The world of eSIM and switching to eSIM can be a mine field to navigate for both new and experienced members of the IoT community. There can be various aspects to consider when deciding on what specifications your device will operate on. The same goes for deciding if your device should switch from a traditional SIM to an eSIM or be manufactured with eSIM capabilities from the start. Pelion’s Director of Product has compiled some trains of thought on the continuously asked question ‘is eSIM really worth it?’. 

Why do you want to switch to eSIM? 

There is a logical train of thought that if your device has already completed most of its deployment time then there isn’t a beneficial reason to revisit the site and deploy the eSIM. It is also important to consider that the device could be difficult to access to the eSIM switching process may not be a simple one.  

However, if your device is at the beginning of its deployment or a revisit to the site to switch the SIM is going to save time or money in the long run then the switch to eSIM could be a beneficial one.  

As stated above, the decision should be based on both your devices and your business’ individual circumstances and is a case of balancing priorities. There are other factors outside of time and financial that may also be important to consider such as environmental. eSIM is a better connectivity solution for the environment as it cuts down on plastic waste.

How long is your device going to be in the field? 

One of the key benefits of eSIM and the switching process is that it future proofs your device. It provides a solution so that you will not be locked into a single operator. If your device is, for example, planned to be deployed for a 10-year period then you will perhaps want to renegotiate your connectivity contract several times. By using an eSIM, you can remotely reprovision the SIM without physically going in and out of the device whilst with a traditional SIM, this is not possible. 

What kind of SIM does it take? 

This point is only pertinent to older devices or if you are developing a device but using an older modem. eSIM technology surprisingly can work on most physical form factors that are available in today’s market and is not limited to embedded SIMs.  

Where is the device being built and/or deployed to? 

These two factors are important as it will depend on what network your device will use.  

Using a traditional SIM can make the manufacturing of a device a lengthier process as, in most cases, the devices will be shipped directly to their deployment location and then the separate process of matching the device with the correct SIM begins. When manufacturing at scale, these two separate processes can be logistically challenging and, in some industries, untenable. 

eSIM can be a solution for what seems like localised manufacturing as it allows for a device to be built and tested in one country and then deployed in another without the need for the SIM matching process or to make any location-based changes to the device’s connectivity other than the basic profile reprovisioning.  

Building a device without eSIM can potentially put you at a disadvantage as it is likely that your train of thought reflects a device first, connectivity second type concept which limits control over the build process as whole.  

Building with eSIM allows for connectivity and device to be of equal importance in standing and to be seen as one continuous process rather than two separate ones as is the case with non eSIMS. 

When am I planning to deploy? 

The IoT is constantly evolving to encompass new technologies and the evolution of eSIM is no different. If you plan to deploy your devices in the future then this opens up the possibilities of using iSIM.  An iSIM is essentially a more advanced version of the eSIM as it eliminates the need to solder the SIM into the device’s circuit board. In simplistic terms, the SIM doesn’t exist in iSIM, it is essentially a software version of the SIM. 

However, innovative technologies like iSIM may take a long time to establish and are even sometimes unsuccessful and short lived. eSIM/eUICC is here and now and has been developed over the past 10 years building on the same fundamental technology that the first mobile phones connected on.   

In conclusion, the switch to eSIM can be a massively beneficial one however, can come with its own set of unique challenges. When deciding if the switch to eSIM is the right one for your business and deployment, it is important to weigh up factors from financial, time, access and ESG aspects. Here at Pelion, we have over 20 years experience in the IoT space and strive to ensure our customers have the best possible set ups for their deployments. eSIM can ensure future proofing of your device and is the environmentally friendlier solution.

If you would like to continue researching eSIM we recommend downloading our guide to eSIM ebook.

eSIM with Pelion

Want to learn more about Pelion’s eSIM service? Talk to a member of the team or download our brochure.