Connected IoT devices such as sensors, object trackers, security cameras, intelligent traffic lights, wearables and smart meters are proliferating at a rapid pace. A significant number of connected IoT devices use cellular technology for communication. 5G is setting the stage for the next wave of devices to enable rapid IoT connectivity at an even greater scale. NB-IoT and LTE-M, which are low power, wide area (LPWA) communication technologies designed for IoT applications, will continue evolving as part of the 5G evolution.
As IoT devices of varied capabilities enter the market, users are looking for seamless, secure connectivity and software upgrades after they purchase the product. Security and remote management can be addressed with scalable and cost efficient solutions based on Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) technology integrated directly into chipsets. Integrated SIM (iSIM) technology provides strong identification and authentication of devices to the network and can act as the trust anchor for secure communications at a lower cost and potential higher security than discrete devices. In addition to the security benefits for users, integrated SIM helps mobile network operators protect their networks from fraud and misuse.
Users like the security that SIM provides, but the traditional SIM technology ties each SIM card to a single mobile network operator. To change network operators, users need to swap out SIM cards—fairly easy for a mobile phone, but more challenging for small form-factor or widely deployed IoT devices with built-in SIMs, such as smart meters used in thousands of households.
New IoT devices need to accept credentials issued by different network operators, and often multiple operators at a time, which is a very different model from the operator-centric model of just a few years ago. To successfully scale and secure IoT devices, system architects are designing in operator flexibility at the silicon level.
This article showcases how end-to-end iSIM solutions enable seamless secure IoT cellular connectivity, providing companies with a scalable model for management and monetization of millions of devices.