The defining feature of an iSIM is that it's not a physical entity; instead, it's a SIM functionality embedded into the chipset of the device.
This innovation eliminates the physical constraints that have traditionally governed the use of SIM cards, ushering in a new era of flexibility and efficiency. Replacing the SIM card as a physical component, frees up critical space in component layout and device design. It also eliminates the logistics associated with physical SIM cards, such as shipping costs, potential for loss or damage, and the time and labour required for installation, replacement and assembly processes. This opens up possibilities for even smaller IoT devices, and substantial cost savings for high volume productions.
Today the most commonly used SIM solution for IoT devices has been the embedded SIM (eSIM), usually on the MFF2 form-factor, directly soldered as a component on the PCB of the device. Together with the eUICC standard, meaning that SIM profiles can be delivered Over-The-Air (OTA) through the Connectivity Providers Remote SIM Provisioning (RSP) platforms, the customer have benefited from a standardised solution from the mobile industry, and having the security of being able to do operator changes remotely. iSIM also adheres to this standard, and is supporting eUICC, so both customers and Connectivity Providers can utilise the already existing RSP platforms.
As a global expert in IoT connectivity, Com4 is constantly looking towards the future of SIM technology, and iSIM stands out as a promising contender. The opportunities it presents align with the current trends and demands of the rapidly evolving IoT ecosystem. IoT devices are becoming more diverse, sophisticated, and ubiquitous, and this evolution demands connectivity solutions that can keep up with the pace, not just in terms of bandwidth but also flexibility, ease of deployment, power efficiency, and security. iSIM, with its innovative approach and inherent advantages, checks all these boxes.
The Benefits of iSIM
iSIM technology can transform business operations and significantly lower the total cost of ownership in four ways:
Efficient Design: By eliminating the need for a physical SIM card, iSIM simplifies the device design, logistics and reduces production costs. It also saves space in the device, which can be particularly beneficial in compact IoT devices.
Security: iSIM provides the SIM functionality in a tamper proof element within the device chipset, with the same GSMA approved security as other standardised SIM form factors.
Reduced Energy Consumption: The integration of iSIM within the device's SoC leads to lower and more predictable power consumption, extending the battery life of IoT devices and reducing energy costs.
Operational Efficiency: The remote provisioning capability of iSIM can utilise the same RSP platforms already offered by Connectivity Providers, so that SIM profiles still can be managed remotely within standard solutions. For large-scale IoT deployments this can lead to significant operational efficiencies and cost savings.
The roadmap for iSIM
Already now module vendors that we collaborate with have products available that support iSIM. We see that the first versions support LPWA bands, which makes sense for gaining the benefits for design constraints and power efficiency. More chipset vendors are in the process of including the iSIM functionality and the needed secure element within the chipset for even more module types. So we can clearly see that this is being an adopted standard within the industry. We will still find the eSIM being used in many more products for the years to come, however for new innovative designs that want to take advantage of the benefits that iSIM can give, it will be good timing to start exploring it now.
As a global leader in IoT connectivity, Com4 is committed to ensuring businesses of all sizes have access to the latest in SIM technology. With our comprehensive IoT Connectivity Management Platform, expert team, and dedication to innovation, we are well-equipped to guide businesses through the transition to iSIM and help them seize the opportunities of the future.
Com4 is ready to collaborate with customers interested in developing products utilizing iSIM technology. We offer a comprehensive package including evaluation boards, modules, and professional services to support the design phase of the cellular connectivity and iSIM solutions.