How Embedded SIMs & Smartwatches are Empowering Telcos Future

An Embedded SIM (eSIM) is the latest generation of SIM cards, where there are no physical SIM cards involved. Moving away from a physical SIM card has a number of benefits including; increased reliability and security, allowing multiple networks within the same device and a reduction in size requirements.

eSIMs are changing the game for mobile operators as many are expecting eSIMs to replace traditional SIM cards during the next decade, especially with the assistance from Apple and Google to grow this technology. In addition, Orange has predicted that all smartphones will have an eSIM by 2030.

The eSIM is bringing many possibilities to Sicap in terms of device connectivity, as it can be used in devices that didn’t traditionally have a SIM card. Think secondary devices, such as smartwatches, tablets, and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices. This can bring many benefits to our customers, including simplifying network service selection and enabling cellular connectivity for watches and other devices.

In relation to telcos, device manufacturers, and other parties, the introduction of eSIMs should be seen as an opportunity, rather than feared as a threat.

Benefits of eSIM

Traditional SIMseSIMs
Carrier specific: only one
carrier profile
Operator specific but can support multiple carrier profiles
A physical SIM swap is needed
to change carriers
to change carriers Eliminates physical SIM swaps, Remote download & management of additional carrier profiles
Different SIM for each carrierOne SIM for multiple carriers

Some phones that support eSIMs

ApplePhone, 13, iPhone, 13 Max, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR
GooglePixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 3
SamsungGalaxy Note 20, Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20 5G, Galaxy S20+ 5G, Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G, Galaxy Z Flip


Since the launch of smartwatches, the wearables market has expanded beyond mobile health and fitness trackers to consumer devices which are packed with many state-of-the-art features and capabilities as devices are more powerful and user friendly than ever before.

Most smartwatches will come with an embedded SIM that allows them to connect to a virtual network system. Meaning that when a new customer first turns on the smartwatch, it is instantly connected. The eSIM technology is revolutionizing the way connectivity is delivered to mobile devices by implementing an efficient remote and dynamic process while ensuring secure user authentication and data handling. This modern technology provides benefits across all wireless technologies, supporting exponential growth in the wearable and IoT marketplace.

Wearables are driving the eSIM market growth with innovative features like Multi-SIM, enabling a subscriber to use the same phone number on a smartwatch and phone.

Easy Smartwatch Activation With Sicap

Device Entitlement is a standard device authentication and service activation procedure and one of the enablers needed for subscription-based business models for smartwatches. The Device Entitlement Server (DES) is the centre-piece component of the mobile device entitlement and it authenticates mobile devices, including smartwatches for the network, and makes sure the devices can access only the allowed services – Voice over Wi-Fi and VoLTE for instance.

Google Android is an example of an Operating Systems which are based on a standard device entitlement procedure described on GSMA’s specifications. Some device operating systems, such as Apple iOS has opted for a proprietary device entitlement process.

What this means for Telcos…

For Telcos smartwatches represent a potential rich opportunity, however strategic planning is needed to truly capitalise on the growing market. They need to ensure they have the right technology enablers on their network, making the activation of eSIM enabled smartwatches easy and secure for the customer.

Sicap’s SIM Management provides MNOs, MVNOs and MVNEs a SIM card vendor – independent SIM management solution enabling a flexible and cost-effective SIM Management without vendor lock in. Learn more about Sicap’s SIM Management.