What is an IoT SIM Card: An Easy Explanation
IoT devices (or Internet of Things) refers to any device connected to the internet. Devices can be connected to the internet in many different ways - wired connection, Wi-Fi, low frequency networks such as LoRaWAN. This is where IoT SIM cards come into play.
Spot the difference: IoT SIM cards vs. traditional SIM cards
Whilst conventional SIM cards were developed with the intention of connecting mobile devices to networks wirelessly, IoT devices have different needs from the typical mobile phone. Some features of the IoT SIM that differ from the conventional mobile phone SIM include:
Traditional SIM cards operate by connecting your device to a single network, but IoT SIMS can connect all of your Internet of Things items to each other, connecting primarily to a host network that transfers data between the whole of the IoT platform easily and efficiently.
Aggregated data packages
With an IoT SIM tariff supplied by YCG, all of your devices can take data from the same source, regardless of the quantity that is used by each individual IoT device. This is useful as most firms that want to automate operations will need many IoT SIM cards at the same time. By sharing data across your SIM cards, you can lower the chances of being charged for out of bundle data usage.
Standard sims are supplied with a dynamic IP address, however IoT sims are supplied with a fixed IP address. This enables sim connectivity and sim usage, in terms of data, to be monitored from afar, removing the need for in-person input. This is different to a typical SIM, which usually needs one at a time in-person activation.
An IoT SIM has a lifespan of about 10 years, which is much higher than the average 3 year lifespan of a standard mobile SIM. They are also physically stronger, being able to survive in much more extreme weather conditions as well as being more resistant to damage and corrosion. You can even have IoT sims that are welded into place inside a device.
Not one-size-fits-all: Different types of IoT SIM
There is a lot of variety in terms of IoT SIM shape, size, and purpose, with each being more suited to a different product or function. The most simple and standard is the UICC SIM (Universal Integrated Circuit Card), a straightforward plastic chip that is manually inserted into a device and can be used to connect standard devices such as phones and laptops, as well as more unique IoT devices.
Sounding more complex on the surface, the MFF2 UICC (Machine-to-Machine Form Factor Universal Integrated Circuit Card) is the second type of SIM that actually operates in a similar fashion to the UICC, with its main difference being the way it is stored in the device. Rather than the UICC that is put in manually and comes in a variety of sizes, the MFF2 UICC comes in a singular size and is vacuum-sealed during the manufacturing process, so it cannot be removed from your IoT once it is inserted. This increased your SIM’s lifespan and durability.
Finally, the eSIM or eUICC (Embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card) is a digitised version of the typical SIM card. The eSIM is reprogrammable, and generally works out as cheaper, more secure, and makes it more straightforward to manage a large number of devices at one time.
IoT SIM cards are a powerful technological advancement that is invaluable if you are looking to invest in IoT devices.