Monday, February 6, 2023

Overcoming IoT Connectivity Challenges with eSIM Technology

Connectivity issues are becoming more common due to the exponential growth of IoT devices and smart IoT solutions across numerous industries, including agriculture, healthcare, transportation, oil, manufacturing, drones, and robotics. 

By 2025, the IDC predicts there will be about 75 billion connected IoT devices, and the total amount of data from these connected devices will amount to 79 points, four zettabytes (ZB). 

In light of this, what are the current connectivity issues businesses are having, how can powerful IoT services help us, and how can eSIM technology help businesses worldwide overcome these issues?

SIM (UICC) vs eSIM (eUICC) vs iSIM? 

Fortunately, network localization provided by eSIM or embedded UICC (eUICC) technology can alleviate these concerns.

Local network credential authentication as a service (CaaS) or over-the-air (OTA) download to the device ensures network localization, eliminating the risk of constant roaming and ensuring optimal performance. 

For example, suppose the device is deployed outside the home on a network using ready-to-use SIM technology. In that case, the device will roam to that network and suffer poor performance and high charges.

Instead, the same device with eSIM technology can dynamically switch between networks over the air (OTA). This avoids the risks associated with continuous roaming, solves network performance issues, and reduces the cost of replacing standard SIM cards with eSIM/eUICC technology. 

If you've worked in IoT, you may have heard terms like SIM, eSIM, or iSIM before. However, three differences in contexts can be challenging.

What is a Sim?

A SIM card is an integrated circuit that runs the Card Operating System (COS). A single International Mobile Subscriber Identification (IMSI) number and its associated key were designed to be stored securely on the first SIM card, created in 1991. 

Although these cards have been around for over 30 years and are still the default in many consumer electronics products, they need more technical capabilities for most IoT use cases.

What is Esim? 

The term "eSIM" can refer to electronic network access credentials downloaded to a device or an embedded SIM card. True eSIM technology allows device operators to remotely change networks over the air (OTA) and dynamically change the subscriber identity (i.e., IMSI). 

In addition, the technology supports OTA delivery of activity profiles when the device wakes up, allowing the IMSI stored on the card to change over time and be dynamically assigned/reassigned.

eSIM cards have different form factors comparable to regular SIM cards, as they can be physical chip-attached devices (2FF/3FF/4FF). However, unlike traditional simulation life, ESIM can also weld the device on the motherboard (MFF2). 

Using classic SIM/UICC technology, mobile network operators (MNO) must install network company information on SIM cards. On the other hand, network credentials can be downloaded after distribution thanks to eSIM/eUICC technology.

What is an iSim?

"Integrated SIM," commonly referred to as iSIM, is a relatively new phrase. ISIM does not rely on a separate memory chip or a controller like eSIM. With iSIM, all the features and benefits of eSIM are transferred to the device's operating system and permanent hardware.

Before moving into how Esim solves the IoT connection activation challenge, we must understand which obstacles have hindered an invisible connection.

1. Different devices of different MNO networks

In connection with several global markets, many service providers use various product variants connected to the unit to support specific MNO networks in their destination countries /regions. 

The disadvantage of this comprehensive product is to perform and manage logistics for various product variants (or "Sku") to make a set of costs-rich and time-consuming tasks.

2. Keep the connection between the life cycle of the equipment 

When the IoT device is installed, it must be maintained in your life. While IoT devices can last 10-15 years, contracts with MNOs typically last only 5-6 years. Terminating these contracts may result in disconnection between these devices and their network. Therefore, maintaining IoT connectivity and SLAs over the long term requires device/SIM card updates.

3. Complex and lengthy installation

Traditionally, before deploying equipment to a site, technicians must test connectivity to determine which MNO network is best for the site. The technician will then inform you which MNO device needs to be installed. 

To further complicate this already tedious task, each installation technician must carry a full set of MNO-specific equipment to install the correct equipment for the optimal network, further complicating the installation process.

So How Can Service Providers Streamline Activating Iot Connectivity? 

By leveraging the power of eSIM technology combined with the capabilities of IoT modules, secure digital ID devices, and device lifecycle management solutions, service providers can simplify the activation of IoT devices while saving the cost and time associated with product development and manufacturing. 

Below are three key ways a complete solution can help IoT connectivity-enabled service providers.

    Simplified manufacturing process and logistics: eSIM can connect any device installed by a service provider to any MNO network, regardless of product type. For service providers, this eliminates the need to produce multiple product variants to support different MNO networks. 

    Remote maintenance: eSIM technology allows service providers to update their devices remotely instead of sending technicians periodically update devices and SIM cards when the MNO contract expires. Using the web portal, technicians can update a device's network provider from the comfort of their office, saving costs and time for unnecessary maintenance trips.

    Simplified installation: Devices with embedded SIMs can automatically select the best MNO network for a given installation location. As a result, technicians no longer have to spend hours traveling to the field and testing equipment to meet connectivity requirements.

The IoT industry is still evolving. We are moving towards a smarter world. Maintaining a strong and reliable connection is critical. With eSIM technology, we can simplify the activation and management of many IoT devices in our line of business.


Card OS, platform, and operator availability differences affect the end user's connectivity experience and control. Similar problems arise with iSIM, but the Internet of Things manufacturing channels are less free to change the default connectivity option if they don't like it. 

Processors will provide more tailored options, such as letting you choose your iSIM OS environment and networking platform. More innovations are coming your way!