Welcome to the eSIM technology innovation

Stepping into Cellular IoT future, eSIM emerges as the future-proof cellular IoT technology and great timing for MNOs or OEMs to map out new business canva now.

Part 1: What is cellular IoT

Let me give you some real examples to show what does cellular IoT do for you and you’ll understand in an easy way:

You might be unable to answer the question, “what is cellular IoT?” But I’m sure you’re familiar with the underlying technology. Cellular networks connect your iPhone to Google Maps, Instagram, and Email; they carry your voice through the air. But gone are the times when we want to connect only with our friends and family. Now, we’re also seeing the value of connecting with the physical objects around us: the streetlights, parking meters, and hospitals that occupy our everyday urban lives, or the myriad industrial applications like manufacturing and agriculture that connectivity can enhance.

Technology is evolving constantly and rapidly, in the telco world, the communications technology has gone through great leaps during the past three decades, IoT is becoming the trend, and cellular IoT is the future, and one-in-a-generation timing now for OEMs, MNOs and MVNOs, ISVs (independent software vendors), CSP (connectivity service providers) and module & chipset makers with massive IoT deployment around the corner.

Connected devices are always expecting faster speeds, constantly improved responsiveness, and extremely low latency, cellular IoT has the capability to address these demands, as well as its well-established market landscape as benefits:

① 「Available anywhere with global reach」: widely adopted across the globe, with 2G and 3G connectivity enabling many early IoT applications, using preexisting mobile networks, there is an extensive coverage area already in place. This is quite important for enterprises that ship devices globally, easy to manage device deployments in different cities and countries, or some enterprise with IoT projects deployed worldwide to access the data for real-time analytics for business operation, for example in case scenarios like asset tracking, transportation and other global enterprise applications.

② 「Flexible and Dynamic」: location-based connectivity with roaming flexibility, programmable QoS, depending on the environment changes and the required QoS, there would be a varying number of IoT applications with different requirements within one network, deploying several access technologies such as LTE, NB-IoT, Cat-M and NR.Cellular IoT offers Very dynamic connectivity. And in order to enable a Massive IoT market, networks need to scale efficiently. The initial investment required for supporting a limited number of devices must be manageable, cellular IoT would demonstrate scalable connectivity when integrated with software defined application with technologies like eSIM or cloud service, to remotely manage device via a platform with insightful and visible web portal

③ 「Increased worldwide support」: always been supported by 3GPP , three new cellular radio technologies are developed: Extended Coverage GSM Internet of Things (EC-GSM-IoT), LTE for Machine-Type Communications (LTE-M) and Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) .

LTE-M is competitive for reduced device complexity | coverage enhancement | low latency | high data rate for device for MTC market;

while NB-IoT stands out for its high deployment flexibility due to its low device complexity and energy efficient operation and ubiquitous coverage, thus to address case scenarios like low-cost devices with low energy consumption, small data volumes yet massive numbers to deploy.

④ 「Able to handle high capacity and high portability」: Massive IoT primarily consists of wide-area use cases, connecting massive numbers of low-complexity, low-cost devices with long battery life and relatively low throughput, while critical IoT that requires high portability, for example, in high-bandwidth, high-speed applications for Ultra-HD (4k) streaming, self-driving car connectivity, or VR/AR applications.

⑤「Proven Practical implementation」: Major operators across the globe such as AT&T, China Mobile, America Movil, China Telecom, Chunghwa Telecom, Etisalat, KDDI Corporation, Korea Telecom, Megafon, Orange, and Telefonica have launched LTE-M, NB-IoT, or both in various countries.

⑥「Reduced TCO and fast GTM」: With a straightforward rollout of new software, cellular networks, which could be turned into soft-ware defined , will be able to support the full breadth of applications, ranging from low-end use cases in the LPWA segment, to the high-end segments of in-car entertainment and video surveillance. One network connecting the whole diversifying IoT market will guarantee the lowest possible TCO, as well as fast time to market.

Part 2: Market Segmentation of cellular IoT , massive IoT & LPWA connections by region and by use cases

What you may not know is how that same cellular technology behind your smartphone is empowering the next wave of innovation in the dawning “Internet of Things” (IoT). It’s predicted that It’s predicated that IoT connections will reach 24.9 billion connection by 2025, and cellular IoT will reach 20% market share — specifically, over LTE and 5G and by numbers mainly in China and Greater North East Asia.

  • Use case segments:

Predicted by ITU, the following cellular IoT connection scenarios will dominate the main connection area in 2020: camera, in-vehicle entertainment, smart wearable devices, sensors, meters, asset tracking etc.

source from ITU

What’s worth mentioning is that in LPWA technologies connection, NB-IoT will emerge as the fastest growing technology with exponential growth, which accounted for almost half of all the LPWA connections.

And in terms of adoption by region, China and Europe are leading the way around the world, In June 2017, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) issued a new NB-IoT policy framework, resulting in greatly increased NB-IoT deployments by all three major mobile operators in China. — In Europe, major operators, including Deutsche Telekom, have been deploying NB-IoT networks, working together with industrial eco partners with Qualcomm chipset and CSPs like Redtea Mobile.

in terms of expected growth of each segmentation:


source from Ericsson: Expected growth of IoT connections (billion)

Part 3: cellular IoT Technologies comparison

Cellular IoT technologies will shape the future and be the main driver of the digitalization for vertical industries and enterprises, by delivering machine-to-machine (M2M) and machine-to-person communications on a massive scale. To support the 25 billion IoT devices by 2025 connected via cellular 3GPP access technologies, the existing legacy cellular IoT technologies (including 2G and 3G) , the current 4G(4G LTE) and the emerging 5G(5GNR) will together evolve to cater to higher demands driven by the evolution of network connectivity. And LTE-M and NB-IoT stands at the center of the buzz for their most favored advantages in a lot of massive IoT case scenarios such as 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G, it has gone a revolution history of telecommunication spanning across almost 5 decades, experiencing the advance from 4G(4G LTE) to 5G(5GNR) in terms of quality, speed, mobility, coverage range. We’ve been quite familiar with 2G, 3G, and 4G in our daily life using smartphone or devices, boosting the characteristic of increased battery life, enhanced coverage and simplified hardware, LTE-M and NB-IoT are taking the trend.


evolution of cellular IoT technologies

in terms of speed:


source from IoT now


As mentioned above, LTE has national coverage in the US, the Netherlands, and Ireland, with ongoing deployments and regional trials in most major countries. It’s likely that it’ll overtake GSM for cellular IoT applications. LTE-M, which stands for “Long Term Evolution for Machines,” is a network standard that allows IoT devices to piggyback on existing cell networks. With essentially just a software update, LTE-M-enabled devices can communicate with the cloud, surfing the same waves as the cat photos you’re liking on Instagram. In general, LTE-M devices are best suited to “mission-critical” applications in which real-time data transfer makes the difference — for example, self-driving cars or emergency devices in smart cities.

NB — IoT

NB-IoT, which stands for “Narrowband-IoT,” is great for areas without good LTE coverage, or when you only need to transfer small amounts of information — for example, when using a soil sensor for smart agriculture or an energy usage monitor in a smart city. NB-IoT uses only a narrow band of the total bandwidth cell towers project. If you’re deploying in an area in which GSM is the standard cellular technology — specifically, Europe and developing parts of Africa and Asia — or, on the other hand, if you foresee needing to send only small amounts of data across the internet periodically like in smart metering, NB-IoT might be right for you.

Two main massive IoT technologies: LTE-M and NB-IoT

Part 4: eSIM, the future of cellular IoT technologies

The concept of eSIM is quite simple, with “e” stands for “electronic” or “embedded”, you can imagine it as a built-in SIM soldered directly into the device or electronic SIM managed remotely online, enabling digitized SIM replacement and carrier network switch without touching the device, and eSIM remote management and maintenance via platform or web portal to save a lot of time and human labor caused by on-site maintenance. It’s the same secure as the traditional SIM as defined and required by GSMA, and got widely acknowledged by approximately 800 mobile operators in the association.

At Redtea Mobile, to cooperate with enterprises and sometimes offer expertise on IoT technology option with them or for them, have been asked many times why eSIM. Well, to answer this question, we do have say as a pioneer in eSIM industry and let’s look at things in a sustainable way with proven facts.

  1. it’s future-proof : the research done by Counterpoint that eSIM-based device shipment would reach nearly 2 billion by 2025, it’s right timing to be on board to remain competitive and grab the trend to generate revenue brought by digital transformation, based on IoT connectivity, a reliable, flexible and scalable IoT connectivity architecture would be ideal for enterprises looking into the transformation.

  2. It’s a great breakthrough to the traditional SIM: we’ve summarized the main concerns of business decisions , talking with hundreds of C-suites, IT engineers in charge of IoT project operation, and got the feedback most of the time that to make a decision on employing a new technology, it covers one or more of the following aspects: to generate revenue, to reduce expenses, to produce operational efficiencies. eSIM, with the advancement and evolution of telecommunication and IoT technology, emerges as a great breakthrough comparing with traditional IoT connectivity- SIM, and would be the future of cellular IoT technology as a software-defined cellular connectivity technology, for the following aspects: the limits of traditional SIM in terms of environment, industrial design and fragmented IoT connectivity, IoT connectivity can’t reach the ideal situation to be scalable, easy-to-deploy and compatible with existing standards.

  3. It’s the same secure as the traditional SIM as defined and required by GSMA, the global association responsible for setting the overall telecommunication framework with approximately 800 mobile operators, and also also a main concern of enterprises when deploying IoT to offer a high level of security, and it’s soldered into the device permanently, preventing the risk of being stolen or broken by environment.

source: Shipments of eSIM-based Devices to Reach Nearly 2 Billion Units by 2025 - Counterpoint Research

by far, As the leading eSIM management CSP in the value chain, Redtea Mobile is in a position to drive the eSIM penetration to serve for the growing demand of massive IoT deployment (with a large majority of the IoT connectivity relies on cellular IoT technology, among which NB-IoT and Cat-M are projected to account for 52 percent of cellular IoT connections in 2025.)

with 30 MNO and MVNOs on board offering pay-as-you-go data plan covering more than 100 countries and a proven record of eSIM practice and management on more than 250M+ devices including with world’s smartphone brands such as Apple, OPPO, Vivo, OnePlus, Samsung and Xiaomi, as well as IoT connectivity projects and initiatives chipset players Qualcomm, MTK, Unisoc, Infineon and Quectel, and could manage to offer differentiated software-defined service totally differentiated than the traditional legacy SIM solution:

①differentiated data plan for both individuals and enterprises, which can be topped up like other software services, easy to manage via platform.

②global connectivity with location-based network highly available for time-critical case scenarios.

③plug&play connectivity with bootstrap profile pre-installed in device and ensure connectivity no matter where is the device once powering on.

④innovative pricing model for flexible operation and adjustment when scaling up business for enterprises, pay-as-you-go for better operation and monitoring of the IoT project

⑤remote management and maintenance, without touching the device, all visible and operable via web portal, saving much human labor and predictable to be future-proof.

⑥turnkey solution, connectivity is the cornerstone for OEMs to drive digitalization, but shouldn’t be your primary concern, leave it to Redtea Mobile with our expertise in the eSIM niche area。

to address these specific needs and innovative thoughts of our OEM and MNO/MNVO customers, we’ve been dedicated in the industry for 5 years and has forged strong partnerships spanning the eSIM value chain, enabling us to offer IoT connectivity based on eSIM on over 250million devices including the mainstream smartphone brands and vertical industrial IoT devices.

key takeaways:

  • It’s predicated that IoT connections will reach 24.9 billion connection by 2025 by 2025, and cellular IoT will reach 20% market share.
  • The evolution of cellular IoT technology has gone through almost 5 decades already, As a result of the market need, the mobile industry has standardized several LPWA technologies, including Cat-M and NB-IoT, which are taking the trend and will account for about 50% by 2025.
  • We’re stepping into a cellular IoT future with more critical and personalized demands for the connectivity service, asking for more differentiated service model to deliver diverse and innovative user experience.
  • eSIM stands as the future-proof cellular IoT technology and enable IoT enterprises to manage devices globally, easier to deploy, to scale up and to arrange remote maintenance and drive digital transformation, with the guarantee of security as well .
  • CSP (connectivity service provider) might make full of the eSIM trend and advantage, and will free the hands for OEMs and offer hassle-free turnkey solution, innovative CSPs with intelligent multi-play and B2B strategies may be able to offer strong enough differentiators. High time for OEMs and MNOs , in collaboration with eco partners, to catch the trend of eSIM to gain competitiveness when stepping into a cellular IoT future.

#eSIM #cellularIoT#massiveIoT #NB-IoT #CAT-M #CSPinnovation

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