eSIM and eUICC explained
An eSIM, short for embedded SIM, is a small chip soldered directly to a board inside a device, this SIM form factor is officially called MFF2. Unlike traditional SIMs, eSIMs are embedded in the device protecting them from environmental hazards and making them more durable. They have improved resistance to shock, vibration, and impact. eSIMs also offer a higher level of security since they are difficult to remove, helping prevent tampering. On the downside, eSIMs may face issues with connectivity due to vendor lock-in unless they use technologies such as eUICC which allow for remote SIM provisioning.
eUICC stands for embedded universal integrated circuit card and can be provisioned over the air (OTA) according to the GSMA standard, allowing for network and operator changes without needing to remove the SIM card. Multiple network profiles can be provisioned and remotely managed. eUICC SIMs come in several form factors including, micro, nano, mini, or eSIM. Benefits include greater flexibility over connectivity, simplified logistics, and quicker device setup. While eUICC SIMs solve some of the issues related to using an eSIM, they also face their challenges. Such challenges include the costs and complexity associated with downloading profiles and the need to establish multiple network operator relationships.
How to pick the best eSIM solution for your IoT deployment
Not all eSIMs are equal, when choosing an eSIM solution for your IoT deployment, there are several factors to consider, including:
Network coverage: Ensure that the eSIM solution supports the network or networks you need for your IoT deployment. Some eSIM providers may only offer coverage in specific regions or countries. Does the provider offer the carrier direct model (MNO) or the MVNO model, a third-party provider who has negotiated agreements with several mobile network providers? If the provider supports multi-carriers, what technology are they using, and are they impacted by roaming restrictions?
Security: Look for eSIM solutions offering robust security features to protect your devices from hacking or unauthorized access. This is particularly important for IoT devices, which may contain sensitive information or control critical infrastructure.
Management tools: Choose an eSIM solution that provides an easy-to-use SIM management platform. It should include features such as device activation, network profile management, OTA updates, and real-time monitoring and alerts.
Pricing: Compare pricing among eSIM providers to ensure you are getting the best value for your money. Some providers charge a fee per device, while others may offer bulk pricing or pay-as-you-go options.
Customer support: Finally, look for eSIM providers that offer excellent customer support to ensure that any issues or questions are quickly addressed.
Velocity IoT’s multi-IMSI eUICC solution
Designed with IoT in mind, Velocity IoT’s solution uses eUICC- compliant multi-IMSI technology, which provides seamless global connectivity without the complexities and high costs associated with eUICC technology. The solution uses Remote SIM Provisioning (RSP) for remotely controlling SIMs for purposes such as downloading profiles and changing configurations. Unlike eUICC, there are no additional costs for downloading new profiles. Autonomous switching allows for better availability and performance. Using localized IMSIs overcomes issues related to permanent roaming and latency. Gain control over your devices’ connectivity and access real-time network status and device activity information. With a single SIM and vendor relationship, your IoT devices can securely connect globally, improve coverage and maintain low costs. Just like eUICC, the solution is available in multiple SIM form factors.
In conclusion, eSIMs and eUICC technology are game-changers for the IoT industry, providing more flexibility, convenience, and security in device connectivity. With so many options available it is important to consider several factors to ensure you select the right solution for your IoT deployment. Velocity IoT’s solution ticks all the boxes of what to look for in an eSIM. More than just a connectivity provider, Velocity IoT offers complete project support to enable successful IoT deployments. Our experienced team of professionals is knowledgeable in all aspects of IoT, and is ready to help plan and implement your solutions.
Velocity IoT SIMs are available for purchase on Digi-Key