Mobility reports show that the Internet of Things (IoT) will have about 25 billion connections by 2025. This will result in increased demands for connectivity on cellular technology and networks. eSIM technology is a potential catalyst for managing cellular connectivity digitally. Even though this technology has its challenges, it is bringing together both IoT technology and connectivity suppliers like never before.
IoT has practically limitless potential and applications across industries, especially when it comes to connectivity. Connectivity service providers (CSPs) and OEMs need to figure out how to work together to add value, flexibility and simplicity to the business. This will quicken the pace at which CSPs can mass transition from SIM cards to eSIM technology.
Seamless Connectivity Bootstrapping
Bootstrapping of connectivity is one of the fundamental values that eSIM technology adds to IoT. Bootstrapping is a process used to connect devices to a trusted network, along with device management, connectivity management or any other necessary management servers. IoT devices are normally deployed on a very large scale, hence the bootstrapping process must be standardised and fully automated.
With more and more devices choosing eSIM technology, enterprises will find themselves offering a seamless onboarding experience that will connect their devices in a secure, fully automated manner to the network. It also opens avenues for new IoT devices to be manufactured with an eSIM carrying a device bootstrap identity. If this journey continues as projected, very soon IoT devices manufactured with eSIM technology will all be connected, secure, managed and cloud ready.
Why connectivity suppliers should adopt eSIM technology
Major business and technology critics have no doubt that eSIM technology is ready to transform connectivity forever. eSIM technology is particularly valuable when it comes to connectivity.
More services to sell:
For mobile network operators (MNOs), more connections mean a larger number of new categories of connected devices. This includes previously unconnected devices such as printers smart watches and kitchen applianceswater meters. As eSIM technology spreads, these MNOs will also become eSIM suppliers. More connected devices will translate to increased mobile subscriptions and services.
eSIM technology helps MNOs to not only advance their sales, but also increase their range of offerings to include services that are compatible with eSIM-enabled devices.
More reliable connections:
On a network with hundreds of thousands of nodes and connected devices, security is a major concern. Therefore, there need to be restrictions on the types of networks your devices can connect to. The level of security on mobile networks is extremely high, compared to the free nature of open Wi-Fi networks such as those found in public places, airports etc.
With eSIM technology, devices never run out of local networks to use. Since users can manage choose from several operator profiles simultaneously, they no longer need to look for local networks in the case of poor connectivity no longer exists. They can simply switch to a better operator profile without compromising on your network’s security.
More manageable devices and users:
When it comes to devices, legacy organisations use a one-to-many model. This means IT managers manually deal with numerous device pools to be considered as nodes later, managing different profiles, access rights, removal of outdated nodes, addition of updated nodes and much more. As organisations grow and scale, this process becomes increasingly difficult to follow manually.
eSIM technology makes this task significantly easier. There is no longer a need to distribute physical SIM cards in case the organisation switches operators for example. eSIM technology allows for personalised profiles and adjustable communication and data plans. During this process, costs are optimised too, all this thanks to the remote management tools that are possible through digitalisation.
Benefits of Flexibility
A global transition to eSIM technology is key to the advancement of cellular IoT. eSIM offers flexibility like never before to consumers, communications service providers and enterprises. As a key component of connectivity services, it makes the selection, contracting and onboarding of CSPs easier. Consumers no longer need to look for individual network-supported physical SIM cards. It also significantly reduces the production and wastage within enterprises that is generated when millions of SIM cards are replaced over time. eSIM-enabled devices also improve on remote network access and connectivity.
One thing that is overlooked is that eSIM users, both individuals and enterprises, can still enjoy legacy SIM services like roaming, local breakout services etc wherever needed. A key innovation within eSIM technology is that eSIM can trigger a localisation service and gives users the flexibility to choose a new CSP to remotely provision and activate a new subscription to their devices whenever needed, over the air without having to change SIM cards individually.
Global Access to eSIM Technology
eSIM technology has own challenges, but its adoption will grow and continue to coexist with traditional SIM technology as markets require. The development of eSIM technology is key for wider acceptance of cellular IoT. To enable broader adoption of eSIM capabilities and development of new offerings, CSPs and IoT enterprises need to work together.