The latest Apple Watch, Samsung’s G2 smartwatch and any number of tablets and Windows notebooks already have them: the eSIM. Swisscom is one of the first suppliers in the world to support the integrated SIM. Read on to find out the eSIM’s capabilities and advantages.
It’s only the size of a fingernail and yet, these days, nothing works on your mobile without it: the SIM card. “SIM” stands for “Subscriber Identity Module” and it is a chip card that enables users to access their carrier, such as Swisscom. In actual terms, Swisscom uploads the customer’s profile, such as subscription information, telephone number, etc. to the SIM card. This card is then inserted into the mobile as a mini, micro or nano SIM card. Up to now.
The “embedded” SIM
The conventional SIM card will soon be a thing of the past. Technology now makes it possible to upload the customer profile to the SIM retrospectively, removing the need for an external SIM card. Instead, the SIM is integrated directly into the device as an “eSIM”, where “e” stands for “embedded”. The network operator uploads the profile direct to the eSIM, eliminating the need for physical SIM cards to be swapped over when customers change providers. Ordering, modifying or replacing a SIM card, and the fear of damaging it, will soon be relegated to the past.
Even the tiniest of devices can communicate
The new eSIM enables small devices, such as smart watches, glasses or activity trackers, to operate in the network, making these devices independent and allowing them to communicate without a smartphone. The Apple Watch Series 3, for instance, is already doing this now. It has many of the same functions as the iPhone, such as making phone calls or receive messages. In fact, it can do anything that the small display allows. This makes it very useful when playing sport, for instance, as you can leave your smartphone at home and can still be contacted.
An eSIM for smartphones will come on-stream later
Smartphone SIM cards are not set to be replaced imminently. For the time being the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR will not support eSIM in Switzerland. So for now, the heart of your phone will still be a conventional SIM.
eSIM as a key to the Internet of Things
Millions of machines and everyday objects are already fitted with sensors and radio chips. In the future, this number will reach into the billions. These devices can communicate with each other and with the Internet: carparks report the number of spaces occupied and letter boxes send a message once a parcel arrives. The eSIM ensures that these objects are always connected through the mobile network. It is the key to the Internet of Things.