSIMs can also be used in IoT devices, as well as mobile phones. More and more of these will be designed with the integrated chips that are required to support eSIMs, spreading eSIM connectivity into the Internet of Things (IoT).
The most obvious benefit that eSIM affords is the ability to remotely provision the chip resident in the mobile or IoT device. This means that the eSIM can be updated with appropriate configuration settings over the air (OTA), so that the device can connect to the appropriate mobile network service provider.
This also means that the settings can easily be changed to those of another provider. So, when a subscriber wishes to change provider (for whatever reason), then they can simply update the eSIM with new settings.
Defining a profile
In addition to the term eSIM, you will also likely read or hear people referring to the eSIM profile. In simple terms, this is the information required to identify an operator and the subscription that relates to a given device. In other words, it enables the device to connect to a network, under the terms of the agreement with the operator.
Of course, the eSIM chip must be configured with the relevant profile. This is where the OTA capabilities come in. While the activation method may vary – QR codes are common – when the device is switched on for the first time, a basic native profile enables connectivity to a network, while the chip communicates with a remote server to request the correct profile. This can then be downloaded and activated.
While eSIM dramatically changes the distribution and management of SIMs, simplifying the supply chain and, ultimately, leading to cost savings for MNOs and for companies with significant fleets of mobile and IoT devices, perhaps the most interesting feature it unlocks is the ability to support multiple profiles.
With eSIM, compatible devices can typically support multiple profiles. Of course, only one can be active at any given time, but users can switch from one profile to another, allowing them to change the network connectivity options that are available to them.
Flexibility for your business
With the ability to support multiple profiles, businesses – and, indeed, any mobile subscriber – can benefit from greater choice and flexibility. They can switch profiles to obtain better rates in certain countries or find a higher quality network.
Best of all, they can also add new profiles without terminating any existing arrangements. So, this means that they can retain an existing plan, if that is optimised for their home country, but can also build relationships with other providers who might better serve their needs in other locations. Similarly, new or temporary recruits who are locked into existing contracts can be added to corporate roaming plans.
eSIMs from Telecom26
Telecom26 offers a complete range of eSIM solutions, for both individual users and IoT devices. We enable the remote provisioning of eSIM-capable devices from our GSMA-certified and compliant platforms.
This includes the full range – eUICC (the ‘e’ version of the Universal Integrated Chip Card that’s at the heart of the eSIM solution), as well as bootstrap and operational profiles, and the profile enabling and management infrastructure in the form of SMDP+, SMDP and SMSR capabilities – covering both consumer and IoT devices. The result is an easy, fast means of provisioning eSIMs, in any compatible device, backed by complete subscription management for our customers.
Our eSIM profiles can easily be downloaded, and we provide a flexible packages and bundles that offer attractive pricing and cover both data only and full mobile services. And, it’s easy to evaluate our solution, because our profile can be downloaded and tested.
We support individual business users and an ever-growing range of IoT applications and use cases – and we also help other service providers to enable their own eSIM offers. So, if you want to extend your connectivity options, or switch to a truly global provider to support your applications, you should explore our capabilities and network.