For frontline workers struggling with potentially insecure Wi-Fi hotspots, the convenience and security of always connected LTE are compelling. But perhaps less immediately obvious are the benefits of embedded SIM (eSIM) in LTE devices, not only for large enterprise customers but for smaller and medium-sized business too.
eSIM provides the same experience as a physical SIM card — such as access point and IMEI numbers to connect and validate your device — but without the compromises of a standalone card. When you hand out physical SIM cards to employees, you essentially give up control over how the data gets used. You can't tell whether they’re used in devices provisioned by the enterprise, gifted to a family member, or simply sold to the highest bidder.
eSIM in Surface Pro LTE
Embedded SIM, where the SIM component is built into a chip on the motherboard, enables IT cost centers to fully manage mobile data usage for the first time.
Managing eSIM devices in the Enterprise
Many enterprise customers are already using System Center Configuration Manager for desktop and a mobile device management solution (MDM) for mobile phones. Now with remote eSIM provisioning, IT admins and procurement managers can manage all their corporate devices and data subscriptions directly from familiar MDM tools like Intune. Intune replaces physical SIM cards with metadata — typically contained in a CSV file — that then can be distributed to target users or used to manage profiles customized for a specific geographic region or functional role. For detailed guidance, see Enable eSIM data connections in Microsoft Intune - Azure.
Surface Pro LTE incentivizes foundational ecosystem
The overall industry ecosystem that enables remote eSIM provisioning has only recently become available. Just two years ago, eSIM was still nascent technology in consumer minds. Then came the launch of Surface Pro LTE, leading the engineering development to introduce integrated eSIM in the Windows ecosystem.
Since then, investments by operators, infrastructure, silicon and product companies have converged to make eSIM fully viable. As the market evolves further with 5G, unlicensed spectrum, carrier aggregation and other innovations, Surface will continue to make step changes to ensure our products are market-relevant, providing the best possible mobile computing experience possible. This technology is critical to empower all customers to dynamically choose their service providers and enjoy an always connected experience. In late 2018 and going into 2019, eSIM is becoming more accepted and Surface is proud to have had the courage to commit to this technology early on and partner with service providers to offer connectivity out of the box in more than 100 countries.
Getting started with eSIM provisioning
Microsoft is collaborating with global carriers on implementation of enterprise eSIM support. To get started, get help from Intune or reach out to your mobile provider.