Giesecke+Devrient (G+D), the Munich-based expert in security technology and provider of SIM services, has already sold more than 10 billion SIM cards to mobile network operators over the past 30 years. Now the company has crossed a significant new threshold – with 100 million Consumer eSIMs downloaded.
The success story of the SIM is unparalleled: it is used billions of times every day to provide secure access to the mobile network through user-authentication and services. It is now impossible to imagine mobile life for young and old alike without it.
The historical development of the SIM card was shaped to a large extent by G+D. The company has been involved all the way from the delivery of the first SIM in 1991, to cards for new mobile communications standards including 5G and miniaturization with micro and nano SIM cards, and now the current standard – eSIMs built directly into the device. With over 10 billion SIM cards sold, G+D is a market leader in the SIM sector. The market for eSIMs is now growing significantly. And here too, G+D is not only a pioneer, but also the market leader, as clearly demonstrated by the landmark downloading of 100 million Consumer eSIMs.
In the meantime, more and more manufacturers of smartphones, tablets or smartwatches are equipping their products with eSIM technology. A significant number of smartphones, tablets and smartwatches are already eSIM-capable. In the medium term, it is expected that all mobile devices will be available only with eSIMs, i.e. without an additional SIM card slot. Apple has already taken this path with the US models of the new iPhone 14.
The new eSIM-only phone arrived in time for the gifting season in 2022. This period includes some of the biggest spikes associated with the busiest buying periods worldwide. The activation of all those new accounts requires an absolutely reliable eSIM management service with real-world functionality and connectivity. The AirOn360® eSIM management platform from G+D offers the necessary scalability here. It means that G+D’s solution can handle millions of customers using the service at the same time, which is very important in managing peak times such as Christmas where many consumers may be activating their devices simultaneously.
But what is the difference between an embedded SIM and the pluggable SIM card? The central feature of the eSIM is that the SIM module is permanently installed in the device as a chip. To activate the eSIM, the user simply downloads the mobile network provider specific SIM profile directly onto the eSIM in the device. The eSIM brings numerous advantages for the user: she or he can activate a digital mobile communications contract easily and quickly and also use several contracts at the same time, for example for private and business purposes. When travelling, they can use a low-cost mobile provider for calling and surfing. Additionally, the user is contributing to sustainability and reducing CO2 emissions. Finally, the eSIM is an extremely environmentally friendly SIM solution, as no plastic, packaging, or transport routes are required.
“For us, it is clear that the conventional plastic SIM card will be replaced by the more environmentally-friendly eSIM in the future and will become the new standard,” emphasizes Philipp Schulte, Head of Connectivity and IoT at G+D. “An eSIM contract is digital and thus conveniently set up in just a few minutes. This brings more flexibility for all parties involved and makes it much easier to use various service offerings.”