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Embedded, interoperable SIM approach endorsed at MWC


via Flickr © MIKI Yoshihito (´・ω・) (CC BY 2.0)

The GSMA, purveyors of the Mobile World Congress to a grateful universe, has announced that it’s “been jointly working towards” the implementation of a “truly” interoperable approach to eSIM - an embedded SIM card standard designed to spur the uptake of M2M.

SIMs have been carefully guarded by the industry and are essential for security and user validation. A sloppy embedded SIM standard with security holes would be disastrous for all concerned.

Despite the problems the GSMA has announced that since September last a year a ‘relevant’ group of operators, SIM vendors and OEMs have been beavering away to create an acceptable technical definition to guarantee interoperability.

The workgroup is composed of América Móvil, Ooredoo, Telefónica, and China Unicom as global operators; Huawei, LG, Samsung and Sony Mobile as OEMs; and Gemalto, Giesecke & Devrient, Morpho, Oberthur Technologies, STMicrolectronics and Valid as SIM vendors.

The idea is to provided an Embedded SIM Specification to aid the remote provisioning and management of machine to machine (M2M) connections. With “over the air” provisioning it’s possible to change of subscription from one operator to another, for one thing. And with the number of mobile connected devices expected to be in the 10.5 billion zone by 2020, it’s clear that the  M2M ecosystem can’t remain dependent upon the traditional, single operator, physical SIM card.

In early February the first technical definition of an operator Interoperable Profile Package (IPP) was released to the industry representatives (GSMA members and SIM Alliance) to allow any industry player to take part in this initiative in an open and transparent manner.

The GSMA says the upshot is an operator profile package that will enable interoperable deployment of eSIMs for all players in a way that will foster the innovation and the development of value added services on top of the SIM.


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