Misconceptions about embedded SIM cards (eSIM) for IoT are preventing companies from adopting this new technology. This is harmful, as eSIM patching is critical to successful secure IoT deployment.
eSIMs are slowly replacing standard SIMs in IoT devices and products such as smartwatches. They are also making their way into the machine-to-machine world.
However, the rollout has been slowed by unresolved conflicts between competing technical standards and tighter restrictions on data management rules globally. Despite the need for better IoT device security, removing barriers to adoption is less than likely any time soon.
Machine-to-machine, or M2M, is a broad label that can be used to describe any technology that enables network devices to exchange information and take actions without the manual assistance of humans. .
Mostly led by the automotive and transportation industries, eSIMS also contributes to tracking operations in healthcare, smart mobility, utilities and other sectors. But eSIM technology remains controversial so far, noted Noam Lando, CEO and co-founder of global connectivity provider Webbing.
Webbing provides enterprise-grade solutions for Fortune 500 and IoT/M2M companies, as well as an embedded solution for a variety of manufacturers worldwide. The deployment is part of a phased process to ensure a secure and continuous Internet connection for all devices, no matter where in the world they are.
Lando said that “eSIM technology is a game-changer in telecommunications. It completely digitizes the cellular subscription provisioning process. As with any technology that is disruptive, it is important to better understand its benefits, clear up misconceptions, and help with IoT usage.” There are a lot of debates and discussions around it for its effect on expediting matters.”
Why all the commotion?
We asked Lando to go down the circuit boards to find out why eSIM technology is causing such an industry-wide uproar.
TechNewsWorld: Is the technology upgraded in eSIMS worth the current turmoil?
Noam Lando: eSIM technology promises cost-effective connectivity establishment and maintenance that is accessible anywhere in the world, regardless of device manufacturing or deployment as well as ultimate control. With the promise of eSIM technology, enterprises can scale their IoT deployments globally, reducing total ownership and business process management costs and shortening time to market.
This generates a lot of hype, especially when you have device makers like Apple, Microsoft, and Google that have eSIM as a standard feature in their new devices.
I understand a “BUT” here. It always takes BUT in the works. So what is the big but around eSIM development?
Lando: However, when companies look deeper into implementing eSIM technology, they realize that there are two standards: consumer and machine-to-machine (M2M). They are not sure which standard to use and often feel that the implementation of eSIM technology is not as easy for their IoT devices as it is for smartphones, laptops and tablets.
Therefore, there is a lot of discussion about the two standards and their pros and cons, especially around M2M.
What are the drawbacks of standard sim?
Lando: For traditional SIM cards, carrier provisioning is done at the manufacturing level. They can only host one profile and are not reprogrammable. That’s why you need a new SIM when switching cellular providers. It is not ideal for IoT deployment. Especially the global ones.
Once the SIM is implemented, you have vendor lock-in. With thousands and even millions of devices in IoT deployments, it is impractical to change SIM cards when you want to change wireless carriers. This requires site visits, and it can be physically difficult to access the card.
In addition, issues complying with the global trend to impose regulatory requirements on communication services and data management. These include restrictions on data leaving countries and global enterprises requiring localized deployment with local wireless carriers.
This requires the storage, management and deployment of multiple wireless carrier-specific product SKUs that increase production and logistics costs.
The attraction towards eSIM seems to be evident. What are the main benefits?
Lando: eSIM technology provides a robust, scalable solution to the limitations of traditional SIMs. What makes eSIM unique is the technological advancement made in UICC, the SIM’s software, now called eUICC.
That new technology follows a new standard developed by GSMA. It is remotely programmable and reprogrammable, can host multiple cellular carrier subscriptions, and simplifies the selection, contracting, and onboarding of cellular providers with over-the-air (OTA) provision.
I think another but works here. What are the unresolved issues with eSIM replacement?
Lando: Consumer and M2M are implemented differently. Consumer Standard targets consumer devices such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops, wearables, and other IoT devices with end-user interactive environments. It is secure by design, can host multiple wireless carrier profiles, and features carrier swap. However, it is designed for private consumer use.
How suitable are eSIMs for other uses?
Lando: The M2M standard targets industrial M2M and IoT devices such as cars, water meters, trackers, smart factories, and other components used in industrial, non-end-user interactive environments.
The M2M eSIM standard is also secure by design. It facilitates carrier migration and, in theory, provides remote centralized management and provision of carrier profiles. However, it is not as cut and dry as it seems.
That said, why isn’t the upgrade so promising yet?
Lando: M2M eSIM implementation is cumbersome, time consuming, and has long capital investment cycles. Implementing this requires collaboration between the enterprise, eSIM manufacturers and wireless carriers during the manufacturing process.
What are the biggest misconceptions about eSIM for IoT?
Lando: The biggest misconception about eSIM for IoT is that the benefits it provides to consumer devices can be implemented on IoT. Enterprises quickly realize that they have to implement a separate standard for IoT/M2M, which requires SM-DP (Subscription Manager – Data Preparation) and SM-SR (Subscription Manager – Data Preparation) to provision and manage carrier subscriptions remotely. Subscription Manager – Secure Routing). The M2M standard is cumbersome, requiring a substantial investment of money and time to organize the implementation of a wireless carrier.
Where do you see the fight between competing standards headed?
Lando: When looking at mobile data connectivity, there is no big difference between M2M and IoT device requirements when it comes to remote SIM provisioning. If anything, the benefits of eSIM (eUICC) technology are greater for M2M devices as they usually have a longer life cycle, and the demand for changing carriers at some point is high.
This can be for commercial or technical reasons. Hence, M2M devices are also likely to get eSIM instead of standard SIM.
Developers support eSIM to solve IoT and embedded firmware patch issues. eSIM hardware and eUICC components are certified in accordance with GSMA’s Security Accreditation Scheme (SAS). This guarantees a very high level of security. In addition, cellular connectivity is secure by design: data is encrypted, and users are securely identified.
What are the most important problems facing IoT and embedded technologies?
Lando: One of the most important problems facing IoT deployments is dealing with carrier lock-in and various global regulatory requirements. In such cases, enterprises require local deployment and local wireless carriers. Enterprises with global deployments need the flexibility to easily and efficiently change carriers to meet local regulations.
Why are companies not actively adopting eSIM technology?
Lando: From our experience, companies want the promise of eSIM technology, but the current ecosystem fails to provide it. The two eSIM standards disregard the need for enterprises to manage their own fleet of devices.
On the one hand, enterprise-based devices such as mobile phones, laptops, tablets, scanners, and so on are covered under the consumer standard. Hence companies do not have complete control over setting up and managing career profiles with centralized eSIM management. The consumer standard requires the end user with the device to consent to the carrier profile being installed.
Meanwhile, the M2M standards for IoT deployments are cumbersome. They require a substantial investment of money and time to organize the implementation of wireless carriers.
It also limits the choice of customers due to a complex implementation to switch between carriers.
This is why we have developed WebbingCTRL, an eSIM, with a management platform that can be easily and remotely configured as the profile of any wireless carrier, paving the way for the adoption of eSIM technology in the IoT space. does.