Remote SIM provisioning, and the art of easily changing profiles

Remote SIM provisioning enables you to reach the people you need to reach, when you need to reach them, alongside offering the ability to remotely alter eSIM profiles over the air.

“Rather than relating to an enhancement in SIM hardware, the term ‘remote SIM provisioning’ refers to an enhancement in the way SIM profiles are managed, and it enables multiple network profiles to be stored on a single eUICC SIM. This is a major step forward from conventional SIMs, which can only be provisioned with a single profile.”

Remote SIM provisioning has clear benefits for large organisations, or geographically spread workforces, as it allows profiles to be changed without the need for a site visit or any physical contact, says Remote SIM Provisioning Overview, a new whitepaper from multinational semiconductor and software design company, Arm.

There are also advantages for vehicle users. If a device moves location, particularly if it moves to a new roaming zone, remote SIM provisioning can be used to switch the device’s profile to one that’s available in the new location.

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In essence, remote SIM provisioning allows manufacturers to drastically simplify their supply chain. When the device is turned on, provided the correct configuration is in place, it can connect to a local cellular network, making the device ready to use immediately regardless of location.

Roam and away

While both eUICC SIMs and global roaming SIMs provide global cellular coverage from a single SIM card, a key difference between the two is that only eUICC SIMs allow users to remotely programme the SIM to use a different profile, in a GSM Association-approved specification.

The eUICC – or Embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card – is big step forward for the SIM card, and represents a significant enhancement for the telecommunications industry, with customers able to change service provider profiles at will, based on the needs of the user.

Stock - Connected Connectivity Globe Smart Supply Chain TechnologyA crucial difference between eUICC SIMs and global roaming SIMs is that the former can provide customers with global connectivity at local rates, whereas customers using roaming SIMs may incur a premium charge.

GSMA Specifications

To support the adoption of remote SIM provisioning, the GSMA, which represents approximately 800 mobile operators worldwide, has defined internationally applicable specifications that relate to consumer and IoT (Internet of Things) versions of the technology.

The global body has produced the specifications, with the most recent versions (at the time of writing) being the Remote Provisioning Architecture for Embedded UICC v 3.2, which address issues concerning the design and deployment of remote SIM solutions.

Embedded technology

remote SIM provisioningThere is also a common misconception that remote SIM provisioning is only compatible with embedded SIMs. In fact, it can be conducted on any SIM – provided it is an eUICC SIM, which can be provided as both removable SIMs and embedded SIMs (eSIMs).

Rather than relating to an enhancement in SIM hardware, the term ‘remote SIM provisioning’ refers to an enhancement in the way SIM profiles are managed. This represents a significant advancement from conventional SIMs, which can only be provisioned with a single profile.

So, instead of holding stocks of SIM cards for multiple network operators, every device can use the eUICC SIM and have the correct profile applied when operating in the field.

For more information, and to read the full Remote SIM Provision Overview whitepaper, click here.


All images courtesy of Depositphotos