E-Sims are the Future of Mobile Telephony and Smartwatches
Updated March 2018, Originally Published in the Year 2015
As reported by the Financial Times, Apple and Samsung are working along with the GSMA (Groupe Speciale Mobile Association) for replacing the traditional Sim cards used in the mobiles with Electronic-Sims.
E-Sims will be issued as standard sim cards with the smartphones and will be compatible with all telecom operators. The E-SIM will work like the traditional Sim but will come as part of the smartphone itself.
In fact, there is no need to buy a physical sim card. You can later select your telecom carrier from the Mobile user interface. Besides, the E-Sim are also going to find application in the IOT devices such as smartwatches. The Apple Watch Series 3 is one such product that is using this technology already but in a bit different way.
GSMA is in advance level talks with Mobile companies like Samsung and Apple to finalize the architecture for the sim cards.
Also, there are telecom operators like AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Whampoa, Orange, Telefónica, and Vodafone which are also working on this technology.
Notably, the GSMA is the global body which represents the telecom operators through out the world and work for the standardization , advancement and promotion of the GSM mobile telephone system.
How Will E-Sim Impact Mobile Users
The E-Sim will change the way a consumer sign up for a telecom connection.
Besides, it will give more freedom to the subscribers to choose the telecom operator of their choice without the need for swapping sim cards or mobiles.
E-Sim also means an easier process for Mobile Number Portability that otherwise is a big hassle in India so far.
The E-Sim offers more convenience to the smartphone users with ease of porting out from one telecom operator to the other without the need of getting a new physical sim card.
Anne Bouverot, chief executive of the GSMA, said all parties were heading towards an agreement for the “common architecture”. However, it may take time to finalize the architecture for the sim cards and also to align the mobile operators to come to a joint conclusion.
Apple also launched an E-sim with Apple iPad last year and only few of the operators supported it in US and UK. It was supported by T-Mobile and AT&T in the US, and just EE in the UK. Those familiar with its UK rollout said that it IS not widely in USE.
When Can We Expect ESims and What are Key Challenges?
Besides, the concept is excellent and may take 2-3 years for adaption, but we may see this becoming popular in future.
Furthermore, it will be quite impressive to see how companies handle things like a lost sim card or a lost smartphone. Currently, such issues require mobile user to run from pillar to post to get a new sim card with the same number.
Also, the use of E-Sim will make things much easier for subscribers, especially when they want to switch from one operator to other using the MNP Service.
Lastly, in countries like India where Dual Sims are quite popular, it will need a special provisioning method to use dual ESims on a phone.