If the device has a user-accessible slot for a Universal Integrated Circuit Card (UICC) card, Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) sensitivity should be considered. The nRF9160-internal ESD protection is intended for a 1.5 kV Human Body Model (HBM) level. External ESD/EMI filtering is recommended between the UICC card slot and nRF9160.

Several ESD/EMI filtering options are available. A commonly used option is a dedicated integrated component, such as STM EMIF03-SIM02M8, TI TPD3F303, or OnSemi CM1402. Typically, an integrated ESD filter consists of lowpass filters and ESD diodes in a small SMD package. Another option is discrete ESD protection which takes more space on the Printed Circuit Board (PCB), but can be more flexible for certain applications and a lower-cost solution.

Discrete ESD protection can consist of the following components:

The electrical specifications for all UICC signals that should be verified in product design and in the prototyping phase are defined in ETSI TS 102 221, chapter Electrical specifications of the UICC. For more information, see nWP034 - nRF9160 Hardware Verification Guidelines.