GSMA SGP.21 V3 for Consumer Devices
eSIM was created to digitise the physical SIM card, not only to optimise available space in the devices and streamline subscription activation processes but also to make it more convenient for end users to get mobile connectivity in a near instant and seamless fashion. And while we have seen good progress on the main use case of downloading an eSIM profile into a device, other scenarios remained cumbersome.
Progress was achieved using proprietary implementations and version 3 of SGP.22 (though not yet published) can be seen as an attempt of the industry to bring different technology approaches under the umbrella of GSMA. Let’s look at those features, which in our view have the biggest visibility.
There is now a dedicated “Device Change” procedure with which the user can transfer a subscription from one device to another. Although this is still based on the “Profile Download” mechanism it automates the process significantly.
Another feature is called “Multiple Enabled Profiles” (MEP). Since dual-SIM support has become an important capability in many markets, device OEMs have been keen to find a solution supported by a single eSIM chip, rather than the combination of eSIM and a plastic SIM.
Probably the most fundamental addition, however, is a feature called “Remote Profile Management” (RPM). Currently only the end user can manage the profile lifecycle via the User Interface on the device via the local LPA (Local Profile Assistant) application . However, with RPM the profile owner, which is typically the MNO/MVNO, can perform the following profile operations remotely: ‘enable’, ‘disable’, ‘delete’, ‘list Profile information’, ‘update Metadata’ and ‘Contact PCMP’.
'Contact PCMP’ leads us to the next add-on to the specification: “Profile Content Management”. Using the mechanism of RPM, the profile owner can instruct the eSIM to establish a session with the newly defined Profile Content Management Platform (PCMP) used to manage the content of an enabled Profile, for example to install an application into the profile.
The ability to manage profile lifecycles remotely via RPM enables another important use case, though largely invisible to the private consumer: managing enterprise subscriptions. In the definition of GSMA an enterprise is a business, organisation, or government entity that subscribes to mobile services to be utilised by its workforce in support of the business or activities of the Enterprise. By defining specific profiles, capabilities and rules, enterprises can request the installation and management of Profiles from more than one Profile Owner and can request the Profile Owner to remotely manage their own Profiles, on Enterprise Capable Devices.
Apart from the described features there’s a lot more coming, though with no or less visibility for the device user, such as an extended PKI Infrastructure, eUICC OS Update, APDU API, Device Information Code, support of High Resolution Icons, Multiple Root SM-DSs and SM-DS Push Service.
If you want to learn more about Version 3 of SGP.22 and how to put its new features into practice, simply get in touch and let’s talk.