What is eUICC
The Embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card (eUICC), or embedded SIM (eSIM), is transforming the landscape of global connectivity. This innovative technology, embedded directly into a device, can be reprogrammed over the air with new carrier information, eliminating the need for physical SIM card swaps.
This feature is particularly beneficial for devices that are difficult to access or require frequent carrier changes, such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
Introduction to eUICC
What is eUICC?
eUICC is a type of SIM card that is embedded directly into a device. Unlike traditional SIM cards that need to be physically swapped out to change carriers, eUICCs can be reprogrammed with new carrier information over the air.
This makes them particularly useful for devices that are difficult to access or that need to change carriers frequently, such as IoT devices.
Evolution of SIM Cards
Traditional SIM cards were removable devices that contained data allowing the device to access the operator network. They were physical cards that needed to be inserted into a device for it to connect to a network.
Over time, these SIM cards have evolved from being full-sized cards to mini, micro, and nano sizes. The evolution of SIM cards has led to the development of eUICC, which is soldered into the device and enables storage and remote management of multiple network operator profiles.
This means that the device can switch between different network operators without needing to physically change the SIM card.
Benefits of eUICC
eUICC offers the ability to change service provider profiles over-the-air (OTA), without needing to physically change the embedded SIM card. This allows for greater flexibility and ease of use, especially for devices that are hard to reach or have a large number of devices.
It provides seamless global connectivity thanks to remote provisioning. This means that a device with an eUICC can connect to different network operators around the world, making it ideal for devices that are used internationally.
eUICC is smaller and lighter than traditional SIM cards, making it more suitable for compact and lightweight devices. It also offers greater durability, as it is embedded directly into the device and is less likely to be damaged or dislodged.
eUICC in IoT and M2M Communication
eUICC in IoT
In the Internet of Things (IoT), devices need to be able to connect to the internet and communicate with each other. eUICC allows for the remote management of network profiles, which is crucial for devices that are deployed globally.
This means that an IoT device with an eUICC can switch between different network operators without needing to physically change the SIM card.
The use of eUICC in IoT devices is expected to stimulate an uptake in the adoption of these technologies in the next one to two years, particularly in the automotive and fleet tracking verticals. This is because eUICC allows for greater flexibility and ease of use, making it more suitable for these applications.
eUICC in M2M Communication
In Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication, devices need to be able to communicate with each other without human intervention. eUICC allows for the remote provisioning of SIM profiles, enabling devices to connect to different network operators without the need for physical SIM card changes.
This is particularly important for devices that are deployed in the field and cannot be easily accessed for SIM card changes. With eUICC, these devices can switch between different network operators remotely, making it more convenient and efficient.
eUICC Provisioning and Profile Switching
The provisioning of eUICC involves the remote upload and enablement of operator profiles. This means that a new network operator profile can be uploaded to the eUICC over the air, without needing to physically change the SIM card.
This can be done during the lifetime of the device, allowing for flexibility in network operator selection and changes. This is particularly useful for devices that need to switch between network operators frequently or that are deployed in different regions.
Profile switching refers to the ability of an eUICC to switch between different network operator profiles. This can be done remotely and over the air, making it convenient and efficient.
This feature is particularly useful for devices that need to switch between different network operators frequently, such as devices that are used internationally or that cross borders regularly.
Use Cases and Opportunities for eUICC
Global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) that produce devices for global markets can benefit from eUICC. These devices need to connect locally, but it is not always known where the device will end up once it is produced.
With eUICC, a single SIM card can be used in every device, and it can be reprogrammed or configured once the location of the device is known.
Insurance Use Case
Devices like smart meters that are deployed for a long time (10 to 20 years) can benefit from eUICC. Field visits to replace SIM cards are expensive, and in some cases, the SIM cards are embedded deep within the devices, making them inaccessible.
eUICC allows these devices to switch carriers remotely, avoiding the need for physical SIM card changes.
In cases where frequent switching of the subscription is needed to optimize services, eUICC is beneficial. This could be to increase efficiency, service quality, and lower costs by automatically loading the best subscription at any given situation.
Use cases include high bandwidth mobile applications, international transportation companies crossing borders, and employees using portable devices when they travel.
Challenges and Solutions
The eUICC standard is complex and technically challenging, and it is still very young. This means there are many ways to interpret the standard specifications, leading to potential interoperability issues.
To solve this, it’s important to standardize and simplify the approach to eUICC, and to partner with providers that ensure the solution is future-proof and backward compatible.
Once the eUICC solution is implemented, efficient management and operation of the solution is another challenge.
It’s important to be able to add new partners when necessary without massive integration projects, and to have a foundation to continuously evolve and enhance the services to meet market demands.
Sierra Wireless' Solution
Sierra Wireless provides an end-to-end device to cloud solution, offering modules, SIM cards, connectivity, and cloud services. This pre-integrated and pre-tested solution allows customers to have one provider for all key components, reducing complexity and ensuring interoperability.
The platform is open, allowing for the management of Sierra devices as well as third-party devices.
In conclusion, eUICC represents a significant leap forward in global connectivity, particularly in the IoT and M2M sectors.
While challenges exist, the benefits of eUICC, including seamless global connectivity, remote management of network profiles, and the ability to switch carriers over the air, make it a promising solution for the future of global connectivity.
As the technology continues to evolve, it will be exciting to see how eUICC shapes the future of global communication.
How To Order an eSIM
Compare and find the most suitable travel eSIM for your needs and purchase it directly with the provider.
Receive eSIM via email/app
You will receive the eSIM profile within a few minutes in a separate e-mail or you can directly access it in the provider’s app.
Scan the eSIM QR code in the mail with the camera function of your smartphone and follow the instructions on the screen. The profile will be set up automatically.
Free roaming abroad
You can now use the eSIM abroad!
Why Choose an eSIM?
The eSIM works digitally only, so fewer resources are used than with the classic SIM card.
The new eSIM can easily be digitally uploaded to your smartphone. It’s quick and saves the environment.
Your eSIM profile is sent easily and conveniently by email. This means you will receive your digital eSIM much faster than a physical SIM Card by post.