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What is an eSIM anyway?

What is an eSIM anyway?

First comment on blog 100 replies posted 25 solutions authored

I watched the phone release event of a popular company which spoke about the usage of eSIM in all upcoming handset models and ceasing of physical SIMs. This got me thinking on what eSIM is and all the buzz around it.. It might be hard for us to understand these jargons. So, let us see why we need eSIM and if it has any benefits over your traditional physical SIM cards.

What is an eSIM?

Put it simply, a SIM is your Subscriber Identity Module and “e” stands for embedded. This makes it an embedded SIM (eSIM). It is built (embedded) into the device itself, for instance – mobile/cell phones which support eSIM have a tiny chip (eSIM) inside them.

Why eSIM?

If you travel abroad for a longer time than a typical holiday, you might need to get aSIM card that works at the destination country without restrictions. Going into the local stores to get a new SIM card is quite a tedious task, but also having multiple SIM cards to manage. What if your phone supports an eSIM and you can manage remotely different Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) profiles and therefore multiple contracts? Switching once you land with a few clicks to the one you want.  This would make life convenient for you as well as for the service providers.

Is this the only application eSIM can offer over the traditional physical SIM cards? No, eSIM has many other applications.

Applications of eSIM

  1. Automotive: eSIM is used in automotive security for the so-called emergency call (eCall). It automatically notifies the emergency services if the car has a traffic accident.
  2. Consumer electronics: includes smartphones but also smartwatches, tablets, and other wearables.
  3. Industrial applications: covers asset tracking, remote management, or production optimization. eSIM meets the industrial requirements which are highly important for industrial machinery.
  4. Smart city: consist of multiple focus areas such as electric charging stations, smart parking, street lighting, or video surveillance.
  5. Smart energy: government initiatives and mandates, as well as digitisation, are increasing and making essential the use of the eSIM in energy efficiency, consumption, and distribution, but also in smart metering applications.
  6. Smart home: whether you want to manage the access control, the alarm, or the heating system of your home.


VjosaCakiqi_0-1696508837555.pngFigure 1. Benefits of eSIM

Benefits of eSIM

To sum up, eSIM has a smaller footprint compared to the SIM and it gives more design freedom to the device manufacturers. Besides, there is no need for a device opening. Thus, it is easier to reach higher IP protection levels.

The end user experience is significantly enhanced with the addition of multiple profiles and global interoperability thanks to the GSMA standard.

Infineon provides eSIM as a turnkey solution and you can check out the OPTIGA™ Connect space for more details!