If the analysts are correct, and there are 22bn IoT devices in place by 2024, that raises a big question: how do we connect them all? This is a topic Thales works hard to address. We design products and services that cover all facets of connectivity.
Thales offers a broad range of SIM products and secure elements. We also help MNOs to manage their SIM fleets and device ecosystems. We do this via Thales Device Management, which comprises a library containing more than device 222,200 references (and rising). This solution can detect a new handset on the network and remotely configure it with the correct operator settings.
Now, as we enter the 5G era, Thales is working hard on new SIM form factors more appropriate for machines and sensors. The eSIM (embedded SIM ) is a physical product soldered into place. The space saved by embedding a SIM can be as much as 90 per cent on a removable plastic card. According to a recent Gartner research, the eSIM is among the 9 technologies to watch for consumer & IoT devices.
The eSIM is extremely hard to access, so it is programmable over the air. This is great for manufacturers, though it does increase the risk of churn for carriers. For this reason, we offer the Thales Advanced OTA SIM management tool. This makes it easier to onboard and de-activate remote devices.
While eSIMs are working well inside current IoT devices, a successor is on the way. Integrated (iSIM) technology turns the SIM into the software. Thales is currently working with Qualcomm on iSIM technology.
Thales is also working to extend the reach of the network itself. Thales Alenia Space is our satellite division. Through Alenia, we are helping to build non-terrestrial networks based on industry 5G standards.
In the IoT space, we offer a portfolio of Cinterion modules, terminals, and modem cards that connect machines to wireless networks. These modules can be customized to an enterprise's specific needs and comply with network operator certifications to ensure a swift approval process.