SIM cards, those small bits of plastic found in almost all of our phones, have been there since the beginning of the consumer mobile market and serve an important role in user identification. On the other hand, basic SIM cards are stifling technological advancements in the Internet of Things (IoT). SIM cards are expensive, insecure, inflexible, and unsuitable for many IoT applications. Consider how IoT devices are affected by plastic SIM cards: they require the installation of a slot. Once installed, a SIM isn’t designed to be updated over the air. If you wish to make changes, you’ll need to remove the now-ineffective piece of plastic and replace it with a new SIM card. There is already a solution to these issues: the eSIM. While consumer mobile phones are beginning to support the best eSIM service, the IoT will likely reap the greatest benefits.
For low-margin, high-volume IoT applications, plastic SIM cards are a challenge. The standard SIM is blown out of the water for many deployments compared to the expense of embedding an eSIM that can be modified remotely to select the best available network once installed.
What is an eSIM?
eSIM is a global specification developed by the GSMA that allows any mobile device to be provisioned with a SIM card from afar.
Users can keep numerous operator profiles on an eSIM-enabled device simultaneously and switch between them remotely with an eSIM-enabled smartphone. This implies that makers and operators can allow customers to choose their preferred operator and then securely download the SIM application for that operator.
Other advantages include easier device setup without the need to insert or change SIM cards, devices that run independently of a connected smartphone and have their subscriptions, and the creation of smaller gadgets.
Overcoming Conventional Obstacles
So, what makes an eSIM a better IoT solution? As a result, the device no longer needs to accommodate a detachable card. That means the IoT devices can be compact, important for many cellular IoT applications. It also eliminates the cost and risk of using an external port and the negative environmental impact of using plastic SIM cards.
In contrast to a traditional SIM card, which can only contain one local network operator credential, an eSIM cellular data can hold numerous. Over-the-air reprogramming is also possible with an eSIM.
Such characteristics enable future technological advancements and frequent updates with profiles tailored to the local network. This solves the problems of frequent roaming by allowing the connected device to use local data rates, which are usually cheaper, and avoid data throttling.
A crucial factor for accelerating IoT adoption will be lowering prices while increasing data speed and stability.
With the development of Global Distribution Systems for eSIM, IoT service providers and end-users will be able to choose the best network at any time and switch to it without having to transfer SIM cards or waste time comparing rates. It will be a straightforward, quick, and efficient procedure.
Additionally, manufacturers are no longer required to provide devices for each country during the manufacturing process. Instead, devices can use a provisional bootstrap network profile to maintain universal connectivity.
When the device is out in the local market, the bootstrap profile allows it to download a fully functional profile. Manufacturers save tremendous time and money in product distribution and stock management with a single SKU that can be sold globally.
Flexibility and the Internet of Things (IoT)
Manufacturers, service providers, and end-users all benefit from the flexibility that eSIM provides. There is no need for IoT businesses to physically install or replace millions of SIM cards in their connected devices. This is critical because some devices may be utilized in remote areas or difficult-to-reach locales. The switch to eSIM is a critical milestone and enabler for the growth of cellular IoT.
The opportunity should not be overlooked. According to the GSMA, 25.2 billion linked devices will be used by 2025.
With the introduction of 5G and the continuous expansion of network speeds and capacity, it’s easy to see how many IoT devices may benefit from a cellular connection via an eSIM API. Especially since eSIM solves the core problem of distant connectivity management.
eSIM also gives new possibilities for mobile technology applications. Take, for example, the connected automobile. Even though it may still sound futuristic, millions of connected automobiles on our roads have already adopted eSIM.
Navigation, entertainment, breakdown services, telematics, and diagnostics are just a few of the services provided by connected automobiles, which rely on networks to provide a range of services to vehicle owners. There’s a lot of value in automatically choosing the best available network connection for crucial real-time services like navigation and breakdown provision.
While most IoT devices will have fewer features on their own, it’s apparent that eSIM will boost connectivity possibilities for manufacturers, service providers, and end-users alike.
Celitech empowers enterprises with a proprietary wireless eSIM. We are the first digital-only connection platform to offer a global cellular data API. Contact us today to learn how the programmable eSIM API works and how you may benefit from it.