Almost 20 years ago, the introduction of computer-driven automation brought fundamental change to the manufacturing industry. Today, with the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), manufacturing is changing again. The traditional factory floor already accustomed to interconnected production means along a predefined hierarchy, with every asset working together to achieve efficient production at optimal costs. With SIM-enabled IoT, new “smart factories” are envisioning a hyper-connectivity that maintains constant data flows along every link of the value and supply chain to close information and inventory gaps, increase operational efficiency, and lower overall manufacturing costs. This new level of connectivity, backed by IoT and SIM technology, has led some to declare SIM IoT manufacturing as the fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0.
According to World Population Clock (and UN projections), the global population will exceed 8.6 billion people by 2035. At that rate, farmers and agriculturalists worldwide will need to double their efforts in order to sustain the nutritional needs of an extra billion mouths to feed. This includes not only raising more livestock and growing more crops but also addressing challenges associated with crop regeneration, pest control, climate change, and waste.
Convenience and security can make or break a business, especially in retail. The prevalence of online shopping has molded customers’ service expectations―eliminating the queue and ensuring that customer information is kept safe are cornerstones of the modern retail experience. Traditional point of sale (POS) systems, however, are not up to the task. Wi-Fi-enabled POS systems (that lack SIM-powered cellular connectivity) are prone to delays and errors, leading to poor consumer interactions. POS failures increase the chances of data loss and may compromise the security of customer information. Integrating cellular connectivity into a consumer’s retail experience sets the stage for a secure transaction, increases the speed of the transaction, and creates an overall smoother shopping experience for the consumer.
From automotive telematics and fleet management systems to in-home healthcare services, Machine to Machine (M2M) communication is a key aspect of the emerging Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) market sector. According to CISCO, 27.1 billion networked devices and connections will serve 4.6 billion users globally by the year 2021, and these devices will greatly depend on M2M communication to perform their functions.
Cellular-based IoT applications are bound only by the strength of the imagination. With the right idea and a little ingenuity, start-up companies and hobbyists are using SIM technology to make useful products that gather information on easy to access cloud-based portals. The diverse data gathered by these devices have helped users streamline production processes, monitor service conditions, address problems before they start, or simply protect their belongings when they aren’t around.
The SIM card’s key function is in its name: the Subscriber Identity Module. It stores information that is used to identify and authenticate users, and to connect devices to the Global System of Mobile Communications (GSM). GSM has been the standard for cellular communications since the introduction of 2G, and advances in SIM card technology have followed closely behind advances in GSM.
When it comes to on-the-go internet, mobile wireless routers — also known as hotspots — have been filling the gap between Wi-Fi and cellular since 2009. Instead of being tethered to a Wi-Fi connection or having to browse the internet on your smartphone, hotspots give laptop and tablet users the ability to connect to the internet whenever and wherever, as long as there is cellular coverage.
Cellular web networks allow for Internet connectivity even outdoors or in remote locations, and for smaller companies or startups without the resources to invest in more expensive Wi-Fi architecture Subscriber Identity Modules – better known as SIM cards – can make all the difference. Similarly, communities with limited resources can leverage SIM cards to cheaply connect everyone at a data rate within their budget. If Wi-Fi changed the world by making high-speed, reliable connections commonplace in the home, SIM cards change the world by letting everyone connect on-the-go for less, with much greater flexibility in terms of service providers, usage rates, and more. With the advent of the Internet of Things, the SIM card has emerged as the key to connectivity. But what are some specific examples of the SIM card’s impact on our world?