Truphone hooks-up with Sony and Kigen on global iSIM for NB-IoT and LTE-M
Truphone has combined with chipset maker Sony Semiconductor Israel and SIM specialist Kigen on an integrated SIM (iSIM) solution for global IoT deployments. Altair and Kigen have worked separately to offer a proprietary version of iSIM technology for remote provisioning of cellular IoT devices on NB-IoT and LTE-M networks. Truphone is using the iSIM solution to offer “out-of-the-box” IoT connectivity in international markets.
Sony Semiconductor, formerly Altair, and Belfast-based SIM specialist Kigen, spun-out of Arm at the end of last year, worked with Vodafone on the seminal NB-IoT tracking label from German pharmaceuticals firm Bayer, which turned the whole industry’s head last year. The former provides the chip, and the latter provides the iSIM operating system. The new arrangement gives UK-based Truphone a means to offer secure iSIMs with global IoT connectivity.
Sony Semiconductor described the offer as “global connectivity without roaming”. Truphone’s IoT connectivity platform has been “integrated” with its Altair-line of cellular IoT chipsets, including its dual-band (LTE-M and NB-IoT) ALT1250 chipsets and single-mode (NB-IoT) ALT1255 chipsets. The Israel based firm, acquired by Sony in 2016 (and rebranded as Sony Semiconductor in 2020), claims the “smallest and most feature-rich solution in the industry”.
Arm appointed Vodafone as its global ‘bootstrap’ provider for iSIM-based NB-IoT and LTE-M devices in 2019, so all IoT chips based on Arm designs will default to the Vodafone network when they are switched on, in order to be provisioned onto regional NB-IoT and LTE-M networks, and fall back to the Vodafone network in case of connectivity outages. Truphone’s multi-IMSI SIM connects to a growing roster of low power IoT networks.
Truphone said the deal was a “milestone… to enable massive IoT deployment(s)”, citing usage in wearables, vehicle telematics, logistics trackers, and smart utility meters. It said: “This creates a new paradigm for connecting IoT at scale with pre-integrated, secure connectivity. It paves the way for new ideas and solutions that were never possible before, due to the cost and complexity of distributing SIMs and negotiating with operators around the world.”
Ralph Steffens, chief executive at Truphone, said: “This collaboration demonstrates Truphone’s strength and leadership in enabling connectivity for IoT. This merging of technologies will create powerful, scalable IoT deployments. We’re thrilled to be joining Sony and Kigen in bringing seamless connectivity to a breadth of industries—from vehicles to wearables and everything in-between.”
Aviv Castro, vice president of business development at Sony Semiconductor Israel, said: “Sony is playing a crucial role in the evolution of connected devices, and collaborating with Truphone via our integrated SIM enables global connectivity without roaming, which is absolutely vital for large-scale IoT applications. In addition, Truphone provides unique, affordable business models for connectivity, which further encourages the adoption of IoT.”
Vincent Korstanje, chief executive at Kigen, said: “Enabling a new model of partnerships for simpler and wider adoption of secure, cellular IoT has been a driver for Kigen that led to the vision for the iSIM. This collaboration with Truphone and Sony will simplify and accelerate the journey for OEMs and enterprises for new battery-efficient devices with straightforward, global out-of-the-box connectivity.”