A New Date For the Launch of the eSIM

esims market

The recent Mobile World Congress that took place in Barcelona, Spain hasn’t left much mobile technology untouched. A company called Giesecke & Devrient, owned by Andreas Morawietz and Volker Gerstenberger, has been dominating the market of Mobile SIMs. The company is over 100 years old, but despite its age is certainly up there in terms of tech know-how.

Gemalto G&D is now taking an important role in developing the “eSIM,” or embedded SIM. This technology is being developed for smart watches and tablets before it’s set to become part of smart phone technology. It’s this later role that will reach the big-time before you are ready to upgrade your smart phone.

What’s an eSIM?

For those of you who don’t tend to focus on phone technology and developments too much it doesn’t take too much thought to work out what an eSIM is likely to be. Basically it’s a card fitted into the phone on to the motherboard before you purchase it and it’s programmable. This means you can choose whatever telco you like or any Mobile Virtual Network Operator, for that matter, if that suits you better.

The AAPL or Apple “iPad Pro, with a size of 9.7-inches, available on the market a few months ago, was the 1st phone that has been released by Apple with its Apple eSIM soldered to the motherboard. This means that every Pro could be programmed to be used with a number of different network providers.

G&D booth very popular at Mobile World Congress

There was considerable interest in the G & D stand throughout the Mobile World Congress. This company is not only the brains behind the eSIM, but it also makes the chip module and is in control of the management of the software that is capable of downloading the specific profile of an individual network provider to the eSIM. G & D also looks after the security of the eSIM, which has been a particular concern in recent years as people connect themselves more and more.

How can security be better controlled?

Fingerprint recognition has always been a way of being sure someone is who they say they are. However, Andreas Morawietz has other answers which involve a set procedure when signing up to a particular network provider. This involves a person positioning themselves in front of a screen with a Web cam on who is being viewed by a live operator who can see the person and their passport photo. Morawietz says that there will be 2 types of security, the eSIM, and the secure part of it, which will be the chip in the iPhone and any other devices that store your fingerprints.

Their most up-to-date deal which Morawietz and Gerstenberger have highlighted, is supplying Huawei, one of China’s phone corporations, with “Watch 2.” This is a smartwatch that includes an eSIM, making it possible to sign up your smart watch that is cellular enabled as soon as you have purchased it.

What’s the idea of an eSIM?

The eSIM breaks down any traditional relationship that has been formed in the past with a carrier as it’s them who have traditionally provided the SIM. However, with an eSIM you don’t need to worry about the service provider until you have purchased the phone. Last year, the GSMA, the consortium that has a say in Mobile World whose job has been to set the policy for the wireless industry, has now come to an agreement about the mobile phone profile.

What is the eSIM date?

eSIMs in smart phones will become a reality later this year, according to Gerstenberger and it’s likely that the iPhone will go the same way as the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

When it comes to Australia, this will likely increase the competition between the 3 main network providers. With the rise in the marketing of unlocked phones the eSIM is just another competition pusher. It ceases the commitment to one provider for months or even years because of the tie between purchasing a phone and a plan has historically locked in customers for years and years at a time.

Summary

It seems the eSIM will unlock the mobile carrier market for every type of consumers. At the moment an unlocked phone owner can choose a provider but a SIM card is still necessary before any service can be used. However, it seems at this stage those who don’t want to be tied down to one network carrier will have to buy a new eSIM phone.

 

Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.