eSIM: Beyond dual SIM

What are the benefits of eSIM and how is this feature redefining mobile services and device design to enhance customer experiences?

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Ritambhara Mittal, Solution Architect


31 Jan 2023

eSIM: Beyond dual SIM

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The Telecoms industry's competitive nature nurtures product and service innovation capable of redefining the daily lives of billions globally. eSIM is one of the many ways CSPs can revolutionize connectivity and optimize the experiential capabilities of networks today.

The outbreak of the COVID pandemic forced technology architects to think more innovatively and unfold solutions beyond the human imagination. Telecommunication has always thrived on providing connectivity ever closer to the end user through technology-driven solutions. One of the more recent of these innovative modern blessings is the Embedded Subscriber Identity Module (eSIM). Designed to provide a unique identification with the promises of seamless integration within the multi-line secure mobility experience, all accessible in one place.

The eSIM is a prime example of redefining the relationship between subscriber and CSP through the creation of a new mesh of unfolding possibilities. This begs the questions: what is eSIM? And why is it in the top 10 telecom hot topics?

While owning a device with eSIM capabilities has become fashionable, the engineering is even more interesting - an embedded SIM inbuilt into the mobile device. As such, subscribers no longer need to wait for a physical SIM to complete the device startup process. eSIM enables seamless and faster onboarding of a cellular network in significantly less time. How is this made possible? That is the story unfolding.

As per SSP specifications and compliance, eSIM is a software-driven evolution in connectivity standards when increased global travel and data loads define market demand for 5G and cloud-native platforms. Made possible with eUICC - the brain of the eSIM that allows adding multiple wireless profiles, thus eliminating the dual SIM constraint. Moreover, it may offer greater flexibility to the end user by creating eSIM profiles separately for roaming, domestic use, work, home, and other cases. eSIM is a big game changer, in which autonomy is granted to the end user in handling the SIM profiles at will. It also decouples a single SIM-related service provider network model. Thus giving service providers greater leeway in carving out more user-friendly and business-facilitating subscriptions, offers, and bundles for better revenues and quality customer experiences.

Widespread market adoption of eSIM comes at a critical time in global 5G rollouts. Both eSIM and 5G can set a record for enhancing the connectivity reach for CSPs while also reducing the digital divide by expanding to incorporate underserved regions in the global south. Moreover, it may serve to help governments and providers fulfill their promise of social inclusiveness in the telecom industry.

The competitive telecom market, at its best, tests and innovates the best solutions to digital transformation. While it stretches beyond telco, Apple is a prime example of this responsive action, with the introduction of the eSIM in iPhone X-series which has since evolved to incorporate 5G use cases by introducing an eSIM ONLY device. It was a bold move for Apple to set up a robust system for running solo in the roll out of the world's most popular handheld device without a physical SIM.

The flipside to this is in its application in roaming, number portability, porting physical SIM to eSIM, and switching eSIM profiles like prime use cases. And above all, how adaptive and educated the end user feels about shifting gears in response to this new norm.

The research and development of eSIM is ongoing with the addressing of network readiness, security, provisioning, billing, and the role it may play in the wider telco ecosystem. While the initial phase looks promising, it opens up new opportunities for realizing the 5G vision – creating a new wave of ready-to-use “out-of-the-box” devices. For end users, the eSIM feature has been the gift that keeps on giving throughout 2022, but still has a long way to go before it is embedded into our daily lives.

eSIM is another evolution in global communication and connectivity. Continually reminding us of the ever-present dream of telecom to connect the global community. For more on how Amdocs can facilitate eSIM services, please visit:

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