Nordic Semi fixes global eSIM into NB-IoT/LTE-M modules to simplify IoT roaming
Nordic Semiconductor is bundling an eSIM with 10MB of data into all its nRF9160 development kits. Network operators buying the company’s dual-mode LTE-M / NB-IoT nRF9160 system-in-package (SiP) can connect their cellular IoT services anywhere in the world, it said.
The eSIM is from international wholesale carrier iBASISm which claims roaming deals with 700 carriers in 190 countries. Customers are required to register their eSIM on Nordic’s IoT portal, nRF Connect for Cloud, to connect to iBASIS’s multi-market IoT network, ‘Global Access for Things’, via its local wholesale arrangements.
Nordic Semiconductor said the deal with iBASIS gives local operators access to an “entire range” of configurations, monitoring, and connectivity services, instead of having to strike deals with either local or wholesale carriers.
The eSIM provides a single contract, a single ‘operations’ on-line dashboard, and a single monthly bill that breaks down all global services used. It makes global LTE-M and NB-IoT connectivity “ultra-easy and automatic”, it said.
The iBASIS eSIM is soldered onto the nRF9160 SiP module.
Ajay Joseph, chief technology officer at iBASIS, said: “For IoT to succeed, connecting things should be easy. IoT connectivity should be turnkey, seamless, and secure.”
He added: “Nordic customers can focus on their core competencies knowing that their cellular IoT connectivity, coverage, speed, latency, and security are all being expertly managed by one of the world’s leading international cellular data carriers.”
Geir Langeland, director of sales at Nordic Semiconductor, said: “We designed the nRF91 Series from the outset to make cellular IoT easy and applicable to any application that would benefit from a cellular connection.
“For us, this extends to every aspect of the module’s operation and customer experience and that includes making international connectivity and roaming automatic and instant. For any IoT application to succeed, its wireless IoT connectivity must be that simple.”
The Trondheim-based firm said the nRF9160, available from Digi-Key Electronics, Mouser Electronics, and Premier Farnell, among others, is smaller, lower power, and more secure than “any other cellular IoT module launched to date” for LTE-M and NB-IoT applications.
It will make LTE-M and NB-IoT more attractive to IoT developers and more popular for IoT applications; specifically, Nordic said the nRF9160 will “kick-start a new wave” of cellular IoT applications, including for asset tracking, utility metering, industrial connectivity, industrial analytics, smart city operations, smart agriculture, and medical functions.