You don’t have to be a software engineer to understand the Internet of Things. Below you’ll find simple, non-technical explanations of key IoT concepts you need to know.
What Types of SIMs are There? Different SIMs and Form Factors Explained
16.10.2023 The humble SIM card has evolved far beyond its original design, becoming a critical component in ensuring seamless connectivity across devices and networks globally. From the traditional, physical SIMs to the innovative, embedded eSIMs, the technology has adapted to meet the diverse and expanding needs of IoT applications.
What Is a Soft SIM?
Soft SIMs deliver all the same capabilities of a physical SIM card without taking up any physical space in the device. They offer several potential advantages for manufacturers, but they have drawbacks as well.
What is an eSIM?
Traditionally, if you wanted to switch your cellular device's carrier you had to replace the SIM with one from the new carrier. With phones and tablets, this is a simple task. However, for thousands of remotely deployed IoT devices, swapping out SIMs is problematic, especially for devices with embedded SIM form factors that are soldered. In such cases, the SIM is stuck in the device.
SIM, eSIM vs iSIM: What’s the Difference?
As you explore cellular components, at times you may hear several different terms for components that provide the same core function, such as a SIM, eSIM, and iSIM. The difference between these components could have a significant impact on your device’s future functionality, security, and scalability, so it’s important to understand the differences between them.
What Is an Integrated SIM (iSIM)?
Smaller components allow manufacturers to build smaller devices. The integrated SIM gives manufacturers the greatest flexibility in how they design cellular devices. In the future, iSIMs will be a dominant SIM form factor in consumer electronics and the Internet of Things (IoT).
eSIM vs. Nano SIM Form Factors: What’s the Difference?
When choosing a SIM card for your cellular device, size matters. Smaller SIM cards take up less space, freeing manufacturers to build smaller devices and add additional components—which is especially valuable in Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Depending on how and where your device will be used, it may also be important to have a more durable SIM card that can handle extreme temperatures and conditions like corrosion and vibrations.
SIM Form Factors Explained
The capabilities of each form factor are the same, but they each have different dimensions, which makes them more suitable for specific kinds of devices. 2FF, 3FF, and 4FF SIMs have to be inserted into a device, while MFF2 SIMs have to be embedded—which is why they’re also called eSIMs. (1FF SIMs are no longer in use.).
What is an eUICC and Why Does It Matter?
Instead of changing out SIM cards or installing different cards for different deployments, an eUICC gives consumers and IoT manufacturers the ability to provision the SIM with a new operator profile OTA.
Machine-to-Machine SIM Card explained
M2M SIMs connect IoT applications to cellular networks, where they can use an interchangeable protocol to send and receive data. IoT manufacturers can either insert or embed M2M SIMs in their devices, and companies can remotely collect and analyze usage data from the SIM.