We read it, we know it, we experience it: IoT is booming. But along with this boom, security issues are increasing just as fast. The secure transactions industry builds security upon solutions that have been demonstrated for years: SIM cards. After over 30 years of mobile phones, everyone is conscious that SIM cards not only allow connectivity to networks and keep codes and cryptographic keys securely but are also equipped with cryptography functions that make the SIM a security token in itself.
eSIM simplifies production and logistics
To adapt to the IoT environment, SIM cards now come in the form of embedded SIMs, or eSIMs, that are SIM chips that can be integrated into all kinds of devices. eSIM technology not only allows a device to inherit decades of security experience from mobile communications for use in the IoT industry but also to bring new advantages to device manufacturers, systems integrators and fleet managers. For manufacturers and integrators, having to keep inventory for a single SKU for eSIM streamlines their operations as it simplifies and reduces costs for inventory management while allowing them to deliver their products with instant connectivity right out-of-the-box.
eSIMs bring fleet managers control over their connectivity along with a means to provide their users with a wide set of network options. By installing several operator subscriptions or profiles in an eSIM, users benefit from connectivity redundancy: having several connection options ensures a continuity of service and a highly reliable quality of service, both key factors in IoT.
The automotive industry set to be one of the first beneficiaries of eSIM
eSIMs bring additional flexibility to all kinds of device manufacturers, they also bring an innovative approach to the traditional issues met in the IoT industry. For instance, in the automotive business where eSIM is touted to make the greatest early impact, manufacturers are able to streamline their operations and logistics by having a single SKU for eSIMs with a single profile installed in all their vehicles at the point of production for mobile connectivity. This dramatically simplifies inventories and operations. The initial eSIM personalisation, which refers to the upload of the SIM’s unique information to its smart chip, allows users and fleet manager out in the field the freedom to install multiple operator profiles on-demand, bringing a new era of optimal connectivity options.
When a vehicle is manufactured, the vendor typically installs an eSIM network profile in the onboard eSIM, that will enable connectivity in a given set of locations. Generally, this initial profile personalisation is executed by the eSIM provider as the data must be securely encrypted and protected by the relevant digital certificates. Then, during the lifecycle of the vehicle, remote SIM provisioning (RSP) allows profiles to added, deleted, enabled and disabled Over The Air to cope with the user needs. These requirements can vary from coverage in different locations or simply cost-efficient pricing. With eSIM remote provisioning, fleet managers are able to remotely and securely update their SIMs in their vehicles with a new-found degree of speed and cost-efficiency never experienced before.
This allows providers great flexibility and, in some cases, enables compliance with specific regulations, for instance, in India where having the ability to connect to at least two networks is mandatory. These connectivity changes can even be automated to the end-user by using SIM applets such as a Smart Network Switching applet that automatically selects a network based on set criteria such as signal strength or tariff rate.
In addition, the eSIM can be used for the eCall functionality, allowing the vehicle to automatically call the nearest emergency centre in case of an accident, as standardised by the EU authorities. The in-vehicle telemetry can support predictive maintenance initiatives whilst the big data obtained can enhance and speed up the research and development for manufacturers.
As eSIMs provide a significant amount of value across the entire automotive value chain from manufacturers and service providers to fleet managers and end-users, everyone benefits from a more seamless operation reinforcing their relationship with the vehicle and their bond to the brand.
Workz provides secure eSIMs and management services for the IoT industry
eSIMs bring benefits across the IoT value chain. Workz is one of only six eSIM providers in the world to offer fully GSMA-certified lifecycle management of the eSIM across its production, personalisation and provisioning. We have successfully deployed both M2M eSIM and consumer eSIM connectivity in over five continents for device manufacturers, governments, and mobile operators. If you’re thinking about using eSIM to solve your connectivity needs, then feel free to get in touch with us by leaving a comment below.