Illustration of rocket representing esims giant connectivity leap

What is eSIM and How It’s a Gamechanger for Consumers

eSIM was one of the hot topics at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona 2017. But what is it? eSIM stands for “embedded SIM” (also called eUICC). It’s a standardized SIM chip open to multiple mobile operators globally. Meaning, if you have an eSIM you don’t have to replace one SIM card with another when switching carrier. Since the eSIM can be programmed remotely, it allows you to choose another carrier by just messaging the old and new provider.

One of the main promoters for it is the GSMA. GSMA is an association representing the interests of mobile operators worldwide. They are working on specifications for the eSIMs so that it will truly work globally, on any device, with any operator.

The future of eSIM

The future of eSIM is still unclear at might have significant implications. Deploying an eSIM-based device could be costly, complex and will probably include some initial growing pains. In the long run, however, it should optimize cost and also extend the life and usage of a device. Since you don’t have to worry about compatibility, there is no need to switch a device just because you want to change the operator.

eSIMs are currently more common in IoT devices, tablets and cars but whether or not it will find acceptance in smartphones, is still unknown. In the automotive sector, manufacturers have started to equip cars with an eSIM to lower manufacturing costs and simplify logistics. It’s then up to the car owner which operator they want to use, in whichever region they’re in.

Apple and Samsung are leading the pack within the telecom industry and have been talking to network providers to adopt eSIMs for coming smartphones. Apple already equips some iPads with a single SIM, based on their own version of the embedded SIM technology. Although it’s preprogrammed to Apples’s choice of network, you are able to decide which operator you want. Samsung is bringing the GSMA enabled eSIM to its Gear S2 Classic 3G, which is a start.

Why eSIM?

The eSIM is positive for environmental reasons as it would minimize the discard of SIM cards.

It would also increase consumer freedom, and lower cost, when it comes to:

  • Using a local operator when traveling or relocating to another country.
  • Switching to a carrier with a better deal and/or coverage.
  • Changing the phone without the hassle of cutting a SIM card.
  • Using the same SIM for different types of devices, not having to decide in advance if you want it for your smartphone, watch or alarm system.

Since US Mobile is all about freedom, we’re all for the adoption of eSIMs in the industry. We’ll be following the development closely!

Source Main Image: WaowTech