An e-SIM is an embedded SIM card, meaning that chips are embedded in mobile devices making configuration software-based that can work on any network. Rather than being locked to a specific network the SIM card can change network whenever customer wishes to do.

A traditional SIM card is pre-provisioned with an operator profile while GSMA embedded SIMs are reprogrammable. The profile of a chosen operator is installed, activated or changed via an encrypted communication over a mobile or fixed network. GSMA embedded SIM is a vital enabler for Machine to Machine (M2M) connections including the simple and seamless mobile connection of all types of connected machines

Now that we are in the age of connected device and wearable, the e-SIM is going to revolutionise our devices. The SIM card is transforming from a plug-in hardware piece to a SIM that will be built into devices during production.

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GSMA embedded SIM deliver multiple benefits to customers: improved experience with greater flexibility, an increase in the number of connected devices and lower costs of connected products, easy to add to a data plan. For network operators, it can lead to reduction in SIM handling, integration and handling costs. At a minimum it will take some of the hassle out of changing networks, plans and devices.

There are few reasons why e-SIM is challenging to the market. Embedded SIM depends on networks supporting it. If any networks do hold out, then the device will be unable to use them with an e-SIM. GSMA embedded SIMs will enable remote service provisioning and will allow the entrance of many new players, which may further weaken operators’ relationships with their customers. For carriers, this technology presents both challenges and opportunities.

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The global market for GSMA embedded SIM market is segmented on the basis of application and geography. Based on the application, the market is segmented into mobile devices, wearable, smart appliances, data sensors. On the basis of geography the global market is classified into North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and South America.

Some of the major players offering e-SIM are Samsung, Apple, GSM Association, AT&T, EE Ltd. and Spring.

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