For years, SIM cards have done the same thing: facilitate the connection between a device and a network. If you wanted to change carriers, you had to physically remove the old SIM and insert a new one. Over the years, SIM cards got smaller, but otherwise didn't change much.
Now, there is a major update to how we connect to cellular networks: eSIM. eSIM, which stands for embedded SIM, allows a device to connect to multiple networks on the same SIM card. What's more, you can update the plan remotely – no physical SIM switch is required.
This flexibility opens up lots of possibilities for the connected fleet. eSIM can make it easier for IoT devices to connect to the cellular network, no matter where in the world they are. Between 5G and eSIM, it is an exciting time to invest in connected technologies for fleet.
The eSIM market is expected to reach $5.71 billion by 2030 because of its far-reaching impact on the telecom industry but it is well-positioned to be a gamechanger for fleet, as well.
eSIM can put fleets in a better position to leverage connected technologies and networks. Whether it's in Europe, Asia, Africa, or the Americas, a shipment can pass through several countries in one trip. This means that network connections need to change as trucks pass into new territories and can be disrupted. With every border crossing, cellular networks can change and coverage can be disrupted.
eSIM makes network switching virtually seamless. This is possible in part thanks to eSIM’s capacity to receive Over-the-Air (OTA) commands, which essentially allows a device with an eSIM to be connected to different networks through a remote interference instead of a physical one.
This gives fleets the possibility to track vehicles and products across borders and various coverage zones with ease. As fleets incorporate more location-based devices, having the option to remotely adjust network connectivity will be crucial.
Vehicles are becoming more connected than ever before. There are 863 million connected cars across the United States, European Union, China, and Japan. This number is expected to grow as connectivity becomes more commonplace.
With so many connected vehicles, vast amounts of data need to be processed quickly. The information collected in real-time from trucks en route may be used for several purposes. For example, an AI camera could be running consistently to determine if a driver is distracted or if there are road hazards.
With that in mind, it's more important than ever to keep up connectivity whenever, wherever a fleet may go. eSIM is better equipped to connect to local networks, which keeps connectivity effortless.
One of the most useful aspects of eSIM for fleet is Zero-Touch Provisioning, which is a method of remotely configuring devices to a network.
Zero-touch provisioning is geared at helping providers save the time it would take to manually configure network devices. From an IT, as well as a logistics perspective, this also allows work to be done at a much larger scale.
For fleets, the ability to access and control device connections remotely is a gamechanger. A large, modern fleet can use thousands of connected devices. If those devices require manual intervention, that's a massive productivity loss. This can be especially tricky if devices are en route, in remote places, or scattered across different worksites. Zero-touch provisioning avoids much of this productivity loss, saving fleets time and money.
The benefits of eSIM don't end there.
eSIM is a more sustainable choice than traditional SIM cards. An eSIM chip is significantly smaller than a SIM card, so it requires less plastic. Because only one is needed per device, multiple SIM cards do not have to be used just to switch one device’s connectivity.
eSIM also helps to improve a fleet's overall cellular data connectivity infrastructure. As digitalisation advances across industries, having future-proof technology is key to preventing upgrades that will just need to be replaced again in a few years. Future proofing is especially valuable for the fleet industry due to the time and investment required to convert analogue processes to digital ones across an entire fleet and to update existing systems.
KORE Fleet is an expert in helping shipping industry experts understand and leverage technology for a smarter, more connected fleet. KORE specialises in providing global connectivity designed to meet fleet needs with the KORE OmniSIMTM. The KORE OmniSIM is an award-winning eSIM offering that simplifies IoT connectivity across a fleet and provides expansive global coverage with one chip. Check out our recent webinar, "Rise Above: Advancing Technologies in Fleet", to learn more.
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