TIM and Samsung claim eSIM first in Italy

Samsung Gear S2 and S2 classic

Italian operator TIM and South Korean vendor Samsung said they have launched the first smart watch in Italy that contains an embedded SIM (eSIM), with support from digital security specialist Gemalto.

The Samsung Gear S2 Classic 3G, which was the first wearable device to be launched globally with an eSIM and is based on the Tizen mobile operating system (OS), is now available to TIM mobile subscribers and can be connected to the TIM network using a QR code.

The companies noted that the adoption of the eSIM is only the first step in the evolution of the features of the traditional SIM.

“This new system allows you to activate and update your subscription to the service remotely, and will then allow the eSIM to be used on other types of devices such as tablets and smartphones,” according to the release.

Juniper Research said last week that the introduction of the GSMA’s embedded specification is likely to fuel the opportunity for service providers to offer remote provisioning of SIM cards, in turn enhancing the capabilities of service providers to update and augment offerings and subscriptions.

The GSMA’s remote SIM provisioning programme includes two device categories: machine to machine (M2M) and consumer devices.

In the M2M category, the GSMA Embedded SIM Specification is designed to simplify industrial and logistic processes for the distribution of devices.

The second category relates to consumer companion devices such as wearables (smart watches, fitness bands etc.), tablets, and so on. The adoption of eSIMs in such devices will eliminate the need for incorporating SIM housing components and help maximise the space available in the device.

At Mobile World Congress (MWC) in February, the GSMA released a specification that allows consumers to remotely activate the SIM embedded in a device such as a smart watch, fitness band or tablet. The specification was the first output from the GSMA’s industry-backed Consumer Remote SIM Provisioning initiative.

Meanwhile a report from the SIMalliance earlier this year said shipments of eSIMs increased by 48 per cent in 2015, driven largely by European shipments. The alliance noted that volumes also rose significantly in Japan and South Korea, where M2M services are well established.

For more:
- see this Gemalto release

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