By the end of 2022, many of the largest wireless carriers will start the process or have already shut down their 3G networks. This is known as the 3G sunset or retirement, which basically means 3G devices based on this network technology will no longer be connected. Therefore, with many countries entering into their 3G sunsetting, initiatives to boost mobile connectivity and future proof mobile networks with low power wide area network (LPWAN) and 5G are likely to benefit the industry. This could be a game-changer, making it easier fr new equipment manufacturers to enter the market. It will also be an opportunity for new network suppliers, integrators, and mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) to support customers and businesses looking to access the benefits of 5G.
Secure by design approaches enabled many innovations in the pandemic and resulted in tremendous strides for product development and service implementation, bringing updatability to the forefront. Luckily, awareness regarding cyber security is rising. The media is publishing cybercrime stories on an almost daily basis, and manufacturers and service providers face considerable pressure from customers, governments, and regulators if they are found neglecting their security responsibilities.
Major network operators have recognized that leading the charge on secure by design solutions can be a huge differentiator, particularly keeping the aforementioned growth of the industry in mind. In 2021, we already saw further support from AT&T, KORE, Truphone, and Soracom, along with Google, Infineon, SIMCom, Qualcomm, Quectel, Sequans, and more that publicly show support for eSIM and the standards-based approach to iSIM. Watch this space closely as new leaders emerge.
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Most previous digital transformation efforts have been set in an era of ‘pave the road while we drive it’ in terms of security, i.e., to design and implement best practices in anticipation of standards. Now, GSMA’s collaborative efforts have built a key step towards secure by design, remotely provisioned, and updatable devices. The recently announced EAL5+ certification is another example where enhanced cellular level security is now readily available to devices that engage with sensitive data. This year may see the first full GSMA standard-compliant iSIM solution in the market, enabling turnkey solutions for a wider set of industries. Chip memory and computation capabilities will not be a limitation to those wanting to adopt standards-based iSIM.
Quantum computing operations are far faster than conventional capabilities and offer new possibilities. Equally, with such tremendously fast computational power, they can threaten even the best-known security algorithms. With service lifespans of IoT already extending to 15-20 years, these advanced life spans may well be taken as a key consideration in the next generation of IoT deployment. Chip manufacturers are already carving a path to enabling post-quantum security without taking up additional memory or increasing in size. With that, we will continue to see the perseverance for progress as the collective industry collaborates to create a lasting, sustainable, and positive impact in IoT.
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