Internet Initiative Japan Inc., one of Japan’s leading Internet access and comprehensive network solutions providers, today announced the July 18 launch of IIJmio Mobile Service Light Start Plan (eSIM Beta Version)— cellular data service with eSIM—as part of its IIJmio Mobile Service series of consumer mobile services.
As a full MVNO(*), IIJ has built its own eSIM platform through which subscribers can remotely download the subscriber profile required to make cellular connections with IIJ’s Home Location Register/Home Subscriber Server (HLR/HSS), and has been evaluating for various eSIM devices since last year. IIJ expects eSIM devices to see widespread use in the coming years, and the launch of the beta version of eSIM-ready service precedes its official launch. This service marks the first appearance of eSIM-ready cellular services—for SIM lock-free devices—in Japan.
- (*)Mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) operate their own cellular services by using the base stations and other wireless access equipment of mobile network operators (MNOs), while full MVNOs are the operators that have and manage their own Home Location Register/Home Subscriber Server (HLR/HSS) that are a part of core mobile network facilities.
eSIMs are embedded SIMs that allow users to remotely download the profiles required to use cellular services without inserting the physical SIM card, and they promise rapid market penetration. Users can readily switch mobile carriers just by downloading profiles to their eSIM-equipped smartphones or tablets rather than replacing SIM cards as they had done before.
Use Cases for the Service
The iPhone XS and other devices that allow the use of both existing physical SIM and eSIM can utilize this service as a secondary line, meaning that users can switch to the eSIM (IIJmio) only when, for instance, they exceed their monthly data allowance of the primary line. These devices also engender unprecedented use cases. By regularly using a physical SIM card for voice calls and an eSIM for IIJmio’s data service, users can use roaming voice calls in a foreign country while simultaneously switching an eSIM profile from a local telecom provider and using the Internet with local tariff.