The Impact of eSIM and eUICC SIM cards on IoT

Curtis Govan | floLIVE 

Shipment numbers of eSIM-based devices are projected to reach approximately two billion units by 2025. But what exactly are embedded SIMs, what does eUICC technology mean for IoT, and how can this knowledge help power IoT for enterprises looking to get ahead?

What is eSIM Technology, and What Does eUICC Mean? How Do They Differ from Physical SIM Cards?

Let’s dive in. An eSIM, or Embedded Subscriber Identity Module, is a SIM card soldered directly onto a device’s circuit board; unlike traditional SIMs, which come in various sizes like micro, nano, or mini and need to be physically inserted into a device, an embedded SIM offers protection from hazards like dust and water damage. As part of the device, eSIMs allow manufacturers to design thinner, more user-friendly devices.

eUICC, or Embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card, is a standard created by the GSMA, the telecoms trade body. It refers to a SIM card that can be remotely provisioned and is available in various form factors. Devices supporting eUICC within the eSIM benefit from remote SIM provisioning, enabling management and control over the air (OTA). This allows switching between different operator profiles from a single centralised location. eSIMs, which can withstand higher impacts and broader temperature ranges, are ideal for enterprises needing robust IoT devices. Not all IoT devices are eUICC compatible, which is an essential consideration for implementation.

How Does eUICC Work?

The eUICC standard’s Remote SIM Provisioning (RSP) platform includes three main components:
– Subscription Management Data Preparation (SM-DP): Prepares, stores, and protects operator profiles, including operator credentials, and installs these profiles onto the eUICC.
Subscription Management Secure Routing (SM-SR) manages the status of profiles on the eUICC (enable, disable, delete) and secures the communications link between the eUICC and SM-DP.
– eUICC: A secure element that contains one or more subscription profiles, allowing the eUICC to function as a traditional removable SIM.

How Can IoT Solutions Benefit from eSIM Technology?

With the rise of IoT, eSIMs are beginning to realize their full potential. Adding eUICC compatibility allows enterprises to set up security and compliance rules granularly without the need to manage or switch physical SIM cards in thousands of devices in the field. This is especially beneficial when devices land in their destination country, as organizations can select the most trusted mobile network operator locally, meeting local privacy requirements and avoiding operator lock-in by adding profiles as needed. The eUICC-regulated eSIM with OTA provisioning ensures that data and communications are fully secured.

Beating the Challenges of eSIM Technology to Power IoT

For eUICC solutions to be fully adopted, several challenges must be addressed, particularly the cost-effectiveness of using this technology in IoT applications. Dealing with multiple mobile network operators (MNOs) can be cumbersome and expensive due to license fees and the cost of each network change.

CommsCloud offers an innovative approach for enterprises looking to connect their IoT globally. By providing a single SKU and covering the world using IMSI allocation and the eSIM form factor, CommsCloud eliminates the need for multiple complex MNO relationships and ensures seamless local connectivity. Additionally, using IoT-friendly eSIM technology, devices are manufactured to eUICC and GSMA standards, with our CloudConnect Simcard in the first profile. This approach effectively handles the challenges of eUICC, ensuring compliance and coverage even in regions where local regulations restrict IMSI allocation.

Take the Idea of Multi-IMSI to the Next Level for Your IoT Solutions

Supporting eUICC is just the first step. While eUICC technology is groundbreaking, the costs associated with downloading profiles and establishing multiple cellular network operator relationships can inhibit IoT projects from becoming profitable. Instead, leverage a single vendor relationship with CommsCloud, or use both eUICC and eSIM technologies, with CloudConnect Simcard neatly tucked into the first profile on your eUICC-compatible SIM. This approach offers more cost-effective, lightweight IoT connectivity, enabling you to take advantage of long-term benefits.

CommsCloud IoT Connectivity Solutions | Empowering Your Business to Connect, Grow, and Thrive – Contact Us | +27 21 551 5526 or  Get in Touch and follow our journey across Africa with the social media links below.