SoftBank is Working on Reprogrammable eSIM Technology for IoT; SIM to be Carrier Independent

By | March 30, 2017

Japanese telecom giant SoftBank appears to be dipping its toes in the Internet of Things (IoT) space with the announcement of an eSIM project for IoT devices.

An eSIM (embedded SIM) is an electronic SIM card that can be reprogrammed as necessary, and even remotely. A user/administrator can remotely convert the eSIM to support any compatible carrier network.

If the project takes off, it will no longer be necessary to physically remove and replace SIM cards when switching carriers, reports VentureBeat. As the report points out, the Samsung Gear S2 classic smartwatch was actually the first device to come with an eSIM.

Another advantage of the design is that the eSIM is actually much smaller than a regular SIM card, freeing up yet more space inside a device. This is particularly useful for IoT devices, which can be quite small.

Other companies including Apple have worked on such technologies in the past. GSMA has already outlined specifications for the eSIM format.

VentureBeat comments that SoftBank’s decision to create eSIMs is very much in the company’s best interests. It is, after all, working on connected robots and self-driving cars.

Source: Tech 2