Olivier Amiot, senior director of product marketing at Sequans, discussed iSIM with industry leaders at Kigen’s iSIM Pioneers summit in London, October 25. On the panel with him were Jean-Philippe Betoin of Kigen, Matt Hatton of Transforma Insights, and Paul Marshall of Eseye.
The importance of standards
The GSMA has released a set of iSIM (iUICC), eSIM (eUICC), and integrated eSIM (ieUICC) standards as necessary to ensure the technology’s success across a wide field of IoT providers. To make iSIM/eSIM universally interoperable and functional, the IoT ecosystem must closely collaborate to ensure all customer concerns are identified and addressed. Sequans’ work with Kigen and Eseye, among others, contributes to this high goal by ensuring that the integrated eSIM and Sequans Monarch 2 GM02S module, which includes an EAL5+ certified secure enclave, interoperate harmoniously, recognizing that this is critically important to delivering a thoroughly integrated and well-implemented eSIM solution. Kigen, an innovator and leader in eSIM/iSIM solutions, with a deep level of expertise, is a long-term partner of Sequans and is a key and ongoing contributor to iSIM success.
iSIM and market momentum
Over the last six months we have seen increasing customer interest in integrated eSIM and accelerating momentum in several major verticals. Customers are very keen to adopt integrated eSIM chipsets or modules and they have begun embracing IoT projects and deployment strategies that include integrated eSIM.
Markets addressed by customers include these verticals:
- Energy and medical where devices such as smart meters or medical monitoring devices have regulated or legislated constraints, and for which security, data sovereignty, and connectivity localization are of paramount importance,
- Industry 4.0 where device design drivers include space constraint, security, component dependency on silicon, limitations of the supply chain or environmental sustainability,
- Asset tracking where low power consumption, connection reliability, and miniaturization are of paramount importance.
Security considerations with iSIM and how it impacts IoT projects
Integrated eSIM a new paradigm and is secured by design. At Sequans the security of the integrated eSIM is foundational to the chipset design we began four years ago. At design inception we adhered closely to the GSMA security standard for iSIM and integrated eSIM certification. We knew that GSMA requires a Common Criteria rating of at least EAL4+, and we knew this would be a “must have” for any MNO (mobile network operator) to perform remote SIM provisioning over the air. From the customer side, we see clear demand for GSMA-certified iSIM/integrated eSIM solutions, and we responded by developing our Monarch 2 chip platform and Monarch 2 modules with a security level above the GSMA requirement and today our Monarch 2 chip is Common Criteria EAL5+ certified. This is the highest security rating yet achieved by a cellular IoT module. We then worked with our partners Kigen, provider of the iSIM OS, and Eseye, provider of the network connectivity, on the critically important testing phase where we ensured the complete solution is entirely sound and secure from end to end. Unlike competitors, Sequans Monarch 2 GM02S is the only module available today that delivers a GSMA certified solution, supporting both iSIM and eSIM with remote SIM provisioning.
We have also seen demand from customers for integrated eSIM capability in higher throughput IoT devices and so we implemented iSIM in our Calliope 2 Cat 1bis chip and Calliope 2 GC02S1 modules. Like Monarch 2, our Calliope 2 solutions include the secure enclave built to the Common Criteria EAL5+ security level.
There will likely be a variety of integrated eSIM models or packages required by various IoT partners, and these options should be considered at the beginning of any IoT project. There is no one-size-fits-all model for an MNO profile. Profiles may be factory loaded, include customizations, remote SIM provisioning in the field, or may be pre-or post-paid.
Future for iSIM as an ultimate model of security
With IoT SAFE (SIM Applet for Secure End-to-End Communication), the GSMA has developed a standard for implementing application-level security for credentials and certificates, and the model created by the iSIM is fully reusable. This will improve cost-efficiency and power consumption as it can replace the external secure element.
GSMA eSIM for M2M standards
Sequans Delivers Industry’s First Common Criteria EAL5+ Certified Cellular IoT Solution