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The most frequently asked questions about eSIM and RSP

More and more companies are experimenting with eUICC (eSIM) and RSP functionalities for the Internet of Things (IoT). The general public, however, is not yet too familiar with these technologies, despite the fact that they ofer many advantages and opportunities. One example is the rollout of IoT projects abroad. Below, KPN IoT answers 4 questions about eSIM and RSP.

1. What is eUICC/eSIM?

eUICC stands for Embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card. This is also called an embedded SIM or eSIM. This SIM is not a plastic card with a piece of gold on it but a chip on the circuit board of the device which takes up much less space. An eSIM is part of the device itself and cannot be removed.

Originally developed for vehicles (which must be built to withstand greater stresses, such as shocks and extreme temperatures), the eSIM is much more resistant than traditional SIM cards. This is why it is already the standard in new vehicles. No wonder the automotive industry is seen as the ‘incubator’ of the eSIM.

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2. What is RSP ?

eUICC is often mentioned in tandem with Remote SIM Provisioning (RSP). This technology can be used to remotely activate and manage profiles of multiple telecom providers. With RSP, it is therefore possible to switch providers without the user having to access the device. The physical type of SIM card does not matter because all variants can be equipped with RSP functionality. However, this must be done during the production of the SIM. It is not possible to add RSP functionality afterwards. These two concepts are often confused. This is understandable, as it is a logical step to provide a SIM that can no longer be physically removed with technology that enables the user to switch between operators

3. What are the advantages of RSP?

An RSP solution can be very useful in countries where permanent roaming is not permitted. Many operators believe that roaming is generally intended for temporary use by, for example, tourists or business travellers. If a company starts rolling out permanent IoT devices in such a country, it will be obliged to cooperate with a local provider (local sourcing).

RSP offers additional security in countries where local sourcing is or will become a requirement, such as Canada, Brazil, Turkey, China, Russia and India. By opting for an RSP solution, international companies operating in such countries will be better prepared for geopolitical developments and can quickly adapt to changes in legislation and regulations.

Customers could also consider RSP functionality as a form of insurance. If the contract with the operator expires and the customer does not want to renew it, a SIM with RSP functionality ofers the possibility to change operators without having to access the device. With a normal SIM, this is not possible. RSP therefore ofers the customer more flexibility. The new operator must be linked to the current operator’s platform. But at least the SIM card will be suitable for this.

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4. How far is KPN IoT with these technologies?

KPN IoT is a pioneer in the field of eUICC and RSP. There are already a number of active users of RSP solutions. KPN is also very active in the IoT World Alliance, an international partnership with other major telecom companies such as Telefónica, China Unicom and Telstra. eSIM is one of the spearheads for the IoT World Alliance. KPN IoT already supplies eSIMs to its customers, some who do and some who do not choose RSP functionality as an option. We do see an increased demand for the combination of these two technologies.

KPN IoT also supplies customers with SIM cards suitable for RSP on request. Because these SIM cards also have disadvantages, they are not ofered as standard. They are slightly more expensive, for example, and the customer’s device must be made compatible with this technology.

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Do you want to know even more about eSIM and RSP? In this whitepaper KPN IoT answers 9 questions about this topic.

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