Internet of Things providers who offer a thing and a thing service will often deploy their globally delivered or traveling smart devices with a standard or “roaming-only” global SIM capability. With a roaming-only global SIM, data must originate and terminate from the network of the “home” mobile network operator. This can result in significant device data delay or a poor user experience. With the next generation SIM capability, the GSMA standards based eUICC or “eSIM”, the credentials of a mobile network operator in the country or region, is remotely programmed on the smart device. The eSIM allows for data access in the local area providing for a lower latency and therefore improved user experience.


Multi-IMSI SIM cards are the predecessor to the standards based eSIM. Multi-IMSI SIMs were an innovative way to fill the need of a local IMSI to prevent high roaming data costs. Since there were no standards, there are many Multi-IMSI network implementations both in IMSI selection methodology and Multi-IMSI network architectures. Sure, with the lack of industry standards, Multi-IMSI solutions have trial and error IMSI selection methodologies, limited IMSI selection, and some security concerns with the same credentials provisioned in every MNO partner HLR/HSS/Auc, however, the Multi-IMSI SIM provided a needed solution in its time. In comparison, the standards based eSIM provides positive [IMSI] profile selection logic, an endless availability of operator profiles and proper security controls on both removable and embedded chips.


When looking at mobile connectivity solutions for IoT, it is extremely relevant to know what kind of SIM is being used and whether the technology is future proof. Sure, a standard SIM implementing a Roaming Only solution can provide near global coverage, however, the actual coverage depends on the number of roaming relationships the underlying mobile operator has negotiated. With only a single set of operator credentials, a Roaming Only SIM may not be practical from a commercial or regulatory point of view when high roaming cost locations are required or when permanent roaming is not allowed by local regulation.

As the next generation SIM technology, the eSIM is future proof providing a programmable SIM solution with the ability to use a local profile wherever a device is located. Once a device with an eSIM is detected in a particular area, a local profile can be added remotely over-the-air and the eSIM can operate as a normal local or regional SIM card thus eliminating expensive roaming scenarios and regulatory issues. With this remote SIM provisioning capability, the solution also provides protection against Operator rate changes and ensures access to required mobile technologies. By using the eUICC standard of the GSMA and by working with trusted partners for platform and IPX connectivity, maximum security can be ensured.