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The State of Cellular: eSIM vs. iSIM, IoT SAFE, and 5G for IoT

4 minute read

There’s no question that IoT is having an enormous impact on the world around us. The adoption of IoT continues to grow significantly, with GSMA Intelligence forecasting that IoT connections will reach almost 25 billion globally by 2025. Cellular connectivity is the most widely selected network technology with an estimated 1.5 billion cellular IoT connections, set to rise to 5.2 billion in 2025.

IoT is transforming business practices and business models across multiple industries. The simple truth is that without connectivity, IoT would not be possible. With the world of cellular connectivity changing so rapidly, it’s important to stay aware of current industry trends and emerging standards.

eSIM vs. iSIM

According to Kigen, a security leader for cellular IoT and partner of KORE, eSIM and iSIM are like siblings, “two distinct individuals with many shared traits — but also some important differences.”

Kigen goes on to explain that eSIM and iSIM are similar but different technologies for authenticating subscribers and devices on mobile networks. The eSIM innovation came first, based on the open, vendor-neutral standard developed by the GSMA. iSIM was developed more recently and while it hasn’t been declared a standard yet, it already has broad industry support.

IoT Security and IoT SAFE

According to GSMA Intelligence, enterprises are showing a growing appreciation of the role of IoT security in their digital transformation strategies. The report on enterprises’ views of IoT security finds that 85% changed their security practices as a result of their IoT deployments. A significant number of these companies (61%) have done so to use their IoT security position as a unique selling point.

IoT SAFE stands for IoT SIM Applet For Secure End-2-End Communication. The GSMA IoT Security Guidelines recommend leveraging a “Root of Trust”, or a hardware secure element. IoT SAFE enables IoT device manufacturers and service providers to leverage the SIM as a robust, scalable, and standardized Root of Trust to protect IoT data communications.

5G for IoT

5G connectivity for IoT delivers powerful, high-speed, low-latency coverage for transmitting large volumes of data at high velocity. 5G for IoT will power innovation while being the new standard that supports massive and critical IoT communications.

According to GSMA Intelligence, seven operators across five markets launched 5G services in the first quarter of 2021, taking the total number of 5G operators to 157 in 62 markets. They also note that as high speeds and low latency are required for true 5G and mobile data requirements are growing, network and device vendors are expanding their mmWave offerings.

Connectivity for the Future of IoT

KORE helps companies harness the power of 5G and IoT with speed, reliability, and security. We help companies navigate their path forward through network migrations and compatibility analysis.

Register for our upcoming webinar with Copper Horse, Kigen, and Telecom Italia Sparkle, “The State of Cellular and the Future of Massive IoT,” to learn more about massive IoT, the evolution of eSIM & iSIM, IoT SAFE, and carrier insight into 5G for IoT.


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Topic(s): eSIM , Connectivity , Featured , 5G

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