eSim: an outsider's view

03 June 2019

The eSim technology and its future in Russia are increasingly discussed in the media. The Ministry of Communications has approved the scheme of selling electronic SIM-cards, proposed by Tele2. The Ministry is preparing a regulatory framework for remote subscriber identification. In the near future Tele2 together with Rostelecom will test the option of subscriber number portability.

The main obstacle to the immediate launch of the technology is the need to install domestic cryptography on the eSIM chip. Some experts believe that "due to sanctions, gadget manufacturers are unlikely to go for printing chips for eSIM with domestic cryptography inside Russia." Freesoft's editorial board asked an expert what, after all, awaits the technology in Russia.

Petr Kushikov, DANYCOM.Mobile

"A lot has already been written about eSIM technology and there is no point in dwelling on the peculiarities. Both for the common operators (big four) and for MVNO Operators, the possibility of using eSIM is an advantage. It is a possibility to reduce the cost of the SIM-card and the possibility of providing additional services to customers - the use of different devices, quick SIM-change, etc.".

According to the expert, the attention to this technology is excessive:

"If you look at Europe, the use of eSIM is not as widespread as expected. Basically, eSIM is used by advanced users and so far mostly only in Apple and Samsung products. However, it often does not give a breakthrough leap in service - the watch is integrated with the phone, and the user in the current reality with it almost never parted. And to read something and even more so to write with the help of the watch is not a pleasant thing to do.

Moreover, the service centers do not even know how to activate eSIM, it is provided only as an addition to the existing "physical" card. Also there is often a restriction on its use - eSIM generally works only in a particular country or group of countries - for example, within the Eurozone.

I believe that the use of this technology by Tele2 can be considered as a marketing step, a "HYIP", because all operators have long tested the possibility to use eSIM in their networks, and the main questions are related to potential risks that were declared by operators, the regulator, and the Federal Security Service.

Freesoft editorial staff continues to monitor the situation around eSim and will keep you informed!