After Hyundai and MG Motor announced that they are coming up with connected car technologies, the question raised among many is how they work and how they will be operated? eSIM or embedded SIM is the one that connects the cars to mobile network operators.
In October 2013, GSMA (Global System for Mobile Communications Association) which is the mobile network operators' trade body worldwide, revealed that it was developing eSIM which can be soldered in place and then programmed to connect to a chosen carrier remotely. It connects the devices like smartwatches, smartphones, homes and cars to the mobile network operators.
Several global automakers like General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, Renault Nissan, Scania and Volvo Cars are already providing these services in the European and American markets.
The Cloud-connected virtual eSIMs would enable automakers to remotely connect to their choice of network operator over the air to vehicles. These are intended to deliver a range of in-vehicle services such as infotainment, real-time navigation, insurance and breakdown services, as well as telematics and remote diagnostics.
Hyundai and MG Motors are the first passenger car makers come up such kind of services in the Indian market. Hyundai has come with an inbuilt Vodafone-Idea eSIM card for its upcoming compact SUV called Venue. MG Motors has entered the race with an SUV named Hector. It is supposed to launch in India in the latter half of the year.
Both SUVs does not need the user's smartphone to connect to a plethora of options like entertainment, navigation and emergency response etc.
How Does An eSIM Work & What Does It Offer?
There has been a slot for standard SIM cards available in some cars but it always had disadvantages like high and low temperatures within cars, exposure to different weather conditions, corrosion and constant vibration from the engine and road conditions.
Standard SIMs can also only connect to a single network at a time, reports whatphone.com but eSIMs are addressed many of these problems as they are directly soldered into the car making them more secure and resistant to the adverse conditions within vehicles. The car owners can swap between networks and use the eSIM for different purposes without having to change cards.
The cybersecurity firm, Gemalto wrote in a blog post: "With embedded LTE solutions, car manufacturers can offer high-speed, low latency connectivity and a suite of advanced services and features that enhance 'on the road' experiences for both drivers and passengers."
Users can enjoy simultaneous embedded voice and data services, allowing one passenger to search online for the best nearby restaurant while another passenger calls for a reservation.
Embedded eSIMs identify individual vehicles, encrypt communications and ensure secure global connectivity for smart vehicle systems including eCall emergency solutions, vehicle telematics, navigation and more.
eSIMs have already been chosen by the European Commission to form a part of in-car emergency call systems. This means all cars manufactured from 2018 were required to have an eSIM that can perform emergency functions, especially in relation to breakdowns and crashes via machine-to-machine (M2M) communication technology.
According to GSMA, eSIMs would help car manufacturers to offer any type of in-car connected service through a single SIM, which can be provisioned with the profile of a mobile operator once the car is shipped, as well as at the end of a contract without the SIM needing to be changed.
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