eSIM subscription management for M2M and IoT
No matter how or where other elements of the eSIM infrastructure are sourced, once everything is up and running a subscription management system is required to handle all eSIMs in your M2M and IoT network, whether it's a connected car ecosystem, a range of IoT-connected wearables or an international stock of domestic smart appliances.
The challenges of eSIM subscription management are akin to that of managing a large-scale IT network or roaming devices. But unlike such a network – a mobile workforce using laptops, perhaps – an M2M-based network has the added factor that the connectivity element, in this case the SIM, will be in a device for which the user has no technical knowledge. Going one stage further, the SIM could be completely inaccessible to the user. Further still, the device could be in a remote unmanned location perhaps acting as a sensor or tracker. But with an eSIM and a sophisticated subscription management system, none of this is an issue.
Considering these challenges and added factors concerning M2M, as opposed to IT network, management requires an eSIM subscription management system to be secure, intuitive and easy to operate. It has to be flexible and configurable, scalable and adaptable.
Security should be a given in this scenario. Security standards and provisions are developing as fast as the IoT market itself and any eSIM subscription management provider should not only adhere to all relevant standards but should be working closely with GSMA Task Forces to define and set the standards themselves.
Provisioning operational profiles to a bootstrapped eSIM is itself a highly configurable process. There are as many possible customer and deployment combinations as there are countries, mobile operators and tariffs. And it’s highly unlikely that device manufacturer would need to roll out the same operational profile in exactly the same configuration to every M2M device on its IoT network. As a result, a flexible, highly-configurable eSIM subscription management platform is required.
Moving beyond product to provisioning, testing and approval is required from the GSMA under their Security Accreditation Scheme (SAS) protocol. This ensures that subscription management services, their users and their remote provisioning of operational profiles is robust and secure.
Already in use for more than 15 years to ensure the stability of traditional SIM-based systems, the SAS covers four key areas: security, auditing, reporting and certification. All of which is overseen by the GSMA’s SAS Certification Body made up of operator members.
Why Cloud 9?
Cloud 9 develops bespoke eSIM Subscription Management systems for all of its clients. They are wholly compliant with all 11 levels of both the GSMA’s Subscription Manager – Secure Routing (SM-SR) standard and its 11-stage Subscription Manager – Data Preparation (SM-DP) protocol. Both are explained in detail in the GSMA’s reference document, Embedded SIM Remote Provisioning Architecture.
SM-SR and SM-DP compliance not only guarantees security but also scalability, allowing Cloud 9’s eSIM Subscription Management to grow not only with its customer base but also with its installed base of devices and its variety of operational profiles.
In terms of hardware, Cloud 9’s eSIM subscription management platform is robust and always-on, allowing operational profiles to be distributed flexibly, reliably and remotely as the devices the profiles are set to run on.
Cloud 9 acknowledges that subscription management should not necessarily be the domain of the IT department. It has a bearing on marketing, finance and all other areas of a business. As such, its eSIM subscription management system is designed to be intuitive and easy to use, and easy to configure and integrate with other, related business systems.
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