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Key Concepts on eSIM and Remote SIM Provisioning

Key Concepts on eSIM and Remote SIM Provisioning

Businesses are constantly involved in the development of smarter ways to advance the connectivity for IoT devices. As a result, the course of action to replace traditional SIM cards has already started. Although wearables were the first devices to comprise eSIMs, you may consider this as a mere beginning. 

What is an eSIM?

eSIMs are basically Embedded Subscriber Identity Modules. It contains the information that permits a subscriber to the way in a specific provider’s network. The major difference is that that conventional SIMs were pre-programmed, but in case of eSIMs, it can be done remotely by a Remote SIM Provisioning (RSP) system. This new eSIM technology has already started to be included in new consumer devices. Mobile operators should take on this technology to take advantage of it.

What is Remote SIM Provisioning (RSP)?

Remote SIM Provisioning (RSP) is a GSMA specification that classifies how the process of remote SIM programming or activation should work. This specification is intended to make lots of procedures simpler in an M2M service or in the lifecycle of a mobile service. It also generates new business models where a single user could have multiple operators for diverse services like long-distance calls, data service, roaming, etc.

RSP, as labeled by GSMA, provides 2 different architectures. One focuses on Consumer Devices while the other focuses on M2M.

RSP for Consumer Devices

Owing to the end-user interaction which sets off many additional use cases, the solution for consumer devices is more complex. In this architecture, 4 major elements can be drawn attention to:

  • SM-DP+ (Subscription Manager – Data Preparation +)

SM-DP+ presumes SM-DP as well as SM-SR responsibilities. Hence, not only it downloads, creates, and manages profiles, but it also provides with the required security for operator credentials.

  • SM-DS (Subscription Manager – Discovery Server)

SM-DS guarantees that the SM-DP+ reaches the Embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card (eUICC) regardless of what access network the device is connected to.

  • LPA (Local Profile Assistant)

LPA is an element that ought to be included in the devices using eSIM technology. Local Profile Assistant provides with the facility to download encrypted Profiles to the eUICC.

  • eUICC (Embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card)

The eUICC offers the same function as M2M does. 

RSP for M2M

Chiefly due to the fast-growing market requirements, RSP for M2M was the very first solution developed. There are 3 main elements which can be described in this architecture:

  • SM-DP (Subscription Manager – Data Preparation)

The major responsibility of SM-DP is to store, prepare and protect operator profiles. It is also responsible for downloading and installation of Profiles onto the eUICC.

  • eUICC (Embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card)

The eUICC is responsible for storing one or more subscription profiles.

  • SM-SR (Subscription Manager – Secure Routing)

SM-SR is accountable for maintaining the status of the profiles (delete/enable/disable). It also provides with security to the communication channel that is used by the SM-DP to send profiles to the eUICC.

Conclusion

As a standard feature in their new devices, world manufacturers like Microsoft, Apple, Google, among others, have position eSIM. It is only a matter of time that every appliance will have an eSIM, and the M2M communications will take over the world.