Sequans adds iSIM to Monarch 2 IoT module, starts testing with AT&T and others
IoT chip and module maker Sequans Communications has said its Monarch 2 module, offering dual-band LTE-M and NB-IoT connectivity, is available as a GSMA-compliant integrated SIM (iSIM / iUICC) unit. It said the iSIM-enabled Monarch 2 is the first IoT chip to pass third-party Common Criteria testing for highest level CC EAL5+ security certification.
France-based Sequans worked with Tiempo Secure, a provider of security IP for semiconductor design companies, and Kigen, a provider of the SIM operating system with remote SIM provisioning, to bring the iSIM solution on its chip to market. Tiempo helped with the certification work with CEA-LETI, where Monarch 2’s CC EAL5+ Common Criteria security rating was proven.
Sequans and Kigen have demonstrated Monarch 2’s iSIM capabilities using Kigen’s advanced SIM OS with key customers and operators. The iSIM embeds the SIM directly into the chip as an integrated universal-integrated circuit card (iUICC), presented as “virtually exempt from tampering”. It allows for remote SIM provisioning; its tamper-proof credentials provide a security advantage for IoT applications in utilities, healthcare, banking, or retail, said Sequans.
The introduction of iSIM, which has only been available so far in proprietary versions, will “have a profound impact on enabling IoT on a massive scale”, said Sequans. ABI calculates cumulative shipments of eSIM/iSIM devices will reach 3.8 billion in the next five years. The iSIM version of its Monarch 2 module is “sampling” today, it said, with select customers “on tier-one operator networks” in the US and Europe, including AT&T. Evaluation kits are now available from Sequans.
Georges Karam, chief executive at Sequans, said: “We have reached a major milestone with this new and powerful iSIM capability in Monarch 2 that takes the vision of massive IoT from an exciting possibility to a present-day reality. We are grateful to Kigen and Tiempo for their contributions that have helped us provide our IoT customers with an iSIM solution from which they can reap huge benefits in streamlined logistics, manufacturing, and provisioning—and one that is truly future-proof.
“All who are engaged in Common Criteria certification know that the process is inherently complex and challenging, but we were determined to achieve it since we understand the need of our customers for unassailable security for their IoT applications.”
Serge Maginot, chief executive at Tiempo Secure, said: “Monarch 2 is one of the most advanced IoT platforms and the only LTE-M/NB-IoT chip with such a high level of integrated security. Passing Common Criteria EAL5+ certification with such a complex chip integrating our secure element IP is a world-first achievement and proves that Monarch 2 with its GSMA-compliant integrated SIM is a first-class solution.”
Vincent Korstanje, chief executive at Kigen, said: “Integrated SIM delivers significant reduction in size and silicon footprint in addition to enhancing security. We are proud that Kigen’s iSIM OS with Remote SIM provisioning now allows customers to address the most security critical applications on the IoT market with the CC EAL5+ certified Monarch 2 SoC.”
Cameron Coursey, vice president of IoT solutions at AT&T, said: “The high level of security Sequans has achieved with the EAL5+ certification on Monarch 2 will surely speed-up the iSIM adoption in IoT devices. It is very clear that SIM security available on-chip will have a tremendous effect on accelerating the IoT market.”
Amanda Huang, senior product manager of Intelis Cellular water meter at Itron, said: “Sequans made a smart decision with their standards-based approach to iSIM in Monarch 2. We see the value of having such an approach in the ecosystem to provide simpler manufacturing, which will help Itron to increase operations management efficiency while streamlining the supply chain.”
Phil Seely, research director at ABI Research, said: “Standardization and certification will be key in unlocking eSIM/iSIM functionality and its subsequent market opportunity. First movers like Sequans understand the importance of standardization and its significant role in enabling true end-to-end digitization. Sequans and its Monarch 2 solution with CC EAL5+ certification for full GSMA-compliant iUICC support is a great example of this and it will help bring eSIM/iSIM and its functionality to the masses.”