For more than 25 years the SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card has been fundamental in the development of mobile telecommunications. First introduced in 1991 SIMs began life about the size of a credit card and were designed to store information used to identify and authenticate users.
SIMs were also used to connect devices to 2G GSM (Global System of Mobile Communications). SIM advancements have developed in close parallel with advances in cellular network evolution – but not all SIM cards were created equal.
SIMs & IoT
The rise of IoT meant the development of a different kind of SIM. While an IoT SIM acts similarly to a standard SIM, it does a very different job, offering features and functionalities that you won’t find on the SIM you have in your phone.
One main difference is the subscription type; among other things, an IoT subscription allows you to monitor data usage and SIM activity, you can activate and deactivate it, and you are able lock it to a device. You can also share data across all devices and have multi-operator coverage.
Another difference is the robustnes, since SIMs are often found in harsh environmental conditions. While standard SIMs only possess a 25°C to 85°C temperature range, an industrial IoT SIM can operate to temperatures as low as -40°C and as high as 105°C. Industrial IoT SIMs also enjoy a much longer life span than standard SIMS, due to their 17-year data retention capability, increased storage capacity, and as many as 16 million read-write cycles. Industrial IoT SIMs can come in any form factor, depending on the size of the device and the purpose it serves.