The Internet of Things remains one of the most exciting topics in Enterprise technology sectors, especially when combined with Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Anything-as-a-Service (XaaS). Progress towards 50 billion IoT-connected devices by 2020 remains positive, and developments in the Cellular IoT world look set to provide extra stimulus. NB-IoT and LTE CatM will help the cost and power envelope of Cellular IoT. eUICC and eSIM will provide future-proofing and alleviate lock-in constraints to emerge as a critical enabler for Enterprises across all industries to deploy IoT successfully.
So what is eUICC all about and what are the benefits?
The emergence of eUICC or eSIM technology has been largely driven by the Automotive sector as a means to increase flexibility, optimise costs and simplify logistics of production and global deployment. These benefits are equally applicable across a number of verticals including Healthcare, Wearables, Household Appliances, Retail, Enterprise and Industrial Equipment. Building assured and managed connectivity into devices speeds time-to-market and enables different business models like PAYG and XaaS.
The eUICC (embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card) adds flexibility and durability, both key qualities for devices deployed for a long period of time or in hard-to-reach locations. Applications (such as Automotive) that require mobility AND high-data will also benefit from the commercial and technical benefits of localised connectivity.
An eUICC-enabled SIM – either with chip (eSIM/MFF2) or card (2FF/3FF) form-factors – can store and switch between multiple different SIM profiles, all of which can be provisioned and managed remotely over-the-air (OTA). A bootstrap profile for out-of-the-box connectivity is the fundamental starting point and Arkessa’s global roaming solution is ideal for this. Commercial, technical or regulatory considerations will often require a connection to be localised once in the customer domain. For example, localising can remove some cost overheads of roaming (important for higher data applications), reduce data-transit latency or form part of a data sovereignty strategy where data must be kept in country. European data privacy laws are a key example of this.
OTA provisioning can also enable OEMs or Service Providers to switch profiles to take advantage of new tariffs or new mobile network technologies or providers. This can be done without visiting or recalling a device, representing a huge cost and time saving.
eUICC itself is also cost-effective, as it removes the cost overhead of roaming by localising the SIM profile.
With eUICC technology, it is possible to program SIMs remotely to enable them to join local MNO network subscriptions, meaning Enterprises benefit from near local rates, avoid roaming costs and adhere to local laws and regulations.
Global roaming SIMs are technically and commercially preconfigured to enable access to a defined set of mobile networks that provide global coverage. This is critical for global companies seeking to maximise in-country coverage via multiple networks. Every eUICC has a bootstrap profile. For Arkessa customers, this is the Arkessa Roaming Profile – enabling you to connect to 500+ networks globally and providing the ability for your eUICC to localise.
Simplify Logistics of Production and Global Deployment
Logistical issues are minimised with eUICC because a SIM can be installed in a device during the manufacturing stage, meaning devices are ready for use instantly, no matter where in the world they are deployed.
eUICC SIMs’ capacity to localise over-the-air gives manufacturers the opportunity to stock a single SIM Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) for all of their devices irrespective of where they are manufactured and deployed, therefore simplifying forecasting and logistics of products for a global marketplace.
In terms of deployment of devices, it is important to understand that eUICC is the technology that enables a SIM to work wherever it is in the world and switch profiles in a local way. This means that you only hold one single SKU, rather than multiple SKUs for the different regions and countries in which your product will be distributed, greatly simplifying your manufacturing line, and warehouse and testing processes. So forecasting, logistics and redistribution can all be massively improved.
The process also saves on production and distribution costs, as well as on inventory due to the need for just one single SKU.
eUICC is improving Connectivity, which is one of the keys in creating the solutions and services that will drive Enterprise IoT deployment. Connectivity simplifies and expands the potential of Anything-as-a-Service (XaaS), which could provide a guarantee on appliance uptime and performance. This is possible to deliver on because the appliance or service provider can pro-actively monitor and manage a machine remotely.
By connecting using Cellular IoT, service providers can remove consumer or other in-home 3rd party dependencies to establish a managed connection. This helps them track how an appliance is being used, maintain optimum energy efficiency, and significantly reduce the risk of costly breakdowns through pro-active servicing. It is also possible to provide feature enhancements throughout the products lifetime. With XaaS, providers are in constant remote contact with machines in service at customer premises. The collection and analysis of operational data is performed in a secure and private way and ultimately improves the customer’s experience with the machine vendor and service provider.
Arkessa partners with world-class technology providers to deliver eUICC, Subscription Management Services and global IoT connectivity solutions to Enterprise and Industrial customers. The Managed Connectivity Service provided by Arkessa enables the global scale, reliability and resilience needed for Enterprise-grade solutions in Automotive, Asset Tracking, Drones, Energy, Industrial, mPOS, Telematics, Vending, Vehicle Tracking and Wearables, whether the requirement is for high data 4G or 3G, low data cellular (2G) or the emerging low power Cellular IoT technologies (NB-IoT, LTE Cat M).