eSIM / SIM Discussion

Getting the phonon applet running on eSIMs has always been an important part of our project’s roadmap. Hitting this milestone will be a massive achievement as it will drastically reduce the barriers around using The Protocol. With our applet running on eSIMs, our users will not be required to buy and carry specialised hardware but instead will be able to send and receive phonons from a device they always have close by, their phones.

Unfortunately, getting an eSIM applet into consumers hands is not as straightforward as many of us hoped. The main barrier is that iOS & Android restrict access to the APIs required for apps to interact with eSIMs unless a carrier. Furthermore, I believe that the process for deploying an eSIM applet is quite a specialised niche field, requiring both an understanding of the entire GSM stack and having experience working with these restricted iOS and Android APIs.

Possible Interim Solution

I have come across an interesting product called which sells physical SIMs consisting of an eSIM. This is unusual as eSIMs are usually part of a phone’s motherboard. This setup allows non eSIM enabled devices to have eSIM functionality. Their Android app is able to access the restricted eSIM APIs as both the SIM and App are signed with the same certificate. You can read more about how this is achieved here.

One way of getting our applet onto phones is to release a similar SIM but with our applet preinstalled. Obviously this is not a perfect solution for a number of reasons. It requires users to purchase a SIM and many manufacturers, such as Apple, have started releasing phones without SIM cards. Despite these issues I think this idea merits further investigation.

I hope a better solution can be found. I have created this thread to act as a central place for the DAO to start discussing ideas and research in the hope we can find a solution that gets Phonon into as many user’s hands as possible. I know @rake has put a lot of effort into researching this topic and I hope he will share his findings here.


As we discussed in the Discord, there may be better alternatives to eSIM.

e.g. Samsung eSE SDK | Samsung Developers

My $0.02 is we try to get in the room with Samsung and introduce ourselves again. I believe Karl did that in the beginning but that may have been just a rumor.

I’ve done a little more research into Samsung’s eSE and sadly there isnt much information available. It is a fairly new offering and it appears the documentation is only available to accepted “partners”. Only companies are able to become partners and the process involves providing a “Non-confidential Pitch deck” and answering questions such as “Installations steps of the Service Provider’s applet?”. I think we’ll need someone with domain experience to get us accepted.

Despite the fact that eSE will only help us get our applet onto a subset of their devices (they won’t disclose which devices ared supported until you are a partner) I think this is a very solid lead. Hopefully they don’t restrict crypto related products.

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