March 20, 2023

Testing IoT SIMs Across Borders

IoT SIMs for the future

At Tele2 IoT, we continually strive to develop new services for our customers, which means we have a lot of ideas and theories. Some of those ideas and theories can be verified from our desks – other times we need to get out into the field to see if our hypothesis is correct. And that’s exactly what my colleague Pontus Winblad (IoT Product Architect for SIMs/eSIMs) and I did a few weeks ago when we flew down to Brussels for a few frantic days of border crossing and testing.

Depending on where you are in the world downloading new subscribers on eUICC SIM cards has different kinds of use cases, but the most important thing is that you are able to use the most optimal subscription/profile on the SIM for the country you’re in. You want this for a number of reasons, including commercial, quality, and regulatory.

We know how important these are to our customers, so we work hard to continuously develop our SIM offering to ensure that you get the most out of it. Today it is standard to switch back and forth between profiles on a SIM – if a customer wants to do this, they let us know and we do it for them. Going forward, for devices moving between countries, we want you to be able to automatically do this switch, so that if you have a SIM in a device in one country and it travels to another country, it will have the best possible network without any intervention from us.

Very soon we will be launching automated one-way switching, meaning that when a SIM is deployed in a certain country, it will automatically switch to another profile if required by your use case. The next step is to expand this automation to devices crossing country borders multiple times in their lifecycle, making them able to automatically switch back and forth as they move back and forth across borders, if required by their use case.

So, back to my colleague Pontus. He had a great theory around the behavior of the inner workings of our SIM cards when they cross borders and how we could use that to further develop our SIM with our partner Idemia. So, down to Brussels we went to put his theory to the test. We wanted to monitor certain behaviors while crossing the borders of different countries and were particularly interested in what information – and when and at what frequency – the network and the device provides to the SIM card.

There is no substitute to just getting in a car and driving like crazy across borders to see how the device behaves, so we landed in Brussels, grabbed a car, and drove an hour to the Dutch border and then spent a day and a half driving back and forth, back and forth across the borders between Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. We did this using an off-the-shelf Tele2 IoT Premium Industrial eUICC SIM, along with different IoT modules, network tracing tools, and Comprion’s SIM & device tracer tool to observe the behavior of the device when we switched to another country.

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It turns out our hypothesis about device behavior in terms of moving across borders was correct, and we can now continue our SIM development with Idemia.

Zooming out, this test is an important step in the continued development of our 2SWITCH and SIM products.  It means we are building a SIM that will allow our customers to automatically optimize connectivity through the use of different subscriptions, all on the same SIM card. Customer will be able to buy one SIM and have two, three, four or more profiles on that same SIM and that means that no matter where your device goes, you’ll always be covered.

If you would like to learn more about Tele2 IoT’s SIM offering, please get in touch.

Christian Seglert 
Product Manager
Tele2 IoT

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