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BICS adds NB-IoT coverage from SFR in France to IoT roaming SIM

Belgium-based cellular roaming brokerage BICS has signed with mobile operator SFR to bundle NB-IoT connectivity in France into its SIM for Things IoT solution.

The deal extends BICS’ offer to embed traditional cellular network connectivity (2G, 3G, 4G) and newer cellular IoT connectivity (NB-IoT and LTE-M) into connected hardware, albeit by a single technology in a single country. Its SIM for Things plan is based on an embedded SIM (eSIM), which can be provisioned to work on partners’ networks, as required. Device manufacturers can also remotely switch SIMs between networks, to enable roaming. 

BICS offers cellular 2G, 3G, and 4G roaming via 700 mobile operators around the world; it claims one of “one of the largest NB-IoT/LTE-M networks” in the world, with coverage extending to 30 countries. The firm noted low-power wide-area (LPWA) connectivity technologies like NB-IoT and LTE-M open new IoT use cases, by reducing power consumption, maintenance costs, and battery sizes. 

The company quoted a forecast from Kaleido Intelligence that predicts 2.5 billion LPWA connections by 2025, and a “substantial” market for NB-IoT. The firm has a partnership with Avnet Silica to accelerate global IoT deployments and open new LPWA use cases. It said: “Embedding this connectivity directly into these devices speeds up their physical deployment and builds in flexibility to tailor connectivity to each use case.”

Mikaël Schachne, chief marketing officer and vice president of mobility and IoT at BICS, commented: “We are… [providing] greater choice and flexibility to the global IoT industry. By capitalising on our relationships with mobile operators around the world, BICS is uniquely placed to provide companies global 2G, 3G, 4G, NB-IoT and LTE-M connectivity to make IoT deployment simple, reliable, flexible and cost effective.”

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