What is eSIM?


What is eSIM?

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The ubiquitous SIM card has played a fundamental role in mobile telecommunications for over 25 years. It is recognised by end users and provides a secure means for authenticating devices onto networks, all inside a removable “Secure Element”, which is easily transferrable between mobile devices.

Although the role of the SIM itself is not changing, the GSMA has defined a radical new way to load it into devices. Now the SIM may be securely downloaded into a ‘Secure Element’ that can be permanently embedded inside any type of device. To enable this change, an ecosystem of trusted platforms and players has been facilitated by the GSMA to create the eSIM solution. It offers an equivalent level of security and protection to that provided by the removable SIM card.

The eSIM White Paper provides both a primer to introduce the basics of Remote SIM Provisioning technology and an introduction to the detailed technical specifications for both the consumer solution & M2M solution channels:

  • Consumer Solution: This is the ‘direct to consumer’ channel. This is required when the end user has a choice of operators supplying connectivity. Consumer solution requires an end user interaction that they are familiar with operating that results in actively choosing their network connectivity provider. The Consumer solution also targets enterprises who use devices targeted to the consumer market.


  • M2M solution: This is for ‘business to business to consumer’ channels. This solution serves the needs of business to business customers, specifically in the Internet of Things (IoT) market.

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