European companies are looking to dominate the next generation of eSIM and iSIM technologies for the Internet of Things (IoT).
ARM has spun out its SIM technology into a Belfast company called Kigen which has shipped over 2bn SIM, eSIM and integrated iSIMs. At the same time, Oasis Smart Sim in France is enabling the roll out of cloud-based eSIMs for the IoT.
Using physical SIM devices to provide cellular service to a node in the IoT limits the scalability. An eSIM uses an ID in a separate secure memory linked to the cloud for provisioning. An iSIM puts this into the processor to reduce the footprint even further.
“5G will drive a massive expansion in the number of things connected, heralding a new generation of billions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. We have worked with Kigen to develop standards for eSIM and iSIM security capabilities. These standards will ensure “root of trust” end-to-end IoT reliability, in the same way that we have come to expect from the SIM for over 25 years,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer at GSMA.
The shift highlights the move of embedded technology into the data centre coupled with new modem chip designs.
“Sequans is bringing a standards-based iSIM solution into its next generation of ultra-low power Monarch 2 LPWAN chipsets and modules,” said Georges Karam, CEO, Sequans Communications. “Sequans is offering the first fully EAL5+ compliant cellular solution in the market today that meets GSMA requirements. Sequans and Kigen have set up a global supply chain for secure manufacturing that is suited to serve fast-growth markets with high demands on privacy, security, low power, and long battery life such as e-health, smart metering, smart tags and asset tracking.”
Oasis in France has also shown a proof-of-concept for the world’s first cloud-based eSIM card service for IoT devices with Micron’s Authenta memory and Tata Communications.
Velios-As-A-Service completely digitizes the eSIM functionality and run it within a secure cloud architecture compliant with GSMA specifications. Connected devices will no longer need to onboard pre-provisioned SIMs or eSIMs and secure data is no longer stored in the object.
The cloud eSIMs are hosted in GSMA SAS-SM certified data centres in paris, France, expanding during 2021 and 2022.
The OS of Velios is an application server running on Linux in the data centre to provide a highly secure environment which implements very strict physical and logical access controls.The sensitive data is stored in a Hardware Security Module (HSM) with an application that runs on the device to communicate with the Velios server.
Kigen, based in Belfast, UK, has been incubated at ARM for three years developing new eSIM designs and integrated SIM (iSIM) for deployment with leading chipset providers, module vendors and network operators
Alif Semiconductor, KORE, Qualcomm Technologies and Sequans Communications have all adopted the iSIM in silicon which Kigen sees as the way forward for the IoT.
“If we are to accelerate global IoT innovation, security and trust for connected devices can never be an afterthought. By making iSIM the future foundation for trust in the IoT, Kigen, together with our partners, are offering all device-makers greater freedom in how they manufacture secure devices and deliver the services that matter most to their customers,” said Vincent Korstanje, Chief Executive Officer at Kigen.
French operator Orange has recently used Kigen’s GSMA IoT SAFE applet to simplify how IoT Service Providers can establish strong trust between devices and clouds such as Orange’s LiveObjects, Microsoft Azure IoT or AWS IoT clouds.
“Qualcomm Technologies supports the concept of integrated SIM as a means to reduce the cellular device cost in a manner that satisfies the security requirements of the cellular network owner. We have been collaborating with Kigen to enable the Kigen iSIM OS to leverage the low power and integrated security advantages of our widely adopted Qualcomm 9205 LTE Modem,” said Asaf Shen, Senior Director, Product Management at Qualcomm Technologies.
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