eSIM reader for officer safety

National security has a requirement to read IMSI numbers from mobile phones and other small electronic devices that members of staff use, ensuring we have duty of care. Existing techniques include removing the physical SIM card from the device and placing it into a reader that interrogates the card and displays its IMSI number. We are interested in developing innovative technology to approximately TRL 5 or 6, that can take an IMSI reading from an eSIM device (device agnostic) without taking collateral information. We are not prescriptive on the format of the concept demonstrator, but it must comply with data protection and GDPR, data aggregation must be considered and handled securely.


Challenge opens


Challenge closes



Single organisations can apply for up to £60,000 of funding, for an agile 12-week project to show the feasibility of gathering an IMSI identifier from an electronic SIM card (eSIM) for the purposes of national security officer safety. This is 100% funded by HMGCC Co-Creation for time and materials. There is potential for multiple projects to be funded.

The Gap

There is a rapidly increasing prevalence among mobile phone manufacturers to move away from using removable SIM cards in favour of embedded or integrated SIMS (eSIM). The iPhone 14 sold in the US, for example, no longer has a physical SIM card holder, but uses an eSIM instead. It’s anticipated that many other manufacturers will also transition from physical SIM cards to eSIMs in the near future. Commercial software solutions are able to read eSIMs but they also collect collateral data, such as contact lists and SMS messages in addition to IMSI numbers, which is unacceptable for this scenario as it contravenes data handling regulations. There is therefore, no currently no acceptable means to read and record IMSI numbers from the emerging generation of eSIM enabled mobile phones and devices 

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