Automotive leads eSIM adoption for IoT as new trends emerge

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The automotive industry is emerging as a frontrunner in the adoption of embedded SIM (eSIM) technology for Internet of Things (IoT) applications, according to a recent study by GSMA Intelligence.

As eSIM functionality becomes increasingly available in new connected vehicles, collaboration between operators, eSIM vendors, and auto manufacturers is on the rise. Additionally, regulations mandating emergency call (eCall) functionalities are further propelling eSIM deployments in the automotive sector.

While eSIM has achieved mainstream status in connected vehicles, its adoption in other verticals has yet to reach critical mass. However, several new trends are poised to accelerate eSIM adoption in IoT markets from 2024 onwards:

  • Continuous industry-wide efforts to enhance eSIM specifications for IoT, such as the GSMA’s SGP.32 eSIM IoT technical specification and SGP.33 eSIM IoT test specification.
  • The introduction of new IoT technologies like 5G RedCap and satellite integration, with trials already underway in various regions.
  • Launches of new eSIM products and solutions by SIM vendors targeting global capabilities and coverage.
  • The increasing deployment of private wireless networks, presenting an incremental use case for eSIM.
  • Growing emphasis on eSIM as a technology supporting sustainability initiatives.
  • According to findings from operator surveys, security and scalability are identified as the top eSIM benefits for enterprise customers. Operators are focusing on these benefits to drive interest in eSIM deployments, leveraging the technology’s reputation for secure authentication and data protection. Additionally, the ability to remotely update large volumes of devices simultaneously is seen as a key advantage of eSIM, enhancing scalability.

The growth potential for eSIM in IoT markets is significant. While a majority of cellular IoT devices currently use traditional removable SIMs, it is forecasted that eSIM will capture a growing share of the market. By 2030, operators anticipate eSIM to account for 37% of total cellular IoT connections, followed by integrated SIMs (iSIM) at 34%, and traditional removable SIMs at 29%.

Vertical sectors are driving the growth of eSIM adoption, with smart cities leading expectations for demand. Operators foresee increased demand for eSIM-enabled solutions across various industries, with smart cities identified as the vertical industry with the highest anticipated demand for eSIM during 2024–2025.

While eSIM adoption in IoT markets has made significant progress, there is still room for growth.

The survey underscores the importance of addressing key challenges faced by enterprises when deploying IoT solutions, including integration with legacy technology, security concerns, and implementation costs. Global standards and specifications for eSIM are seen as essential in overcoming integration and interoperability challenges.

Enterprises view eSIM as crucial for the success of their future IoT deployments, particularly due to its security and scalability benefits. Operators should align their offerings with enterprise expectations and leverage collaboration around global security initiatives.

(Photo by why kei on Unsplash)

See also: French government cyber crisis teams ‘useless’ against DDoS

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