Simless Prepares Commercial Rollout of Software eSIM Technology

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Simless’s patent-pending software eSIM technology is a secure, low-cost alternative to hardware eSIM solutions developed by traditional SIM card vendors.

Simless, Inc., an Atlanta-based telecommunications startup, founded by former AT&T and Deutsche Telekom employees, has rapidly developed and integrated its patent-pending software eSIM technology with smartphone, tablet and wearable device manufacturers and will begin pilots with Tier-1 Mobile Operators in 2Q 2016. Simless is exhibiting at Hall 6 Stand 6L61 at Fira Gran Via.

Compared with a hardware eSIM, Simless’s software eSIM is a fraction of the cost and requires a fraction of the effort to integrate it into a smart device, such as a smartphone, smart watch, or smart meter. Moreover, the software eSIM can be integrated into existing devices via a simple device OS update thanks to Simless's patent-pending S2oC technology which has been already validated in various system-on-chip (SoC) platforms.

Device manufacturers are currently exploring how to integrate hardware eSIM chips, which are provided by traditional SIM card vendors, into their products. In fact, the first hardware eSIM devices reported to hit the market in 2016 are wearables, such as Samsung Gear S2 smart watches.    eSIM technology, whether hardware or software-based, allows users to remote provision and activate cellular service on their devices without having to acquire and insert a removable physical SIM card. The remote provisioning architecture of eSIM technology is specified by GSMA, which represents nearly 800 mobile network operators worldwide.

The first problem faced by the industry is getting the number of eSIM capable devices to scale. A hardware eSIM, can cost $2 – $5, depending on volume, a cost that, going forward, must be borne by device manufacturers. By some estimates the median per device Android smartphone profit is around $5 – $10, thus the incremental cost of a hardware eSIM chip consumes the profitability of most Android devices, especially during the period of overlap where devices will have to support both a traditional removable SIM and a hardware eSIM.

Although software eSIM technology is cost-effective and easy for a device manufacturer to integrate, it does not have to compromise on security. Analogous to the traditional removable physical SIM card or the hardware eSIM, the Simless software eSIM provides a secure environment to store an Operator’s credentials on the device. Simless’s eSIM security framework leverages the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE), which is already available in many devices. With a specific security configuration, the TEE provides hardware tamper resistance-like features for mobile network operators and a better chain of trust infrastructure for cellular device security and network access management.

The second problem faced by the industry is certification and regulation of eSIM-enabled devices. As a pioneer in the industry, Simless has already briefed various telecom regulators around the world including the FCC in the US and the NCC in Nigeria about the need to introduce rules to govern OEM devices with eSIM technology to maintain flexibility for consumers to switch carriers easily.

Simless has closed agreements with cellular network operators, including Tier 1 players, to begin pilots in 2Q 2016. The pilots will provide feedback to inform eSIM standardization discussions underway at ETSI and the GSMA as well as set conditions for large-scale commercial roll-outs.    

For additional information please contact Simless by e-mail at: hello(at)simless(dot)com or 1.888.952.3653.

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Sam King
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