eSIMs are now available in several flagship models, and some users are dumping the familiar physical SIM card to welcome the unavoidable future of eSIM technology. eSIM is short for Embedded Subscriber Identity Module, or Embedded SIM. Instead of being available as a physical entity, manufacturers integrate a small SIM card inside the phone, saving the process of switching between physical ones when you change your service provider.


The SIM card is a technology that most of us have been familiar with in mobile phones since the early 1990s. A SIM card is a piece of hardware that incorporates data that authenticates us to our mobile operator, enabling us to connect to a network and receive a telephone link. In the future, though, a large number of wireless devices can connect to mobile networks without the need for a SIM card, due to the built-in SIM (eSIM) technology.

What is an eSIM?

The eSIM is an electronic, or an integrated, SIM. Instead of a physical card, the SIM technology is built into your phone. It's a little chip used to authenticate your identity with your courier. The ESIM tends to make the machines smaller. Now, that may not matter so much to phones, but it might be extremely helpful to wearables.

eSIM is a global specification of the GSM Association, an industry organization representing mobile network operators worldwide. ESIM is the only globally supported remote SIM specification, so you don't need to worry about a VHS/Betamax situation where there are competing and incompatible standards.

Modern-day applications for an eSIM:

Connected Cars

In a connected car, the built-in SIM (eSIM) links the automotive environment to the telecommunications universe. While car manufacturers strive for the highest quality standards, mobile network operators (MNOs) focus on protecting users' security against theft and cloning. ESIM providers combine their expertise in defense, telecommunications, and automotive services to provide security controllers that fulfill the quality requirements of the automotive industry and the security requirements of telecom companies.

The eSIM also plays a vital role in the automated emergency call (eCall) program, which will help to save lives in the case of a car collision by instantly notifying emergency responders. It is designed to alert emergency services even if the driver is unconscious or unable to make a phone call.


Machine-to-Machine UICC also called as M2M Form Factor (MFF) and often referred to as embedded SIM (eSIM) is a requirement for low data rate M2 M devices that are generally small, single-contained units that are also sealed. The intention is that once this M2M device is deployed, there is no need to remove the UICC from it. There may be a need to change the operator for one reason or another. This gives rise to the need for multi-operator UICC (SIM) cards.

The eUICC is a SIM card with a Remote Provisioning function and is designed not to be deleted or changed. It is capable of storing several contact profiles, one of which is allowed (recognized by the computer and used for contact). The network of the MNO in the enabled profile is used for communication purposes. Profiles other than the enabled profile (not recognized by the device) are disabled. For traditional SIM cards, the ICCID is used as the unique key to identify the SIM card, but for the eUICC, the ICCID is the key used to recognize the profiles, and a different ID is defined, called the eUICCID, which is used as the unique key to the eSIM.

5G-enabled mobile consumer devices

Cell connectivity is being expanded to more and more mobile devices such as laptops and smaller gadgets such as smartwatches, activity trackers, and other wearables. The implementation of eSIMs now enables the remote delivery of SIM profiles to these devices. eSIMs greatly improve customer usability and create greater design flexibility for device manufacturers.

ESIMs are a simple and cost-effective consumer proposal. They allow users to concurrently store the profiles of multiple mobile network operators ( MNOs) on a single computer and switch between these profiles on demand. Users can download MNO profiles without visiting an online store or physically changing their SIM cards. This allows them to choose the most flexible or cost-effective solution for any location. This allows customers to manage their subscriptions quickly and efficiently. Device manufacturers also benefit from it. Thanks to the pre-loading subscription option, eSIMs will open up new business models and opportunities for manufacturers.

Industries that are the active adopters of the eSIM technology:

Consumer Electronics

Technology is transforming the framework of connected living from simple mobility solutions to hyper-connectivity in the Internet of Things (IoT). Connected devices are increasing exponentially. As eSIM technology evolves, eSIM will migrate from niche products to a broader range of consumer mass-market products. Smartwatches or wearables are examples of early implementation of eSIM; however, eSIM will open up opportunities for many more use cases.


The advent of embedded SIM (eSIM) provides new opportunities to increase the digitization of society and to include fresh and better customer experiences and services. Common to all eSIM solutions is the need for the installation of an IT architecture to allow the distribution of digital eSIM profiles. In practice, operators may need to store eSIM profiles on a secure server (known as the Subscription Manager) from which the profile can be transferred to a computer. There are a number of technical options available to implement such a server solution.


Secure solutions in smart cars ensure the secure operation of connected services and counter major security threats such as corruption in service and network connectivity, cloning and counterfeit devices, data eavesdropping, and corruption.

They encompass Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) communication systems and in-car functions (such as diagnostics, software upgrades, secure car access, payment, and internet services as well as ADAS) to ensure passenger safety, avoid abnormal vehicle behavior and ensure data privacy. In order to ensure safety and connectivity in smart automotive applications, companies are providing a complete portfolio of automotive-grade solutions based on Secure Elements (SE) and embedded SIMs (eSIM) from hardware to ready-to-use solutions.

The bottom line

The eSIM market is promising not only for smartphones but also for selling remote SIM cards. Carriers save money on start packages, rent retail space, dealer fees, and so on, and the paying public saves time and effort by not having to go to the store or wait for the start package to arrive. It is also perfect for travelers seeking to avoid roaming charges. Purchasing the correct plan online and uploading it directly to your phone is a lot easier than getting one abroad, particularly if you don't speak the language.

Free Valuable Insights: Global eSIM Market to reach a market size of USD 19.2 billion by 2026

In addition, eSIM technology has advantages and drawbacks, at least for operators. Of course, it simplifies the sale of services, but it also makes it easier for customers to move to competitors. A lot of time goes in booking and getting a new SIM card. You can get an activation code much faster with an eSIM. This makes the transition easier. Operators certainly don't want you to leave them with that ease. Second, in most Western countries, smartphones are contract-based, which means that they are linked to an operator that sold them and works only with SIM-cards issued by that operator.

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