The eSIM (embedded SIM), refers to a SIM which is capable of hosting multiple connectivity profiles (as defined by GSMA). It supports secure over-the-air remote SIM provisioning, as well as remote updates to the keys and applications. eSIMs can be either soldered to a device or removeable.
eSIM is sometimes used interchangeably with the term eUICC (embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card). There is a difference however, as the eUICC is the platform that can be used to run multiple secure applications.
Worldwide recognition is growing for the unique ability of the eSIM to deliver flexible control and dynamic security over a connected object’s lifetime. The latest view of eSIM shipment volumes, given by Trusted Connectivity Alliance (formerly SIMalliance) in 2021, showed significant global eSIM growth in 2020, with eSIM shipments collectively reported by TCA members increasing 83% year-on-year to reach 309 million units.
Flexible, trusted connectivity
eSIM provides flexible, trusted connectivity to meet complex logistical needs across various industry verticals. Multiple connectivity profiles, post-issuance personalisation and remote management capabilities simplify supply chains and ease deployment challenges.
eSIM technology also addresses security challenges over a connected object’s lifetime. It is based on the most widely distributed secure application delivery platform in the world (UICC/SIM/USIM) and its usage is ruled by interoperable solutions defined across various organisations such as ETSI, GSMA, GlobalPlatform, ISO and Java Card Forum.
It is Common Criteria certified and has advanced security and cryptographic features, including a securely designed central processing unit and dedicated secure memory to store operating system programmes, keys and certificate data. This protects devices from various hacking scenarios, such as cloning, physical attacks to a single device, and remote attacks from the internet to numerous devices.
This functionality is complemented by the ability to perform remote upgrades to sensitive data, apps and subscriptions according to GSMA and GlobalPlatform specifications to immediately respond to emerging threats and attacks once a device is live in the field.