The Promise – and Perils – of eSIM

The buzz around eSIM technology goes back quite a while. And while it’s not yet universally implemented, that day is coming, with Apple’s iPhone XS and iPad Pro and Google’s Pixel line, among others, already implementing the technology – if your carrier supports it.

What is eSIM?

It is exactly what the name says it is: An embedded SIM card for mobile devices. Unlike the SIM cards that you’re used to, though, which are tied to specific carriers – you’ll have a Verizon SIM card if your mobile carrier is Verizon, a Sprint SIM card if you’re on Sprint, etc. – eSIMs are rewritable. What that means in practice is that an eSIM-equipped phone is capable of connecting to multiple different carriers.

The Benefits of eSIM

One of the primary benefits of eSIM technology is that can go a long way toward easing the pain of roaming charges or lack of network connectivity. Someone traveling overseas from the United States could add connectivity for France to their eSIM, for example, while still retaining access to their U.S. phone number – and in the process, eliminate costly overseas roaming fees.

Similarly, eSIM technology will allow for people who use their phone both personally and for business to have separate phone numbers – one for their personal use, and one for business calls, for example. Currently, devices are configured such that you have to choose “which” eSIM you’re using at a given moment. That’s a little bit of a misnomer, because there’s only one embedded SIM card on the device, and so the choice of which you’re using at the time really amounts to going into your device settings and choosing which connectivity you want. Regardless of terminology, though, this kind of eSIM usage will offer enormous flexibility to users.

eSIM's Potential Perils

While eSIM might be a leap forward in convenience for business users, it potentially poses problems for business itself. That’s because, whether a business has a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy and allows for eSIM connecting to its business mobile plans or issues its own eSIM mobile devices, there’s going to be a lot of extra connectivity going on. That extra connectivity, of course, will come with extra costs for business – and those costs could be enormous for businesses that don’t manage them properly.

Likewise, businesses will have to ensure that phones that see both personal and business use are appropriately locked down or siloed so that business data – and perhaps more importantly, access to that data and the networks that access it – are not accessible via personal use of the device. Segregating the personal from the business is already a smart practice for companies with employees who use their traditional SIM-based phones both personally and professionally, of course – but with eSIM devices sure to make this practice more common, businesses will need to make all the more sure that their security policies and practices can handle them.

And although it’s perhaps not a peril to business, other than in a cost sense, companies using eSIM-based mobile devices will need to ensure that their Help Desk and support staff will be up to the task of handling the calls that will come when their employees can’t quite figure out how to change their eSIM service on their device, have trouble logging in, or any of the other issues that new devices, with new technology, are sure to raise for users. 

Everything – eSIM Included – is a Tradeoff

And so, eSIM as a technology has enormous potential benefits for both consumer and business users. But unlike consumers, who are more likely to enjoy the benefits of lower international roaming charges and increased freedom when switching networks, businesses will need to carefully monitor eSIM-enabled device usage and expenses in order to keep control of both costs and security.

At Wireless Watchdogs, we’ve been helping business manage their traditional SIM-based mobility for many years. With managed mobility services that extend across a mobile device’s entire business lifecycle, we can dramatically reduce costs while increasing security and efficiency – and that will be just as true with the advent of eSIM.

IF you’d like to see a demo of how our platform works, and how it helps save businesses $10 to $15 per device, per month, request a demo today – and be ready for eSIM tomorrow.

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