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Embedded SIM gains popularity in cellular M2M

Posted: 19 Jul 2012     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Embedded SIM  M2M  communication 

IMS Research forecasts rapid migration to embedded SIMs with shipments approaching 10 crore in 2016 for use in cellular M2M communications.

Although in the cellular handset market, the future of the embedded SIM is still very much in question and vehemently opposed by many operators, within the M2M market, embedded devices are already being shipped and volumes are ramping up, said the research firm.

"The longer life cycles of some M2M devices compared to handsets, and the more extreme environment tolerances required by some of these devices means that a removable SIM is a less attractive option compared to a soldered device. For this reason the impetus in this segment to develop embedded solutions and an ecosystem to support them has been widely embraced. Quite the opposite to the reaction of key cellular players to the embedded SIM for cellular handsets," stated Alex Green, director of IMS Research's team tracking the smart card market and one of the report's authors.

"That being said, the migration will not be overnight. The traditional SIM card format, known as 2FF, is sold by the billion at present, providing for very low prices due to volumes of scale. Furthermore, newer smaller removable form factors such as 3FF and the more recent 4FF are also projected to take some share within this market. The fact that only five million [50 lakh] embedded SIMs are estimated to have been shipped in 2011 illustrates the embryonic stage the market currently is at."

However, in certain applications IMS Research projects that a rapid switch to embedded SIMs, using the MFF2 named form factor, will take place. In particular M2M applications in the automotive, smart metering, security, asset tracking and commercial transportation markets are prime targets.

For more statistics and forecasts, click here.





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