The eSIM and iSIM ecosystem is on track to deliver massive IoT

As connected devices ship in far greater volumes, the traditional approach of installing a plastic SIM card at the point of use is no longer viable. For many connected devices, the costs of this level of customisation are too great for the business case to bear and many smaller IoT devices simply don’t have enough space to accommodate traditional SIM card sockets. To drive economies of scale, a simplified approach is needed that enables manufacturers of connected goods to integrate SIM functionality at the point of manufacture, before the device is shipped to the end user country.

Kigen featured in IoT Now
10th November 2021

The integrated SIM (iSIM) technology can reduce time-to-market and streamline supply chains by enabling manufacturers to have a single, global stock keeping unit (SKU) for a product rather than needing to manufacture several different versions to take account of variations in network providers across multiple markets. From contract manufacturer, testing and integration to end market deployment, manufacturers need to ensure that their devices are secure by design as well able to connect out of the box in all markets the product is intended for.

This isn’t a typical OEM’s area of expertise and most organisations that deploy connected devices do not focus on understanding different cellular connectivity options from different operators across multiple countries as a core part of their business. Therefore, the SIM ecosystem needs to come together to enable flexibility, security and seamless access from chipset to module to device maker, and ultimately onwards to the customer. This must be done in a way that makes manufacturers and end users confident in the technology and trusting of their ecosystem partners.

The good news is that this ecosystem is in place and maturing rapidly. Recent developments have seen AT&T and Kigen announce they are collaborating to help customers streamline their supply chains and reduce time-to-market for enterprises that want to utilise embedded SIM (eSIM) and iSIM. Kigen’s SIM OS data generation and key management services will enable AT&T to offer a broader choice of iSIM offerings which will give greater flexibility to manufacturers who can source their AT&T SIM at the stage of the device manufacturing process that best suits the customer.

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The Kigen SIM OS portfolio will enable seamless access for customers to AT&T’s networks so they can use the operator’s LTE, LTE-M and narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) technologies. In addition, the flexible nature of eSIM and iSIM means that devices can be future-proofed by making them 5G-ready with a simple over-the-air upgrade.

Another example of how the iSIM ecosystem is maturing is the collaboration between Truphone, Sony Semiconductor Israel and Kigen. This sees Truphone’s IoT platform and connectivity run on Sony’s Altair cellular IoT chipsets, powered by Kigen’s iSIM OS. The collaboration provides global out-of-the-box connectivity to Sony’s Altair chipsets, positioning them to enable massive IoT deployment.

Working together in this way has resulted in securely integrated connectivity for Sony’s Altair chipsets. This has been enabled by the small footprint of Kigen’s iSIM OS software. The out-of-the-box model is a new approach that makes services and business cases that were previously impossible, viable for the first time. Previously, the cost and complexity of delivering SIMs and negotiating with different network operators was prohibitive for many use cases so the companies expect their collaboration to enable many new opportunities. It is becoming clear that iSIM and eSIM offer a new approach to connecting devices that eradicates substantial manufacturing and operational complexity at the same time as adding choice and flexibility. The mobile network operators and mobile virtual network operators are not excluded from this new value chain. They play a valuable role in providing their networks and supporting their customers’ needs for connectivity. However, by joining forces with ecosystem approaches such as Kigen’s, they can support their customers not only in their domestic markets but globally to bridge the worlds of end users and enterprises’ connected solution.

You can view the article here.