How on-demand connectivity is going to change the world

David Buhan of Gemalto

With everything from smart homes to autonomous cars, the integration of connected technology in everyday life is becoming a reality, says David Buhan, senior vice president of Mobile & IoT Services at Gemalto.

There are lots of reasons to be excited: Connected cars, wearable devices with seamless on-demand connectivity and Smart Cities are just a few of the new opportunities available to us by connecting devices to the internet.

Everyday objects and smart gadgets have the potential to enhance our way of living and revolutionise numerous aspects of our lives in a variety of different ways, from the office, to our home, and even to our cars. But before drawing benefit from these “things”, we need to turn them on first.

Why we need something new

We’ve been using SIM cards for decades, and they’ve been getting smaller and smaller as technology has advanced. The challenge with SIM cards is they’re fundamentally designed for the world of mobile – one connection, one contract, one engagement with your mobile operator.

This is still perfect for the world of the mobile phone, but in the IoT – with devices that might not need to be always connected, with connections that might be moving from one country to the next as a connected component on an airplane or a tracker on a parcel… it’d be helpful to be able to change connectivity provider dynamically.

The key to unlocking this ‘on-demand’ connectivity is the embedded SIM (eSIM). It is a reprogrammable SIM that comes in different shapes and sizes. It can be removable or soldered into the device. It offers new features that are useful for everyday consumers and allows devices and machines in industries like automotive and wearables to connect to the Internet through the mobile.

The embedded SIM is crucial to unleashing the connected devices market and will be mandatory for some new devices, for example a car, which might stay active for a very long time and change users repeatedly in its life.

In addition, a soldered eSIM allows manufacturers to protect it against things like dust and water, making it more robust and resistant, and in devices such as a smart watch it allows for more space, meaning devices can become smaller and smarter, and improve things like battery life which benefit the consumer.

The eSIM is very smart and allows an end user to change mobile operator through a simple download. So, if a contract on one network is finishing, and they’d like to swap to a new operator for a better deal, they could do so themselves, without visiting the operator’s shop.

No more swapping SIM cards! For a manufacturer, such as Sony Mobile, Remote SIM Provisioning means being able to get rid of the physical SIM tray, allowing for slimmer, sleeker devices.

For industry, this is very useful, as it’s possible to put the eSIM in a machine, and protect it from heat or being bashed about by soldering it to the other computer chips. Then the owner can update his or her settings remotely, saving time swapping the cards, and ensuring that the SIM cannot be damaged.

The opportunities presented by eSIMs are huge for consumer electronics, mobile network operators, automotive companies and industrials, and provide the key to unlocking the Internet of Things. For example, Microsoft is bringing eSIMs and On-Demand-Connectivity to the next wave of Windows 10 devices, making On-Demand-Connectivity a feature of the world’s most widespread computer operating system.

Expanding the mobile device ecosystem

On demand connectivity means that the mobile device ecosystem is no longer limited to mobile phones. It opens new possibilities and allows OEMs to develop new user experiences. It allows operators to diversify connectivity services, expand into connected cars, industrial routers, drones and wearables, all of which can be powered by cellular connectivity under a single contract. There are a number of ways in which this could change our lives.

Connected cars

Connected cars will become commonplace on the roads within the next ten years, with the driver’s role becoming less and less important, as more autonomous features are built in. However, the progress of self-driving cars relies on the provision of seamless connectivity.

These connected modules will be able to curb vehicle emissions, optimise engine efficiency, and improve driver safety by monitoring engine performance and providing real-time feedback to drivers via a dashboard display. By ensuring peak performance, vehicles can become more efficient and safer.

More powerful wearables

With on-demand connectivity wearables are going to be more powerful in the future, thanks to embedded SIMs and remote SIM provisioning. For instance, watching television on a smartwatch could become commonplace, as could making a phone call via connected jewellery.

Users will be able to connect and make calls or access internet services with their portable devices without having to take their smartphone with them, or committing to multiple monthly subscriptions with a connectivity provider.

Greater business potential

Businesses will benefit from the increase in data, enabling them to better engage with consumers and provide a personalised, customer-centric service. Companies will be able to better track behaviour and respond to users’ needs, offering targeted advice and rewards.

In addition, organisations that embrace the IoT can make more intelligent decisions, thanks to being able to evaluate risks more effectively and benefitting from more accurate market projections.

On-demand connectivity and embedded SIMs will be crucial in powering the connected world of the future, although it’s important the right standards are in place to be able to bring a seamless connectivity experience to the end consumer.

The possibilities being created by the IoT seem endless, with on-demand connectivity providing the key, and it is set to have an enormous impact on our lives over the next few years. It’s an exciting time – technology has the ability to transform the world as we know it, creating new opportunities, and making our lives more convenient than ever before.

The author of this blog is David Buhan, senior vice president of Mobile & IoT Services at Gemalto

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow OR @jcIoTnow

FEATURED IoT STORIES

9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, iot home automation is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more
RECENT ARTICLES

Infineon and Rainforest Connection create real-time monitoring system to detect wildfires

Posted on: October 22, 2021

Munich and San Jose, California, 21 October, 2021 – Infineon Technologies AG a provider of semiconductors for mobility, energy efficiency and the IoT, announced a collaboration with Rainforest Connection (RFCx), a non-profit organisation that uses acoustic technology, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning to save the rainforests and monitor biodiversity.

Read more

Infineon simplifies secure IoT device-to-cloud authentication with CIRRENT Cloud ID service

Posted on: October 21, 2021

Munich, Germany. 21 October 2021 – Infineon Technologies AG launched CIRRENT Cloud ID, a service that automates cloud certificate provisioning and IoT device-to-cloud authentication. The easy-to-use service extends the chain of trust and makes tasks easier and more secure from chip-to-cloud, while lowering companies’ total cost of ownership. Cloud ID is ideal for cloud-connected product companies

Read more