In May the GSMA released the latest version of its IoT eSIM specification and this interesting piece by the research company Analysys Mason is worth a read: The GSMA’s new IoT eSIM specification is a step forward in realising the full potential of eSIMs in IoT.
Analysys Mason writes that:
- The original M2M specification of 2014 was “designed with input from various IoT players including SIM providers, chipset providers and MNOs” as well as “a few automotive OEMs…because the automotive industry led the early development of embedded SIMs”.
- However, the market for IoT eSIMs has subsequently evolved and expanded and the new IoT eSIM specification “is designed to adapt to changes in the IoT market since 2014…and to… address the two main problems with the M2M specification” which Analysys Mason identifies as:
- Inefficient profile switching process.The new specification enables profile provisioning process to be administered on the device side by either the SIM vendor or the device manufacturer rather than being managed by the MNO.
- Incompatibility with NB-IoT/LTE-M applications.“The M2M specification relies on SMS protocols to facilitate the profile switching process. NB-IoT does not support SMS, making eSIM and NB-IoT practically impossible to implement under the M2M specification”.
Analysys Mason also notes that “issues have also been reported with using eSIM in LPWA devices as the profile provisioning process under the M2M specification can drain the battery life of the device. The new IoT specification supports SIM provisioning without SMS and the specification has been simplified to suit low-power devices, including NB-IoT/LTE-M devices that can operate in power saving or ‘sleep-modes’ for long periods of time”.
The article summaries that “it will take time for device manufacturers, SIM vendors and operators to adapt to the new specification, and the old M2M specification will not disappear straight away. However, the eventual adoption of the new specification could help to accelerate the adoption of IoT, particularly for low-power and iSIM applications. If MNOs are to take advantage of this, they must embrace the new specification and the changes it will bring, both positive and negative”.
Telecom26, eSIMs and our path to industry standards
Telecom26 is strongly committed to driving the transition to eSIM; it will lower operational costs, reduce friction, and enhance choice for M2M, consumer and business customers.
We offer a complete range of solutions, enabling the remote provisioning of eSIM-capable devices from our GSMA-certified and compliant platforms. We also help other service providers to enable their own eSIM offers.
This includes the full range – eUICC (the ‘e’ version of the Universal Integrated Chip Card that’s at the heart of the eSIM solution), as well as bootstrap and operational profiles, and the profile enabling and management infrastructure in the form of SMDP+, SMDP and SMSR capabilities – covering both consumer and IoT devices. The result is an easy, fast means of provisioning eSIMs, in any compatible device, backed by complete subscription management for our customers.
We are also already leveraging 5G and eSIM technologies to enable more IoT services. Some players are still using 2G, but mainly IoT connectivity is currently split across LoraWan, NB-IOT, and LTE-M.
At Telecom26 we have been tracking the GSMA’s eSIM specification closely as it evolves and are investing in the adaptation of our eSIM IoT portfolio including our proprietary OpenWRT LPAd solution to support the new standards. We are already planning Proof of Concept trials for the new spec with our partners.
As a disruptor and nimble operator focused on providing enhanced connectivity for our customers, we are pleased that the new specification gives MNOs less control over the provisioning and swapping of eSIMs - and will likely increase competition as organisations can switch SIMs if they are unhappy with their chosen operator.
Likewise it is helpful that MNOs will need to invest less in deploying, maintaining, and troubleshooting complex M2M SMDP/SMSR deployments.
As discussed in this earlier blog Telecom26, MVNOs, and the rollout of eSIMs and IoT – what can we learn from MVNOs World Congress, IoT and eSIMs are two of the B2B services where companies like Telecom26 are already outpacing many traditional MNOs.
Thanks to our commitment to customer-first innovation, Telecom26 has already been providing these services for several years. In fact, the top two verticals for IoT are automotive and healthcare where we have produced some interesting case studies which can be found here.
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If you want to extend your connectivity options including moving to eSIMs and using IoT networks, or switch to a truly global provider to support your applications, then please get in touch.