Nordic and iBASIS Partner on Global Connectivity for Cellular IoT Module

AS PUBLISHED BY NORDICSEMI.COM

Nordic partners with one of world’s largest international cellular data carriers, iBASIS, to offer ultra-easy global connectivity for its nRF9160 cellular IoT module 

Every Nordic Semiconductor nRF9160 Development Kit now ships with a globally-usable iBASIS eSIM to enable automatic and instant ‘out-of-the-box’ cellular LTE-M and NB-IoT connectivity and roaming in a long and growing list of countries with cellular IoT networks.

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that it has partnered with one of the world’s largest international cellular carriers in voice, data, and IoT services, iBASIS, to make global LTE-M and NB-IoT cellular IoT connectivity ultra-easy, automatic, and instant when using its nRF9160 System-in-Package (SiP) module. 

Nordic has achieved this by bundling a globally-usable iBASIS eSIM with 10 MB of free initial data into all its nRF9160 Development Kits. All a Nordic nRF9160 cellular IoT customer has to do is register their eSIM on Nordic’s nRF Connect for Cloud website to seamlessly connect to the iBASIS ‘Global Access for Things’ network and gain access to an entire range of configurations, monitoring, and connectivity services. 

Although it’s not common knowledge outside of the cellular communications industry, global smartphone connectivity and roaming services are actually provided by only a few international carriers that partner with local national carriers to enable connectivity and roaming for voice, data, and IoT services worldwide. iBASIS is one of the world’s largest international carriers or ‘IP Exchange providers’ and used by over 700 local carriers in over 190 countries. 

As a result, Nordic’s nRF9160 cellular IoT customers get instant high-quality global connectivity without having to go through the ordeal of negotiating and managing multiple relationships with individual local cellular carriers around the world.

Using eSIM technology, they simply leverage iBASIS as a single global connectivity supplier, with a single contract, a single ‘operations’ on-line dashboard, and a single monthly bill that breaks down all global services used. An eSIM is a remotely, over-the-air ‘provisionable’ (programmable) SIM that can hold multiple sets of local network operator credentials in contrast to a traditional SIM card that can only hold one set of operator credentials. The iBASIS eSIM meets all relevant GSM Association (GSMA) standards. 

We are reducing complexity, making it easy to support Nordic’s customers’ global deployment, using a single eSIM, for a remotely programmable on demand service. 

Ajay Joseph, CTO of iBASIS

The nRF9160 SiP – which is available from major global electronics distributors such as Digi-Key Electronics, Mouser Electronics, and Premier Farnell (amongst others) – is significantly smaller, lower power, and has more security features than any other cellular IoT module launched to date for LTE-M and NB-IoT applications. It is also certified for global operation, has a host of unique IoT-targeted features, and is dramatically easier to design-in (see ‘More about nRF9160 SiP’ below).

“iBASIS believes that for IoT to succeed, connecting things should be easy,” says Ajay Joseph, CTO of iBASIS. “We feel IoT connectivity should be turnkey, seamless, and secure. We’re delighted to partner with Nordic Semiconductor to provide an eSIM for Nordic’s nRF91 Series cellular IoT modules. We are reducing complexity, making it easy to support Nordic’s customers’ global deployment, using a single eSIM, for a remotely programmable on demand service. Nordic customers can focus on their core competencies knowing that their cellular IoT connectivity, coverage, speed, latency, and security are all being expertly managed by one of the world’s leading international cellular data carriers.”

“We designed the nRF91 Series from the outset to make cellular IoT easy and applicable to any application that would benefit from a cellular connection,” comments Geir Langeland, Nordic Semiconductor’s Director of Sales & Marketing. “For us, this extends to every aspect of the module’s operation and customer experience and that includes making international connectivity and roaming automatic and instant. In fact, I think for any IoT application to succeed its wireless IoT connectivity must be that simple. With the iBASIS eSIM, we believe Nordic Semiconductor has delivered this to its customers. It’s also why we believe cellular wireless technology is an ideal technology for building the Internet of Things.”

More about the nRF9160 SiP

At just 10 x 16 x 1mm in size, the nRF9160 SiP is suitable for even compact wearable consumer and medical devices yet is a complete solution that integrates everything a cellular connection and IoT application may need beyond requiring just an external battery, SIM, and antenna. 

To achieve this ultra-high integration Nordic partnered with Qorvo to make a System-in-Package that more closely resembles an integrated chip than a module. The nRF9160 SiP leverages Qorvo’s state-of-the-art, proven RF front-end, advanced packaging, and MicroShield™ technology to deliver a unique, ultra-compact solution that combines high performance with low power consumption. The nRF9160 SiP supports global operation with a single SiP variant thanks to the combination of Nordic’s multimode LTE-M / NB-IoT modem, SAW-less transceiver, and a custom RF front-end solution from Qorvo.

In parallel, the nRF9160 SiP is the first cellular IoT module to incorporate Arm’s latest Arm Cortex M-33 CPU core. This is supported by 1MB of Flash and 256kB of RAM on-board memory. The nRF9160 SiP is also the first module to incorporate Arm’s state-of-the-art Arm TrustZone and Arm CryptoCell security for Internet-level encryption and application protection. Both these technologies are designed for highly energy-efficient embedded IoT products that require the highest levels of performance in processing, power consumption, and security. 

The nRF9160 SiP has 1MB of Flash plus 256 kB of RAM on-board memory with a broad range peripheral set, analog and digital interfaces, 32 GPIOs, a stand-alone modem with full LTE capability, plus a multiband RF front-end.  

Another unique feature of the nRF9160 SiP in the cellular IoT module market is integrated GPS support to allow a combination of GPS and cellular data to be used for more accurate positioning than either technology is capable of when used in isolation. Learn more.

How the world’s largest Bluetooth chip supplier came to be in cellular IoT

Nordic Semiconductor is best known for its leadership (both commercial and technological) in the global Bluetooth® chip market. The wide availability of the nRF9160 SiP module marks Nordic’s official – but brand new – entrance into the low power, cellular IoT wireless technology market.

Cellular is a notoriously complex wireless technology that only a handful of engineering teams worldwide truly have the expertise and experience to design at the architectural level. Nordic Semiconductor’s team all originated from outside the company when Nordic hired some of the smartest cellular R&D engineers in the world from a bout of rationalization layoffs in Finland between 2011 and 2014 from companies such as Nokia, Microsoft, Broadcom, and ST-Ericsson.

This means Nordic’s heritage in cellular wireless technology is on-par with any other company in the world: most of Nordic’s cellular IoT design team have been working in cellular design for most of their careers. And most importantly of all, all technical support for the nRF9160 SiP module will come from engineers who designed the product from the ground up.

The Next Generation SIM and How It Works

Internet of Things providers who offer a ‘thing’ and a paired thing service will often deploy their globally delivered or traveling smart devices with a standard or “roaming-only” global SIM capability. With a roaming-only global SIM, data must originate and terminate from the network of the “home” mobile network operator. This is the mobile network operator whose network credentials are currently being used to connect to the foreign mobile network. As a result, data that is generated by a connected device can be routed across very long distances before it is consumed for use. This can result in poor user experience and high cost.

With the next generation SIM capability, the credentials of a mobile network operator in the country or region can be dynamically downloaded to the smart device allowing for data access in the local area providing for a lower latency and therefore improved user experience.

This iBASIS whitepaper on this topic will look at the characteristics of the Traditional, Standard SIM and of the Next Generation SIM and explain how they are different and the resulting benefits of the next generation of SIM technology.

Download the whitepaper here!

Explosive IoT Growth – is it Hype or Reality?

Over the last decade we have heard numerous reports of future explosive growth of Internet of things devices but there has been small and fragmented adoption at home or business.  Is this just being over hyped?  Let’s discuss if we are truly in a hype bubble or will IoT deliver real growth and revenue for mobile operators.

The Ericsson Mobility report states that in 2017 there are already 7.7 billion IoT devices in total but only 700,000 of them are connected to cellular networks.  These non-cellular IoT devices are locally connected using technologies like Ethernet, RFID, Bluetooth, Zig Bee or Wi-Fi.    So there has been explosive growth overall in IoT but mobile operators have not benefited from this growth.

Ericsson estimates that only 10% of the devices connected to mobile networks are IoT devices and the rest of the Mobile phones, Tablets and laptops.   So the first wave of IoT growth has mostly bypassed mobile operators but don’t go ignoring the second and more important wave of IoT growth.

NB-IoT and LTE-M technology to the rescue

2G, 3G and 4G technology was not well suited for IoT applications.   There was some usage but not the explosive growth that mobile operators required to bolster top line revenue and increase bottom line profitability.   Most chipsets for cellular communication were designed for higher bandwidth, burst of continuous usage and voice communications.  Most IoT applications target by cellular technology require lower bandwidth, infrequent usage and very long battery life (10 years).

The industry saw this and came up with LTE-M and NB-IoT technology for these important use cases.  LTE-M and NB-IoT provide low bandwidth with very long battery life that can be designed of up to 10 year of usage running off a battery.   LTE-M and NB-IoT first was specified in 3GPP release 13 in late 2015 and networks supporting these technologies are just becoming available.

GSMA tracks deployments and commercial launches of networks supporting LTE-M and NB-IoT devices.  In just a couple of years over 60 operators have launched commercial operations in support of this important IoT technology.

So what is the answer hype or reality?

The ultimate answer is yes it’s both hype and reality.   IoT use cases, deployments and devices will explode in the coming year.   Ericsson estimates that there will be 3.5 billion IoT devices attached to cellular networks by 2023.  Compound annual growth will be 30% for IoT devices.   The percentage IoT devices on cellular networks will be slightly more than 30% of the overall devices connected.   Operator will need this to stabilize revenues and increase profitability

What should I do now?

Get ready,  new customers, new use cases and new devices are going to place new and important connectivity, mobility, roaming and security requirements on mobile operators.

Chose global roaming partner that can provide value added services to help accelerate your IoT journey.  As new IoT technologies get introduced, not all use cases and business cases will make sense initially. Mobile network operators need a partner who can provide testing, consulting, knowledge, layer security and hosted value added services that helps provide the operator more business clarity.

IBasis is viewed at global trusted partner to help provide global reach, assurance and monetization of key mobile services.  IBasis stands ready to provide expertise, advice and testing to accelerate deployments of new IoT technologies and explore possible new business models.  IBasis brings collaboration by partnership, adaptability and excellence.

Contact us for discussing further how we can help to solve issues in global IoT deployment through our test environment.

 

 

Which eSIM Remote SIM Provisioning Standard Should You Choose a Business Model Decision

The eSIM/eUICC and Its Ability to Receive Operator Credentials Remotely

Similar to the traditional SIM, a computing module called an embedded SIM (eSIM) controls the authentication and service access for next generation mobile devices (e.g. smart watches, wearables, connected cars, etc.). However, unlike a traditional SIM, an eSIM is a remotely programmable “electronic” SIM. The eSIM is most often in the form of an “embedded” integrated circuit chip soldered into the device circuit board, but is also offered in traditional SIM packages like the micro and nano formats you would find in your smartphone. The eSIM consists of a smart card container called an embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card (eUICC) which stores MNO credentials and provides the ability to have those MNO credentials remotely programmed on the card over-the-air (OTA) by a process called remote SIM provisioning (RSP) .

Overview of GSMA Remote SIM Provisioning (RSP) Standards

There are two GSM Association RSP standards, one for IoT services scenarios (referred to as machine to machine or M2M) and one for standalone consumer device scenarios.  As you may know, the GSMA published the first completed specification for RSP about three years ago (the M2M version) and have published the latest variation of the specification within the last year (the Consumer version).  There is no specification to date for a combined M2M and Consumer RSP system; however, it is being discussed.

Today the GSMA publishes the following specifications:

  • M2M version: SGP.01 (Remote Provisioning Architecture for Embedded UICC) and SGP.02
  • Consumer version: SGP .21 and SGP .22

The specifications describe similar system components but differ in the communication mechanism between the profile store and the eSIM/eUICC and the initiation mechanism of the profile change operation.

The Consumer version requires an application on the device/eUICC called a Local Profile Assistant (LPA) which includes a local user interface for the end user of the device to control the loading of operator credentials to the device from the mobile operator/provider of choice (“pick a mobile provider”).

The initiation of profile operation is the most significant difference in the architectures where the IoT service/M2M scenario uses a “push” methodology and the Consumer scenario uses a “pull”methodology.

Let’s consider examples of each.

In the IoT service/M2M scenario, consider a connected car company that sells a car model globally which has cellular wide area connections for both telematics and infotainment.  In this scenario, the auto manufacturer or dealership may equip the car with cellular connectivity so that they can continuously monitor the health of the automotive systems and notify the customer when their car needs service.  In this case, when the car is delivered to a particular country, the auto manufacturer or dealership will program the car with, or “push”, the mobile credentials of the local mobile operator to the car’s telemetry eSIM.  Since the dealer is providing cellular connectivity as part of an IoT service, the GSMA M2M RSP architecture is used.

In the Consumer scenario, consider an un-tethered 4G enabled smart watch that is developed by a mobile device manufacturer as a general purpose device.  The device is intended to be sold directly or through a distributor with no service of any type.  Since the watch has a well-supported OS like Wear OS or watchOS, the purchasing consumer can download various general purpose applications from an app store.  In all cases, it is the responsibility of the Consumer to select mobile service from their operator of choice.  With an eSIM enabled device, the Consumer will select from an available list of operators on the device, accept service terms and conditions and request or “pull” a set of operator credentials to the device.  In the case of a person who travels and spends a good deal of time on two separate continents, if not restricted by a current operator, the Consumer will be able to enter into multiple Operator relationships.

Don’t Let the Names Fool You

Let’s assume you decided to develop a cellular IoT (CIoT) connected device with the latest remotely programmable eSIM/eUICC embedded SIM technology. As a company, you may be developing a device or family of devices that will be sold to consumers.  Therefore, you should find a mobile service partner that offers a Consumer RSP system right? – not necessarily. Just because you are making a cellular connected device that you intend to sell to Consumers does not mean you should utilize a GSMA standard Consumer RSP service.  Similarly, if you are developing a device you intend to sell to consumers, you should not assume that mobile service providers that offer an RSP service that meets the GSMA M2M architecture standard requires both devices to be machines like a connected car and a smart stop light.

It’s All Based on Business Model

The correct choice is actually based on your business model.  It depends on who will be paying directly for the mobile service and entering into a contractual relationship with the mobile operator(s) – you or your end user customer.   Let’s go back to the un-tethered 4G enabled smart watch example but consider two different scenarios:

  • If the smart watch is developed as a general purpose device and is intended to be sold directly or through a distributor with no service of any type and it is the responsibility of the Consumer to select mobile service from their operator of choice, then you should find a mobile service partner that offers a Consumer RSP system
  • If the smart watch is developed as a purpose built device, for example a marathon performance tracking watch, and it is intended to be sold along with a marathon performance tracking service, you should find a mobile service partner that offers an M2M RSP system. In this case, you as the IoT service provider have complete control over the service experience as you control both the device and the device connectivity!

iBASIS Global Access for Things offers a single source for mobile data access, globally and entirely on eSIM technology. Today, iBASIS is helping a number of IoT Service Providers enable the next generation of mobile connected devices using the IoT service/M2M GSMA RSP standards based architecture. Come join us for the journey!

Enterprise Mobility: A New Age is Coming – Part II

The Shift to New Devices

In Part I of this blog series we discussed how we, as business people today, have access to many mobile devices and applications that allow us to communicate in and outside of our workplace in increasingly new and innovative ways. It is evident that there is a transition away from today’s devices of smartphones, tablets, and 2-In-1s, toward connected wearables with next generation embedded mobile connectivity using embedded SIM (eSIM) technology. This next generation mobile connectivity will allow wearables to access mobile data directly, without having to be tethered to your smartphone.  This transition towards enterprise mobility brings a significant shift toward new devices, including more wearable technology like smart glasses.

Enterprise Mobility Tomorrow  – The Future of Work

At “Work”

Consider the following “Mobile Enterprise of Tomorrow” scenario.  Employees of companies large and small interact with colleagues and customers from anywhere in the world.  If they are even sitting at a desk still, that desk will no longer have a desk phone, a monitor or even a laptop. Employees will be wearing smart glasses (or contacts) and will use a speech based virtual assistant (similar to Alexa, Google Assistant, or Mycroft) to launch search requests. They can listen to the answer to their search on the smart glasses speakers or view the rendered web page in the lenses of their glasses.  Documents and messages will most often be drafted using speech based dictation.

Typing, scrolling, and page navigation will all be performed with gestures (like swiping on visual keyboards) or by using voice commands, depending on the setting.

Using facial recognition from an outward facing camera, data about colleagues will show up on your smart glasses as you approach them along with task reminders of what you owe them and what they owe you.

In a “Meeting”

In the board room or the conference room, employees will be able to see other remote or “virtual” colleagues sitting around the conference room table using Augmented Reality (AR) as if they were in the same room (a great example of this is seen in the recent movie Kingsman: The Secret Service (above).

Users will connect to a networked camera in the conference room, place a wireless camera on the table or toss a mini “hover” drone camera in the air, to show their video.  Audio and video will be transmitted to all participants via mobile voice, video and messaging services.

Participants will be able to swipe/push applications to a virtual screen/whiteboard using gestures and update or annotate the document/image by drawing/selecting/typing with gestures.

Communication – Messaging and Calling

In the post smartphone era, users will communicate with voice or video using one of their wearables (e.g. smartwatch, smart glasses, ear bud etc.).  Messages will be simple voice notes or dictated to a virtual assistant and appear on the intended user’s smart glasses or be read/played on a destination wearable.  In a consistent manner, all calls and messages will be transmitted to all participants via standards based mobile voice and messaging services using embedded mobile connectivity.  All mobile devices and wearables will be compatible even when communicating from a wearable to a smartphone – so don’t worry, smartphones will be around for at least a little while longer!

Outside the Office

Consider also the following mobile scenarios.  As in the workplace, when at a business meeting or event, information about business contacts and customers will show up in one’s smart glasses indicating information about that contact – family members or hobbies that you can fold into the conversation, important notes from your last meeting, information about any business issues or trouble tickets outstanding with this customer or the status of any pending orders or deliveries.

Even while traveling to your destination, driving and walking directions will show-up in your smart glass lenses. Regardless of your selected mode of transportation, you will have instructions on how to get to your destination.  If you have time for some sightseeing when traveling in a new city, information about significant sights can be overlaid on the building or object that is being viewed.

Seem a little far-fetched?  Well it’s not!  All of the capabilities and technologies discussed in this article exist today! All that is needed to make this a reality is to take existing technologies on the market and combine them to create the functions and experiences described above.

In all these scenarios, next generation mobile connectivity using embedded SIM (eSIM) technology will allow devices and wearables to access data in such an automatic manner that we will no longer even think about it!

iBasis Global Access for Things is helping a number of companies enable this next generation of Enterprise Mobility with a single source for mobile data access, globally.  Click here to find out more and come join us for the journey!

Are you interested in Expanding your Low Power IoT Innovation Globally?

NB-IoT and LTE-M are the two major Low Power IoT technologies expected to dominate the immense growing IoT domain. Both technologies are 3GPP standardized and is now getting significant traction from the largest entities within the IoT ecosystem.

 

 

 

NB-IoT:  

NB-Iot offers a deep indoor penetration, low cost devices and low power operations for long battery life.

LTE-M

LTE-M uses LTE networks utilizing the national and international coverage that is already available.

When looking to choose between LTE-M and NB-IoT one needs to think about the following characteristic of the two technologies:

LTE-M
NB-IoT
IP based communication Message Based communication
Higher speed (384Kbps to 1 Mbps) Low speed – less than 250 KBps
Supports mobility and VoLTE Does not support mobility and VoLTE
4 times better indoor penetration than LTE 7 times better indoor penetration than LTE

 

Regardless of which Low Power IoT technology you choose, iBasis is here to support you and to help you to expand your IoT innovation globally. Get in touch with us to learn more about how iBasis can assist you with you.

 

 

Enterprise Mobility: A New Age is Coming – Part I

Enterprise Mobility Today

Is texting via SMS becoming a thing of the past?

It seems that calling with our phones or messaging using SMS/MMS on our smartphones is becoming more and more of a rarity. Probably because in today’s world, we have access to a number of alternative mobile devices and applications that allow us to communicate with colleagues, family, and friends. These include devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops/2-In-1s and applications like WhatsApp, Viber, iMessage, or Jabber.

In order to use many of these devices and applications, staying connected is critical. At home or at work, WiFi is usually how we stay connected, while we rely on cellular connectivity whenever we travel outside these locations. However, in recent years, mobile WiFi (MiFi) dongles and stand-alone multi-device connectivity MiFi Hotspots have become available for connecting laptops, tablets and other devices to the mobile data network. We’ve also seen a rise in advances such as MiFi Hotspots built right into the latest 4G smartphones, laptops with SIM slots built in, and 4G enabled tablets.

Shifts to new Devices

Not surprisingly, with these advances, more and more “connected” devices are beginning to hit the market. These devices are making use of newly offered embedded cellular modules and embedded SIM (eSIM) technology to offer advanced mobile connectivity features while using less real estate on the device. As a result, we are seeing an increase in not just smartphones and tablets, but also in connected wearables hitting the market. Even more important is the fact that with eSIM technology, these wearables can access mobile data directly without having to be tethered to your smartphone!
According to P&S Market Research, the smartwatch market is expected to reach $43.8 billion by 2023, with the standalone (untethered) category projected to experience the highest growth during the forecast period. Smartwatches like the Samsung Gear S2, Huawei Watch 2 and the Apple Watch Series 3 are among the new connected smartwatches on the market that utilize eSIM technology for 4G/3G mobile data connectivity.
Similarly, some of the latest 2-In-1s, like the ASUS Transformer Mini T102HA and the Microsoft Surface Pro 2-in-1 with LTE Advanced, provide “anywhere” connectivity by including 4G/3G access with eSIM technology built-in. According to Microsoft, the Surface Pro 2-in-1 delivers 4G LTE connectivity around the world with support of 20 LTE bands.

Other shifts toward new devices include more niche wearable technology like smart glasses. Although they remain tethered for safety reasons, smart glasses like the Vuzix Blade and Intel Vaunt are seeing greater and greater use in the Enterprise environment in Augmented Reality (AR) applications.

Shifts to new Technologies

In addition to new devices, new technologies are emerging to enhance the usability of these devices. Going back to AR devices, one important example of shifts in technology is the gesture-based AR controls by companies like ManoMotion, Crunchfish and uSens. “We firmly believe that virtual reality and AR is the next form of the computer, the next generation of smart devices,” Dr. Yue Fei, the co-founder and chief technology officer of Bay Area human-computer interaction specialist uSens, told Digital Trends.

Although voice assistants are not entirely new, assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are getting more and more skills and are being continuously improved with artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques.

Even the default technology for voice calling and messaging applications are getting a facelift on Android smartphones. Android and Samsung Messages are planned to be in wide use by the summer of 2019 and is based on a standards based open voice and messaging service developed specifically for the mobile device industry.

Enterprise Mobility vs. Consumer Mobility

So what does this mean for the enterprise versus consumer markets?

Mobility devices and functionality for the Enterprise and Consumer markets do overlap to some degree based on the size of the organization and the communication applications they use. For example, very small businesses can have much in common with the consumer market if they do not specifically seek out a specialized Enterprise Mobility Provider (ranging from AT&T to Wavelink). However for larger enterprises, there are some distinct differences: specific business applications, team collaboration applications and web conferencing applications. Larger enterprises often require higher performance devices which support global connectivity (e.g. tablets, 2-in-1s and smartphones) much more than your typical consumer. Because of this, newer, higher-priced technologies are often introduced to enterprises first, before making their way to the Consumer market. As new technologies emerge, we will therefore see more enterprise specific devices that accelerate business productivity and intelligence (e.g. enterprise specific wearables and AI functions). Of course, when it comes to the commercial side of things, enterprises obviously want a single contract, a single bill, pooled data across their devices and a single provider for their global mobile service needs, regardless of their size.

We at iBasis envision employees of the next generation enterprise will perform business tasks using these emerging devices and technologies. iBasis Global Access for Things is helping a number of companies enable the next generation of enterprise mobility with a single source for mobile data access, globally. Stay tuned for part II of this series to see how we envision this future. Come join us for the journey!

Our 3 Key Takeaways From Mobile World Congress 2018

The Mobile World Congress is a premier mobile event. It is poised to keep getting bigger every year as mobile starts to morph into digital. Sometimes hailed the Mobile Walking Congress also includes a Crowd Manager to help guide thousands of delegates from around the world through the exhibitions enormous labyrinth. But above that, at Mobile World Congress there is always a rise in innovative developments that give way to a new revolution. One that fundamentally changes the way we live, work and communicate.

To refresh your memory, we’ve summarized our own observations in three key takeaways:

1. eSIM

Mobile has transformed the telecommunications market (business and retail). Now it is helping to scale the rise of adjacent technologies like the internet of Things (IoT),soon to influence nearly every type of industry. According to Gartner, there will be more than 20 billion connected things by 2020 and the number of companies offering 4G enabled devices such as smart watches, routers and modems, connected cars and drones at MWC18, proves that we are well underway. On top of that, there is an exponential amount of new 5G equipment on the market including equipment around LTE-M and NB-IoT. In fact, iBasis tested mobile connectivity with our global eSIM in a partner’s LTE-M module at the show.

Connected devices, especially when they travel internationally across borders, are going to require the infrastructure and enabled networks to operate seamlessly. At the heart of that is the new eSIM (otherwise known as embedded SIM) that will essentially eliminate the need to have a physical SIM card (and SIM slot) and the information on it will be compliant and rewritable by all operators. This means a device can change operator with a simple data exchange. A new SIM will not be required, nor should there be any time delay in switching the eSIM to its new purpose. Without the need to include traditional SIM cards in new devices, technology vendors will be able to create devices that are more interconnected than ever, at the smallest size ever seen. For all that technology to work correctly, it’s going to need to stay connected – and eSIM is going to make that connection simple and reliable.

2. Security

The number of connected devices around the world will offer huge opportunities for companies. Connected devices combined with big data will benefit millions of people around the world, however, the IoT opportunity also has its dangers. With the rise of IoT devices, there is also a rise in vulnerabilities for these devices. Recent hacks have proven this point and the acute need for a more complete security initiative. While some risk is inevitable, the industry must ensure that the balance between risk and reward is right to ensure businesses and consumers adopt the new technology and services enabled by IoT.

The GSMA together with the mobile industry has delivered a set of IoT Security Guidelines, backed by an IoT Security Assessment scheme, to provide a proven and robust approach to end-to-end security.

3. 5G

Although 5G may not at first seem much different than 4G LTE, and eSIM solutions may not seem that much an improvement over the already-miniature SIM card, these technologies are on the forefront of the digital age of tomorrow – and business leaders need to be prepared for the opportunities they’ll bring.

As we move into the world of 5G, a new opportunity of data speeds will be available to consumers and businesses, not to mention the amount of data that will be generated by those. 20 billion-plus devices. Telecom providers are prepared, which is why 5G is going to be such a big deal. Some tech leaders believe 5G will be the next technological revolution – and if the estimated download speeds are on point, which could be up to 10 times the download speed of current 4G, it will be a dramatic change in how users and industries handle their data. To put it in perspective, current 4G speeds can download about one gigabit per second – and that’s only if the user is experiencing optimal performance. With 5G, users will be able to download 10 gigabits per second and have improved connectivity and latency.

That speed means Ultra HD videos can be accessed almost instantaneously, photos can be shared in a heartbeat, and files that were previously too big to easily distribute can become effortlessly and reliably shared between peers. More people across the globe will be downloading even more data, faster, with higher reliability. This will strengthen the opportunity for new devices to enter the Internet of Things and become mainstays of businesses and households across the globe.

iBASIS

No one can foresee what technology 5G and eSIM will produce. In any case, iBASIS can help you with keeping them connected worldwide with guaranteed End-2-End security, rooted in GSMA standards. iBasis Global Access for Things is a global mobile connectivity solution for things worldwide. With our global network capabilities and more than 20 years of experience in the field of empowering connections, we are your global operator of access for the connection of things. Regardless of what new devices 5G and eSIM bring into your organization, iBASIS is prepared to offer the connectivity solutions your business needs to thrive in the age of the Internet of Things.

Why IoT is Crucial in the Manufacturing Sector

Industrial IoT (Internet of Things) projects are widely popular in the manufacturing industry, having spent $178 billion on IOT in 2016 according to the International Data Corporation. Historically, the manufacturing industry has been one of the industries most reliant on IoT, and it is projected to remain so for the foreseeable future, until at least 2020.

The reasons behind the manufacturing industry’s reliance on IoT projects are multiple, but really have much to do with simple history: This is the way the industry has functioned for a while now. It’s just the way things are done. Manufacturing is also projected to continue to grow in size and spending in the near future, so IoT is necessary for an “Industrial Revolution 2.0.” Lastly, IoT´s ability to cater to manufacturing-specific needs only strengthens the relationship between its history and its future.

Human-machine interaction, asset management, and performance optimization are all crucial to manufacturing operations. So, IoT is recognized as a powerful and necessary tool to link the various, interconnected facets for smooth transactions. The network that allows these subcategories to communicate with one another is vast and it is only going to increase in size, popularity, and necessity as time goes on.  In fact, this where most IoT spending takes place (57 percent of total IoT spending according to IDC numbers).

Service providers are also a substantial IoT spending category for the manufacturing industry. Both of these fields are very important due to their ability to create growth in the industry. IDC foresaw the manufacturing industry spending $183 billion in 2017 — an increase of almost 3 percent from the previous year. Manufacturing asset maintenance is also an extremely large IoT use case for this industry. In this category businesses oversee potential breakdowns, performance, and quality control with the goal of optimizing these parameters.

Workers in manufacturing are also an integral part to the industry’s success. This means that their safety and security should always be a top priority. When workers´ safety is linked with their transport and supply management, this connection becomes a huge opportunity for expanding the scope of IoT in day-to-day operations.

There is an obvious, cohesive, link between production, quality control, shipping, transportation, and the role an end customer plays in each transaction. Within each use case, there is a chain of data sharing that begins with the manufacturer and extends all the way to the customer. For a manufacturer to know how its product is viewed by its customers, there has to be a constant flow of feedback between the both parties.  This is where IoT comes in.

IoT bridges the gap from the manufacturer to the warehouse, the warehouse to the extended supply chain, and finally the extended supply chain to the customer. The singular purpose of this astoundingly large data flow: Optimization.

Data that travels via the IoT bridge allows every party to know how it can improve its performance each step of the way.  This is key to the industry’s success. Of course, in an age when almost all data is in “the cloud,” digitization cannot be ignored. Manufacturers rely on this data to keep open all lines of communication between a production factory and the services it supplies to its customers. 

In 2015, IDC released some numbers that give a better sense about where the bulk of the effort associated with integrating IoT into the manufacturing industry is concentrated.  The top contender was efficiency operations and the runner up was “the linkage between the islands of automation.”

In an attempt to demonstrate the measurable benefit of the use of IoT in the manufacturing industry, here are a few optimistic numbers provided by BI Intelligence:

When it comes to the hardware, software, services, and connectivity associated with IoT alone, BI intelligence estimates that global manufacturers will spend $70 Billion by 2020.

BI also proves that IoT solutions have a history of increasing revenue.  Between 2013 and 2014 an average revenue increase of 28.6 percent was recorded by this type of manufacturer.

The Internet of Things has already shown us how it can positively impact the manufacturing industry and its foreseeable impact in the future is sure to be even greater than its current hold based on the proliferation of technology and big data in a myriad of industries.

Our Top 4 Key Takeaways from the IoT Tech Expo

iBasis Key Takeaways from the IoT Tech Expo

Last week, the iBasis Global Access for Things team spent time in Silicon Valley gaining further insight about the future of connectivity at the IoT Tech Expo North America. The conference, which hosted over 9,000 attendees across 15 tracks of learning including blockchain and AI, and featured over 300 industry leading speakers, took a deep-dive into the future of IoT and the opportunities business leaders can expect in a global field.

 

IoT is Here to Stay (and Continues to Grow)

Even just a few short years ago, the term IoT may have caused confused looks during non-industry conversations. Today, the field has started to gain significant traction in the enterprise and consumer markets, and IoT is a household name.

And with over 9,000 people in attendance at the expo, that wasnt hard to believe.

IoT isnt just a buzzword, its profitable too. Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 8.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2017, up 31% from 2016, and will reach 20.4 billion by 2020. Total spending on endpoints and services will reach almost $2 trillion in 2017. As more companies began to invest in more interconnected devices – and device manufacturers continue to innovate their devices capabilities – the IoT market is going to continue booming.

 

Adoption and Investment

The expo hosted over 300 exhibitors in house showing their latest tech, ranging from personal consumer items to business-ready enterprise options. Even experts from NASA were on the scene, explaining how IoT technologies, while paired with AI, will help track natural disasters across the globe. Industry leaders like Oracle and IBM were paired next to niche boutique organizations, giving attendees the chance to get an organic feeling for the opportunities IoT presents – and they are extensive.

 

Its Creating Innovation

10 years ago, the idea of a smart home was science fiction – today its becoming a commonplace reality. These advances come from the hard work of smart leaders innovating in a new field. Creating products and software for an emerging focus isnt the easiest feat, and the expo even had an entire track dedicated for it called Developing for the IoT.

If theres one major takeaway to be had from the IoT Tech Expo, its that the face of technology – and of interconnect-ability – is going to continue to evolve thanks to the endless innovation from hundreds of companies across the globe. Its only a matter of time until sci-fi tech become household objects.

 

Our Own Leaders Are Leaders in the Field

IoT experts spoke on subjects ranging from Bluetooth to making IoT energy efficient – and everything in between. Attendees were able to glimpse into all facets of IoT research and development, and come away with a better understanding of how the market is shifting the face of modern technology.

iBasis’ very own CTO, Ajay Joseph, was one of the expert speakers at the event. Ajay shared his expertise on the pain points of IoT service providers in his session The Solution for Global Mobile Access for Things: A Dramatic Simplification in Global Logistics, which described how next generation mobile technology allows for simplified and future proof global connectivity of IoT devices.

To learn more about Ajay’s presentation, please feel free to reach out to the team. And to learn more about iBasis Global Access for Things offerings in the IoT market, please visit the website here.