eSIM: Offering manufacturers the competitive advantage they need

Want to get ahead in manufacturing devices? Start embedding SIMs into your products during the manufacturing process, and fully benefit from the Internet of Things.

“The sooner the device is connected, and its performance data captured, the more likely predictive maintenance can be achieved. eSIM enables this data flow to begin as soon as the embedded SIM is activated, at the start of the device’s lifecycle.”

“The ability to change network operator without physical interaction is a major benefit of eSIM,” states eSIM: Giving Manufacturers the Competitive Edge, a new whitepaper from Arm, the multinational semiconductor and software design company.

Vector embedded sim eSIM card concept - image courtesy of Depositphotos.
Unlike removable SIM cards, the eSIM is embedded during the manufacturing process – image courtesy of Depositphotos.

IoT device manufacturers embracing the concept of eSIMs (‘embedded’ SIM) can gain a competitive edge by providing products that are easier to sell internationally, incorporate embedded connectivity, and have some elements of technology ‘future proofing’ inbuilt, as operators move from 3G, to 4G, and then onto 5G.

The Internet of Things

“A global network of mobile network operators (MNOs) is an important part of the eSIM ecosystem because no single operator provides the coverage to support a vast amount of global Internet of Things (IoT) devices,” says the research.

In fact, claims the paper, the successful operation of IoT depends on devices that can successfully connect consumers, businesses, and all-manner of automated systems, increasing efficiency and helping decision making.

Predictive maintenance

Providing the ability to predict (with confidence) when a device is at risk of failing or needs to be replaced is becoming increasingly important in the IoT world, with sensors playing a vital part in data collection.

“The sooner the device is connected, and its performance data captured, the more likely predictive maintenance can be achieved. An eSIM enables this data flow to begin as soon as it’s activated, at the start of the device’s lifecycle,” says the research.

If the key to predictive maintenance is to capture a complete profile of product performance, Arm argues, then the device must maintain constant connectivity.


ARM - Predictive Maintenance - eSIM: Offering manufacturers the competitive advantage they need


This is put at risk when devices move location; or would be at risk if the device does not have the ability to change networks remotely. With eSIM the device maintains its connectivity even when it crosses borders.

Arm estimates that one trillion new IoT devices will be produced by 2035, and from its discussions with companies all over the world, complexity is undoubtedly a barrier to the development of larger IoT projects.

“Manufacturers can eliminate much of this complexity by providing devices with embedded connectivity that ‘just work’ for the user,” says the research.

The SKU advantages

Unlike removable SIM cards, the eSIM is embedded during the manufacturing process – soldered into a sealed enclosure, and as such it is extremely difficult to tamper with or remove an eSIM without causing significant device damage.

Without eSIM, manufacturers would need to create and maintain separate product lines for each mobile network operator – despite the fact that the underlying device itself is exactly the same.

So, eSIM technology enables single specific stock keeping units (SKU) manufacturing for IoT devices, all over the world.

And from a purely consumer perspective, embedding this type of technology during production will allow customers to choose the network that best supports their needs, when and where they need to do it.