Companies from semiconductors to software have partnered to ease the pain for cellular connectivity for IoT design engineers.
Engineers designing IoT devices need to focus on the hardware and software for their device’s applications such as smart meters, logistics tracking devices, and so on. For many designers, connectivity is not their area of expertise. Soracom, a provider and SIM cards and eSIM devices for IoT, has partnered with Sony Semiconductor (formerly Altair) and IoT software provider Kigen to bring iSIM connectivity through modules from Quectel and Murata.
The modules use cellular IoT modems from Sony that include integrated SIM (iSIM) technology. With iSIM, IoT design engineers can order modules preconfigured for many mobile network operators (MNOs) or mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), thus eliminating the need for configuring IoT devices for cellular connectivity. That leaves designers free to focus on the application hardware and firmware of a device. EE World spoke with Igor Torberg and Avishay Shraga of Sony Semiconductor Israel about the partnership and how IoT design engineers can connect their devices.
The Quectel BG773 and Murata Type 1 SC LPWA modules can be preconfigured at the module factory for an MNO or MVNO network. That’s the easiest way to design connectivity into a device. IoT design engineers can, however, choose to embed a carrier’s profile at their factory or even at the end-user’s site, according to Torberg. He also noted that with iSIM, adding a carrier’s profile need not be performed in a secure environment, which is the case for SIM cards. That provides more design flexibility than using a preconfigured module. “It’s a tradeoff between ease of use and flexibility,” added Shraga.
Other IoT wireless module manufacturers such as Telit also use Sony’s IoT modems, though only Quectel and Murata are part of this four-way partnership.
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- Cellular IoT modules integrate iSIM, eSIM technology
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