LM Ericsson is working with Amsterdam-based digital security firm Gemalto to develop a method by which embedded subscriber identification module (SIM) cards similar to those in mobile phones can be used to remotely control machine-to-machine (M2M) applications.
The technology has a wide range of uses including, smart meters, e-health applications, assets management and vehicle tracking and management.
M2M communications has been growing in recent years. The number of M2M connected devices in the world is expected to grow to 2.1 billion by 2020. Two years ago, M2M devices were estimated a 62 million worldwide.
Revenues for the sector in Canada, the United States and Mexico last year were estimated at $3.5 billion.
The use of SIM cards offer several advantages, according to Miguel Blockstrand, head of the device connection product line of the Stockholm-based telecommunications equipment maker.
For instance, in the case of cars embedded with SIM cars, a process called late-binding allows the cards to be activated later in the production of the vehicle. If the vehicle were to be imported to another country, the card can be activated in that country rather than having the card installed when the vehicle reaches its destination.
Embedded SIM cards also enable operators who switch vehicles to take the card with them to another car or copy its data from one device to another.