BICS partners with Thales to simplify eSIM integration for IoT

Never in the technology’s history have embedded subscriber identity modules (eSIMs) been given a bigger marketing boost than with Apple’s launch of the eSIM-only iPhone 14, and looking to extend the technology to enterprises, BICS and Thales have announced a collaboration to unlock the potential of the internet of things (IoT) by removing barriers to eSIM adoption in IoT devices.

The partnership between connectivity and global IoT enabler BICS and global technology company Thales is based on the shared belief that despite growing increasingly common in modern smartphones, enterprises have struggled to adopt eSIMs for IoT devices, such as smart meters or smart appliances, due to the level of integration required with mobile operators.

To solve this, Thales and BICS are working to remove the need for complex integrations with mobile network operators, instead allowing eSIMs to connect directly to an operator’s remote SIM provisioning platform. They will engineer a “pioneering” eSIM activation solution for IoT devices, with BICS as connectivity provider partner.

This approach, they say, has been proven in the consumer electronics space, and is now bringing ease of use to IoT implementation. As a result, the companies say the eSIM Connectivity Activation service allows for greatly simplified logistics and manufacturing due to the need for only a single stock keeping unit (SKU).

Installation, too, is faster and less complex. In particular, locations with uneven coverage will benefit greatly from the flexibility it offers. Enterprises developing IoT-connected devices can now integrate eSIMs with far less investment, effort and deployment time.

“This new IoT eSIM solution will be a major turning point in the industry,” said Thierry Uguen, head of product portfolio management IoT at Thales. “With our IoT Connectivity Activation service, we have drastically optimised the costs and efforts needed for the mobile industry to manage the SIM profiles on IoT devices.

“We are excited that BICS is joining us as a partner for Connectivity Activation. Together, we aim to pioneer an open ecosystem of eSIM for IoT, finally enabling enterprises to unlock the huge potential of eSIMs. BICS is the right connectivity partner to support our customers with international IoT deployments. They share our goal of unlocking the power of IoT for enterprises.”

“We aim to pioneer an open ecosystem of eSIM for IoT, finally enabling enterprises to unlock the huge potential of eSIMs”
Thierry Uguen, Thales

As global connectivity partner, BICS will support this ecosystem by enabling the provisioning of eSIMs inside Thales Cinterion modules. These modules can then connect to global mobile network operators with the Thales IoT Connectivity Activation service.

Claiming to have a unique global coverage for any IoT technology (2G/3G/4G/5G/LTE-M and NB-IoT) and its SIM for Things solution, BICS aims to make enterprises’ global IoT projects even more simple and reliable. Fostering easy, flexible, global connectivity will help enterprises take that missing step to scale their international IoT projects towards success.

“This partnership is hugely exciting for BICS and the industry as a whole,” said Luc Vidal-Madjar, head of M2M/IoT business at BICS. “Removing the obstacles for eSIM management with IoT devices will lead to far broader adoption of eSIMs in the industry and will finally allow eSIMs to deliver on their long-awaited promise of greater flexibility for IoT connectivity.

“Unlocking eSIM use in this way will be a critical step in supporting bigger and bolder global IoT deployments. For consumers and enterprises, this will ultimately bring massive IoT closer to becoming a reality. This, in turn, will mean large numbers of new smart products for users and promising new business opportunities, such as for Industry 4.0, smart metering, smart cities or connected alarm systems.”

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