First introduced in 2016, eSIM is picking up pace as an opportunity for organisations and OEMs to access future-proofed, global connectivity that works out of the box. Projections state that by 2025, more than 2.7 billion consumer eSIM devices will be shipped and 1.4 billion IoT eSIMs will be shipped.
IoT is well positioned to benefit from eSIM in verticals such as industrial, healthcare, fleet, assets and logistics, agriculture, connected vehicles, and much more. eSIM technology allows organisations to deploy one SIM for the entire lifecycle of the device, mitigating concerns such as carrier or network lock-in and network changes or turndowns.
For security, eSIM can help in a few ways. An eSIM can be embedded or removable. For those applications that have concerns about SIM cards being stolen or replaced, an embedded SIM that has been soldered onto the device can address those concerns. For device-level security, the GSMA has recently created the IoT SAFE standard.
IoT SAFE stands for IoT SIM Applet For End-2-End Communication and enables the SIM as a standardised hardware Root of Trust to protect IoT data communications. IoT SAFE delivers a common procedure to secure IoT data communications with a reliable SIM, rather than using proprietary and possibly less secure hardware elements in the device.
According to the GSMA, 98 percent of surveyed respondents stated they wanted an end-to-end security infrastructure that begins with the device and ends with the cloud. IoT SAFE is a holistic, chip-to-cloud approach to IoT security.
Both technologies herald very similar benefits – out-of-the-box, future-proofed connectivity that lasts a device’s entire lifecycle. The key difference in iSIM is that it supports system-on-a-chip (SoC) architecture, which allows for less device real estate occupied by the SIM card. This matters particularly in devices that have less footprint, such as a wearable – such as those in healthcare or consumer products, like virtual reality headsets. These technologies are essentially two different options of the same technology and do not compete with one another.
KORE and Kigen presented at the eSIM Summit at MWC Barcelona on key trends in eSIM and were on hand afterward to answer questions about eSIM, IoT SAFE, and iSIM. Check out our 5 minute quickfire interviews live from the event to learn more about these technologies.
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