All You Need To Know About eUICC Enabled SIM and Why It’s Important for a Greener Planet


With different connectivity providers, there is a different pricing, service, quality, and coverage. It is not a seamless connected world on a single SIM. eUICC embedded SIMs or standard SIMs enabled with remote SIM provisioning (RSP) capability seems to be the solution for this, explains Velipekka Kuoppala, chief brand officer and co-founder, ConnectedYou. Not only that, eUICC is healthier for our planet.

eUICC and RSP are technologies that allow you to change your cellular SIM connectivity, profile, and provider over-the-air without changing the physical SIM card. Quite handy, isn’t it? Especially, if you think about IoT devices and global sales activities.

But, did you know that starting with an eUICC enabled eSIMs/SIMs requires perfection in many ways? Let’s dive a bit deeper.

Cellular Module and Network Technology Use Case

Without a cellular module, there is no connectivity. There are a wide range of cellular modules to choose from but not all modules are compliant toward eUICC functionality. This functionality is part of the enablement process to change either the connectivity profile or the connectivity service provider over-the-air (OTA), without physical SIM/eSIM replacement. Why would you need that?

The problem is that if you don’t have an eUICC compliant module, you can’t change the connectivity profile or provider in the case of non-coverage or simply due to high data pricing. In this situation, you might be obliged to change the physical SIM card in the field with high replacement cost while running your margins down. The latter might even lead to a situation where you can’t offer a solution to the requested needs at all.

The use case itself also dictates very much what connectivity technology to use. At a high level, we could say that standard 2G, 3G, 4G are still better suited for global rollouts due to wider network coverage and stronger cellular module support. Whereas for stationary use cases like smart-metering you could also consider low-power technologies like LTE-M or NB-IoT (including LoRa and Sigfox). 

However as of today’s writing the NB-IoT standards do not state SMS support which is needed for connectivity profile or provider switch and therefore weakly supported by the telecom operators. This includes lack of international sponsor roaming support. This said, NB-IoT plays a valid role for national rollouts, assuming it comes at least with the cellular module support of one radio access technologies like 2G, 3G or 4G to perform connectivity provider or profile change in the case of unexpected challenge. Further, remember to ensure having connectivity coverage available wherever you’re foreseeing to deploy your IoT devices while taking a note of today’s discontinued 2G services.

Also Read: How 5G Can Open Doors To Vast Technological Improvements for Manufacturing Firms

Embedded SIM or Standard Plug-In SIM

When you have decided for cellular SIM connectivity, you shall consider if embedded or standard plug-in SIM is the way to go.

SIM can come in all modern form factors such as 2FF (mini), 3FF (micro), 4FF (nano), and also MFF2. In technical standardisation jargon MFF2 refers to machine-to-machine form factor, i.e. embedded SIM.

The key difference between these SIM factors is that embedded SIM is soldered directly into the printed circuit board (PCB) of your IoT device, whereas for standard plug-in SIM the usual SIM holders are used. This said, you can more easily change the standard plug-in SIM whereas changing eSIM will require some engineering skills.

It’s a common myth that using an eSIM you can change your connectivity provider remotely without changing the physical SIM card. Wrong! To change the connectivity profile/provider following key requirements must be supported.

    1. Cellular modules supporting eUICC are needed.
    2. The SIM cards supporting eUICC are needed.
    3. Remote SIM Provisioning (RSP) platform is needed.
    4. Connectivity switching service available between the mobile operators is needed.

Also Read: How IoT and RTLS Together Are Powering Businesses Everywhere

Connectivity Switching Service Insurance To Maximize Coverage

There are some important questions you need to ask your current connectivity provider.

    • Can I change my SIM connectivity profile and provider?
    • If yes, can I do this remotely over the air (OTA)?
    • What will it cost?
    • Can I do it today?

If you can’t switch today, you are locked by technology and lack of service  or if the switching costs you unreasonably, you are locked by commercial feasibility.

Also Read: IoT a Powerful Weapon Against the Next Viral Outbreak

Ecological Benefit and Sustainability

On top of all this, consider also the reduction of carbon emissions without the need to manufacture and buy a new SIM card each and every time when changing a connectivity provider.  A physical SIM card has a CO2 footprint of 21 grams, which includes the energy and water consumed in the production. Meanwhile, the envelope and paper insert that accompanies each card adds another 10-15 grams of CO2.

Connectivity is not and only about supporting IoT data in a country, it is also about coverage. Depending on the use case there might be a need for the support of multiple network operators in the same country. Connectivity is about technology that supports different network technologies (2G, 3G, 4G, LTE-M, NB-IoT, Sigfox, LoRa etc…). It is also about the availability of service to make real-time switching between profiles and providers. Last but not least, connectivity is about taking responsibility for ecological impact for our planet.

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