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What Most Companies Misunderstood about eSIMs for IoT: Dispelling Three Misconceptions

Embedded SIM, or eSIM, has the potential to completely revolutionize large IoT deployments that move between cellular carrier regions around the globe. The distinguishing characteristic of eSIM that make it so advantageous to the IoT manufacturer is that it can support multiple profiles, thus eliminating the need to install different SIM cards depending on where the IoT devices are deployed. Instead of roaming, the eSIM has a pre-installed profile to enable cellular connectivity to the preferred carrier that operates in a new region. 

Unfortunately, several myths and misconceptions about eSIM prevent this new technology from living up to its potential. It’s easy to think of new technologies like eSIM as a magic bullet, or something that is just going to solve a connectivity issue. While eSIM should provide a seamless experience when it comes to using multiple carriers, it may require more effort upfront than traditional SIM technology to make it all work. 

Here are the three most common misconceptions. Each was covered in detail by our CTO and Product Manager in a recent webinar.

Misconception One: Profile downloading at scale is manageable and can be completed ad hoc from the field

While it may be simple to execute a single profile download for a single device, when this operation is repeated hundreds and thousands of times in the field, potential for failure and inconsistency increases dramatically due to variables such as cellular coverage. Those IoT devices that fail during this process may require costly and labor-intensive assistance.

Ideally, companies take the time to download all necessary eSIM profiles before deploying their IoT devices so that they automatically switch profiles when traveling between regions. When preloaded profiles must be replaced, new profiles should be carefully selected to prevent a vicious cycle of downtime. 

Fortunately, a competent IoT connectivity partner can help you avoid this problem by preplanning and preloading the appropriate profiles before deployment.

For misconception number one, our recommended best practices are summarized below:

Real World Challenges with eSIM for IoT

Recommended Best Practices

Complex processes required large scale profile downloads

Eliminate download failure risks with pre-installed profiles 

Complex processes will result in high failure rates

Start with target profiles up-front to speed up deployment in key markets

Challenges increase with limited bandwidth IoT networks & battery powered IoT devices

Optimize profile selection with built-in network intelligence

Misconception Two: eSIMs eliminate connectivity risks for deployments

Think of eSIM technology as an enablement tool rather than a stand alone solution. There is currently no way to guarantee 100% connectivity, and simply adding every new profile on the market only clutters an eSIM.

While eSIM may make IoT deployment more robust down the line, significant risk still exists at the profile download stage. Profile additions are operationally complex. Other variables such as budget, time constraints, and your network provider’s negotiations with carriers will also impact the success of your eSIM strategy.

Management, build, environment, and scalability must be perfectly synchronized in order to maximize the global connectivity of your deployment. No matter how sophisticated your eSIMs are, they are only as good as the chosen carrier network. An experienced IoT connectivity partner can help guide you through the design, selection, and deployment process to help minimize technological, operational, and business risks.

For misconception number two, our recommended best practices are summarized below:

Real World Challenges with eSIM for IoT

Recommended Best Practices

IoT deployments have different needs than consumer devices

De-risk initial deployments with targeted profiles for specific deployment locations

eSIM technology enables future flexibility but doesn’t guarantee it

Ensure required profiles are available at launch

Mass availability of profiles to a given IoT eSIM is not scalable

Ensure connectivity partner has the ability to minimize future challenges of adding new profiles

Misconception Three: Profile management is something a business can do on its own.

Enterprise IoT and eSIM management is very different from consumer eSIM management. Negotiating directly with multiple cellular providers is cost prohibitive and too time-consuming for most organizations that require cellular IoT connectivity. Additionally, most organizations need some technical assistance with network connectivity, because this is typically an area that is outside their domain of expertise.

Rather than managing so many responsibilities in house, companies should consider partnering with an experienced IoT connectivity provider who can manage carrier relations, secure the profiles, and provide technical assistance for integration and deployment of eSIM.

Partnering with an intelligent network provider like Aeris can save companies the time, money, and other hidden technical headaches that are associated with the adoption of eSIM technology. 

A network partner such as Aeris can also ensure the security of your deployment, manage eSIMs as a single device rather than multiple subscriptions, and leverage network intelligence to ensure that eSIMs automatically switch profiles as they travel between different carrier regions.

For misconception number three, our recommended best practices are summarized below:

Real World Challenges with eSIM for IoT

Recommended Best Practices

“Swivel-chair” operational challenge of multiple profiles

Prioritize operational and security processes

Complex operational environments increase costs

Ensure eSIMS are managed as a single device and not as multiple subscriptions

Scalable security is essential

Leverage intelligence at the network & platform level to automate profile selection and enable scale

Simplify Your eSIM Deployment with Aeris

Aeris has supported roughly half a million of eSIM deployments in the automotive industry for several years. It’s based on these real-world experiences, coupled with various customer engagements, that we realized that there is still a disconnect between the hype and reality. In addition to our technical know-how, we also have a dedicated team of highly experienced experts who are ready to help you embark on the exciting journey of eSIM adoption. Together with our unique approach that pairs machine learning with the eSIM solution, you have a smart eSIM with deep network intelligence that can automatically select the best profile to meet the unique requirement of your IoT devices no matter where they are in the world. 

Simplify your eSIM IoT deployment and make it more effective by emailing to request a product demo.

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