English

Five Things Everyone Gets Wrong About eSIMs and eUICC by Félix Ontañón

Last May we stated that eUICC would be the future of SIM technology. We stand by this statement. However, as is often the case with new technology, there are still a lot of misunderstandings and misconceptions. In the interest of clarity, we’re going to address the five most common mistakes when it comes to eUICC SIMs and eSIMs.

1. eUICC is Only Available as an Embedded SIM

SIM cards
There is a common, and understandable, belief that eUICC is only available on an embedded SIM (the ‘e’ does stand for embedded after all). However, this is not the case.

eUICC restructures the SIM to allow for multiple profiles on one card and can be used on any SIM form factor. We offer eUICC on all available form factors so you can decide which one best suits your device and application.

It may be that an embedded SIM is the most appropriate choice for your application. For example, in industrial environments, an embedded SIM may be the preferred option because it will reduce the risk of dust entering the IoT application through the SIM tray.

2. There’s No Difference Between eSIM and eUICC

The terms eSIM and eUICC are often used interchangeably. However, there is an important difference between the two. eSIM refers to the hardware whereas eUICC refers to the software that allows multiple profiles to be configured.

Our solution includes the hardware (the eSIM) itself, the provisioning and the OTA platform. This allows the eUICC to be managed and configured remotely.

3. eUICC SIMs Will be Expensive

woman counting money
Many OEMs and applications developers worry about the costs associated with moving to eUICC. Surely such a useful technology must be expensive? Luckily, it doesn’t have to be. We focus on ensuring that cost is not a barrier to entry.

If you’re using Pod’s SIMs then upgrading to eUICC is easy. Our SIMs include eUICC functionality as standard. If you are using a compatible module then you can simply switch to eUICC. We have designed our solution this way to enable future-proofing of devices. For example, you can deploy our SIMs now and make the switch to eUICC when you need it, even once devices are in the field.

4. It’s Impossible to Switch Providers Once Your IoT Devices Are in the Field

tractors in a field
The perception has long been that once you’ve decided on a connectivity provider it is difficult or expensive to make the switch to another company. This can lead to problems when prices go up or connectivity problems occur. Switching the SIMs in multiple devices which are in the field, potentially in hard to reach locations, can quickly get prohibitively expensive.

With an eUICC SIM card you can change your SIM profile if a network band is sunsetted, an outage occurs, or prices increase. All of this can be done OTA, without the need to physically change the SIM. Eliminating the need to manually switch over the SIM makes this process faster, easier and more economical.

When the sunsetting of 2G and 3G networks began we saw organizations suffering from service disruptions. Many organizations have now woken up to the necessity of a long-term connectivity plan to keep their IoT devices in the field and connected. eUICC SIM cards ensure that you will be able to future-proof your IoT devices and ensure they will continue functioning, even if more network bands are taken offline.

5. An eUICC SIM is the Only Way to Provision Multiple Profiles on One SIM Card

SIM cards
Traditionally, one SIM card holds one SIM profile, which holds all the information necessary for a SIM card to function, such as the file system, operator keys, and International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI). These are generally assigned to one operator and therefore give one connectivity option per SIM. However, with our multi-IMSI SIMs it’s possible to provision multiple network profiles on one SIM.

Each of the IMSIs on our Multi-IMSI SIM operates on a completely separate network infrastructure. If there is an issue on the core or home network, the SIM automatically switches to a better signal and a completely different architecture.

Interested in Getting Started With eUICC and eSIMs?

Did learning about the advantages of eUICC and eSIM technology make you keen to find out if you can deploy eUICC SIMs in your devices? To benefit from all the advantages of eUICC you need a compatible module. Our eUICC testing and validating service makes it easy to check whether your device is compatible and take the first steps towards making your application eUICC ready.

Get in Touch to Arrange eUICC Testing for Your Device.

Félix Ontañón

Director of Research and Innovation

Responsible for the Research and Innovation department at Pod Group, with an emphasis on IoT Connectivity, LPWANs, Artificial Intelligence and Edge Computing.

Posted: February 21, 2019