A new type of SIM is called e-SIM or eSIM (embedded SIM) or embedded universal integrated circuit card (eUICC). It is a non-replaceable embedded chip in SON-8 package that is soldered directly onto a circuit board. It has M2M and remote SIM provisioning capabilities.
The surface mount format provides the same electrical interface as the full size, 2FF, and 3FF SIM cards, but is soldered to the circuit board as part of the manufacturing process. In M2M applications where there is no requirement to change the SIM card, this avoids the requirement for a connector, improving reliability and security. Due to the ability of eUICC to remotely add Sim Profiles Over the Air (OTA), end users can add or remove operators without removing the sim from the device.GSMA has been discussing the possibilities of a software-based SIM card since 2010. While Motorola noted that eUICC is geared at industrial devices, Apple “disagreed that there is any statement forbidding the use of an embedded UICC in a consumer product.” In 2012, The European Commission has selected the Embedded UICC format for its in-vehicle emergency call service known as eCall. In line with its earlier statements, Apple shipped the Series 3 Apple Watch with an embedded SIM module. All new car models in the EU must have one by 2018 to instantly connect the car to the emergency services in case of an accident. Russia has a similar plan with the ERA-GLONASS regional satellite positioning system. Singapore is seeking public opinions on introducing eSIM as a new standard as more electronic devices like the aforementioned Apple Watch 3 enter the market.
The eSIM is also in Google’s Pixel 2 Phones.