What is an IoT SIM card? Some Ideas
An IoT/M2M SIM card is a variation of the traditional SIM cards used in personal mobile devices like smartphones with additional features designed for IoT devices. SIM cards designed for the Internet of Things include greater durability, security, and flexibility.
Machine to Machine SIM cards work by establishing a connection to your host network and transferring data between your device and the rest of your IoT platform. While you could technically use consumer SIM cards for this purpose, in practice this is not recommended, as consumer SIMs do not meet the needs of most IoT solutions.
IoT devices have unique needs from other smart devices like phones and tablets. For example, they need to maintain a secure connection at nearly all times, survive in harsher conditions, and meet the specific needs of your IoT project’s goals.
Why are IoT SIM cards different?
IoT SIMs and traditional SIMs perform the same primary function, keeping internet-enabled devices connected to the Internet. However, that’s where the similarities between the two end. Here are the iot sim card information you should know.
IoT SIMs not only need to keep devices connected, but they need to be remotely manageable as well. This is because they are typically activated in bulk, whereas regular SIMs are activated one at a time by an individual consumer.
IoT SIMs are also created to support data plan aggregation, where every SIM added to an IoT project increases the data cap. This kind of data plan makes IoT projects more affordable and cost-effective.
How durable are IoT SIMs?
IoT devices often survive in harsh conditions, exposed to strong winds, high or low temperatures, rain, humidity, and excessive movement. Therefore, they are built to be substantially more rugged than their traditional counterparts.
Using IoT SIMs means you can deploy your IoT devices into harsh environments without worrying about losing your SIM to the elements.
What is the lifespan of an IoT SIM compared to a standard SIM?
The lifespan of your IoT devices’ SIMs is an important factor to keep in mind, as replacing a SIM can be difficult – if not impossible – depending on how your devices are deployed.
Traditional SIMs only have a lifespan of about three years, which is far too short to be practical for Machine-to-Machine (M2M) applications. On the other hand, IoT or M2M SIM cards come in a few different form factors, each with a different lifespan. They are highly durable, and most can last up to ten years before needing to be replaced.
Embedded SIMs, in particular, are exceptionally durable due to being surface mounted to your devices and having a vacuum seal. These can last more than ten years, even in unforgiving environments, making them a sustainable choice for immobile connected devices.
Steered vs non-steered multi-network open roaming IoT SIM card
A significant portion of IoT devices are remote or mobile and require roaming on multiple networks. However, the way your SIM connects outside of your primary network when roaming can differ. Unlike consumer SIMs, IoT SIM cards can offer steered or non-steered multi-network roaming to match your needs.
Steered IoT SIM cards will prefer your chosen provider’s network, even if there is a stronger network available. They will stay connected to the mobile network operator of your choice until they are completely out of range, which may result in IoT devices losing connection or operating on a very poor signal if there is no fallback selected.