IoT Leaders
IoT Leaders

Episode · 11 months ago

What does eSIM mean for the IoT industry? w/ Francis D’Souza

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The era of eSIM technology is here.

eSIM provides resilient connectivity alongside resilient IoT device security — and it does it while keeping total costs low for device makers.

In this episode, Nick interviews Francis D’Souza, VP Strategy & Products - IoT at Thales, about the benefits and use cases of eSIM technology.

Join us as we discuss:

- Four reasons eSIM technology benefits IoT practitioners

- Who determines data pricing

- Primary customers for eSIM 

- Using eSIM to acquire resilient connectivity and IoT device security

To hear more interviews like this one, subscribe to IoT Leaders on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your preferred podcast platform. 

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for IoT Leaders in your favorite podcast player.

You're listening to Iot leaders, a podcast from Si that shares real IOT stories from the field about digital transformation, swings and Mrs, Lessons Learned and innovation strategies that work. In each episode you'll hear our conversations with top digitization leaders on how Iot is changing the world for the better. What IOT leaders be your guide to Iot, digital transformation and innovation? Let's get into the show. Welcome to the IOT leaders podcast with me, your host, Nicolle, the CEO of Iot company Si. This is the podcast, as maybe will know. Certainly of you've been listening and watching previous episodes where we tempt to demistify different aspects of Iot because we know it was a very complicated world. And in this episode I'm delighted to welcome our guest from tables, which is Francis, to Susa, and Francis is a head of strategy for Talis World Wide. Francis, welcome to the IOT leaders podcast. Thanks Nick, thanks for having me. Glad to be and I know, Francis, you got a global really meets and you're based in Paris. Maybe just any of our viewers listeners who not fully familiar with Talus and perhaps the tie with Jamalto. Maybe you could explain, you know, briefly, to begin with Talis and then you'll roll. I will do what your role in tails before we get into the subject of this podcast, which is all going to be around what's happening in e Sims and how how it works, how we believe is going to change the industry. Absolutely so. Tallas is is a company that is present in different sectors, but all linked with the need to actually have to build that's a resilient systems. So this sectors are errorspace, defense and digital security and Cybersecurity, and within this, what talents does is establishes the world of trust. I'd like to focus on the digital and digital security and side...

...the security part of Talas, because you'd require about Ramata. So dramata was acquired by Talas and Gramato is really the pillar around which the digital and cyber security business is being built. Of and it works in different sectors. So there's a whole building trusts and cyber security for mobile operators, for banks and financial systems, for enterprises, for government and public sector and for Iot, and specifically within the Iot but I head up the strategy and products for the IOT unit. Where what talents does is brings, first fall, the most resilient cellular connectivity solutions to connect ivot devices. In addition to that, what Talas brings, in addition to the cellular modules that are used to connect devices, the e Sims, and they're really advanced technology around ESM that make for extremely resilient collectivity services as well as extremely color from a TCO perspective, helping keep total costs of ownership, i. t device maker service providers under control thanks to ease them technology. All of this underlined with cyber security, because this is essential for all of our businesses to day and particularly for Iot, where if you don't have security by design right at the start on your I device, Iot system, you are potentially exposed to a lot of, let's a bad actors in the chair, and talents brings the cyber security solutions on top of the cellular module and Connectivity and the ease and services for the out okay, great, thank you for that. Now there was a lot in there, but there was one bit in the middle that was specifically going to double click on, and and you mentioned the world of e sins. So let me just sort of play out the big picture at least from my perspective as I see it, and then you can jump in as to what tell us are doing in this area so broadly for the last twenty thirty years, we talked about on previous podcast. For us, twenty thirty years of arguably some cell phones first came out. There there hasn't been so much an easin...

...there there has been a proprietary stem. So there are over eight hundred mobile network operators in the world. They all have their own indi. International Mobile Subscriber Identity and the way they go to market is there em D is loaded into their same so when you contract, particularly from a cellular consumer voice perspective, which is where it was for the first thirty years, for you contract with the mobile operator, you got up their sin and then you that same always connected to the operator, and then the operator created global reach with roaming, and so you have a lot of roaming agreements between operators and many too many type situation. And that really has been the case pretty much right from the beginning of a cellular but that is now changing and and the whole easin which refers to not embedded as such, but the ability to actually have a Agnos operator agnostic sin where you can, and I use it an analogy of sort of like the way the kindle works or some of these ones where you actually the device will pull down the right M D basiciens requirements at that time, or a intermediately like an Mbno, with the load the MS based on the requirements at that time. So, in other words, it seems to me like it's a pretty fundamental point in the maturity of the Mobile Network operator where we're going in from a world dominated by proprietary sins to this emerging world with these sins which is essentially a generic sin that can be loaded with IMSEA's over the air. Have I broadly laid the table right on that landscape you had doing? I must point out about the world proprietary, because a lot of for the HELPCO industry, would come back with a hammer on the world proprietary for the Simit Cels, because the Simme it cels is completely standardized. Semi standardize. Yeah, but what they put it, but what it builds on the stack? Yes, I mean your kinds are of it's kind of a same issued by an operator. Yeah, the ES and, like you currently pointed out, is the ability to have at any stage with a hardware...

...is standardized, but the subscription of an operator could be changed during the life cycle. Now, specifically, point of view of an IET device makeup at service provider, why is this capability useful, and probably even more than consumer devices? The first thing, as an at device maker, as an ID service provider, you're probably building devices to ship around the world. SMART meter manufacture builds is a line of devices, a variant to go around the world. You might use different operators in different country. You might not know about it till you're shipping the device or at the point of insulation. How do you manage that? If you go to have a different simple operator per country, it explodes a number of skews and variants. Stock keeping units increases your cost of fundersition. So this is one point. How do you manage device variety when is shipping all across the world? Second Point, especially for devices that are using cellular networks but tend to be fixed, that's a smart meters or alarm panels, there fix locations in the home. In this case, literally the network has to come to the device. That device cannot go to the network like an like in a car. You don't have network you drive a few meters, you might actually get a network. In this case the device is fixed. So how do you actually how does the technician acquire the right, the operator that's present at that point in time that its meters installed? If you've got e some capability, it's literally like you catch out and you pull the network down to the meet. So this is the second point. Smart installation of the operator based on the conditions at the point of insulation. The third point is fall back. During, you know, the life of any device, network conditions change, say an operators base station goes down and suddenly a device is out of coverage. How do you manage situations like this? How do you have backup operators to be able to give you the resilience that you as a service provider of providing your customer? That's a third one. And the fourth one is in life change. So, for example,...

...you have contractual and this is typical of IOT devices. They might tend to have a long lifetime, ten fifteen years. SMART meters are very long time, but your telco contracts might be five, six years and at the end of it you might have another contract either it's because your original Telco has done the sunset of the network or you wish to change or the Mana, things like that. Much Muder nequisition between telcos. So how do you update the subscriptions on this devices at the end of a contractual period? And this capability of being able to remotely, digitally, be able to change your operator on your device rarely helps bring cost saving and bring the capability at the time of variant and device management, of variants management, of getting the right network at the point of insulation, of device ability to have a resilience and fall back in case of loss of primary connectivity and ability to be able to contractingly change operators over the year without sending someone, without doing a rock roll, should you wish to do it. And this is the ecent capability that's now on the market, that standardized, that's rolled out, that's implemented, that's really starting to make a different sniety. So you've made, as a company, had made a pretty significant announcement in this field and you fact, one of the first movers in that respect. So maybe you can just reallycamp the announcement you made as to how the Theo's benefits are clearly needed, especially with large, mostly region or even global employments to fall back to the bootstraps that you referring to, the the ability to switch, and is intue that you said, the ability to pull rather than rush. So all these things are really important characteristics of the solution. You can you just recap the announcement you've made and sort of talk to it a high level about how the new solution works? Absolutely, and I think I'll probably start up with the journey, because you're going to take you on a bit of imagination, so mind space, project yourself. So literally, you've got your IOT device. It's got...

...no subscription in it, it's got a hardware, let's call it, but it's literally an empty shell. Yeah, at the time of manufacturing the device you don't know where it's going to go, you don't know going to, you don't know what which network, where is that particular device going to go? You don't know all you have. But you do know that out of the let's say hundred thousand devices you're going to ship, you're probably going to have fortyzero, in Australia, thirtyzero and in Japan tenzero. In the US, stick for example, you also have various telco contracts in different parts of the world. All you do is, even before you ship your devices, you go to a portal and you set your provisioning rules. It could be as simple as, if a device shows up in this country, use this telco. If a device, for example, shows up in a country where I have to telco contracts, let's say smart metering, typical because you need to tell co contracts with the coverage. But in these conditions you tell Goa. In these conditions you sell go be and you just set up these provisioning rules. So you just put them up on a platform and you ship your devices. When your devices power on the first time using the bootstrap, they actually hit your server. They say where should I get my subscription from, and the server redirects it to that operator is on the provisioning rule where it press, a device presents an activation code, again part of the standards, and downloads the subscription. And all this process starting from an empty shell. You've done your provisioning rules, Waking Up, hitting the server, saying where do I get my subscription from, and downloading it from the corresponding m and no happens in the time. That's wake shorter than my explanation out there. And and this is something we've actually brought to the market. It relies on standardized infrastructure that telcos around the world have put in place to deal with consumer...

...devices like the iphone and some of the other easm based devices, and we've literally made the cellular module and the Easym Act like these devices. So using existing infrastructure and place around the world to be able to implement this capability for it. And that's quite a breakthrough because it addresses most of the pain points that Iot device makers and out service providers have when rolling out and making their projects of success. And and just to go a little bit deeper, I mentioned the kindle is an example of that. Existing technology, of I think I'm right saying, is what's called the SNDP plus to techno rate corrects, and that's where it is a whole and a push. So it's the differences. Today in Iote, a lot of the technology involves in you sensor condition and you push an Em z Ota, but this would be a pole. So the device says I now need based on the rules, I need absolutely and it goes and it polls from from the MC. So so that's the that's the yeah, that's that's fun. That's the fundamental difference and the ability of doing it as a pull rather than the push is that you do things based on real, actual network conditions, real life conditions. It's not bas and theoretical stuff are its service pushing based on, but assumptions. It's actual, real time conditions where the device send it back to the servants that tell me where should I get my subscription film? And I think one of the things that you will provide, and we'll get into who this is for in a minute, but let's say for an MB in a or CSP, someone who is using this to offer global capability, you'll provide them with network information, which could be which which, as you said, fixed devices, which networks are available in that exact location, absolute latency or whatever. So you'll provide network Mo worring information which they will then write their rules around, which...

...will determine when the pull happens of the hums. Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. So all of these let's say parameters would be passed on either automated or the Apis, and then they could be used in by a different provisional rule engine to decide about making the subscription download. What about the pricing? What about data pricing? So I understand how that technology will work. And the MNOS, I mean you have trend to serve reach into the world zempose many of the mark customers of yours, especially through the Gemalto side of this. I guess it uses the Demal too. SMS are technology, S MDP plus, yes, and TV plus, excuse me, at a technology. But the what about the billing and the and the data pricing? WHO DETERMINES THE PRICE? Thing, for the Datas are based on a contract between these spesp or and the in a show levels of us. So absolutely. So where talents comes in is Talas provide is literally providing the plumbing between the different parts of the ecosystem. Yeah, Palas doesn't get into the contractual relationships between the Om's and the MNOS or the Va nos, or between the Iot service provide and, let's say, the ones that's find the devices and the MNOS, and NBA knows. So Talas is the enabler and the I t device make or the at service provider has commercial relationships and agreements with people like yourself, I guess, I with the other tail Cos, and uses those commercial relationships to set up the provision groups. So thalas doesn't get into that. Where talents does is providing the infrastructure to the MNOS in the NBA or the s MDP plus to be able to bring this capability. And most of the MS and NBA nose around the world, like Guip with the capability, and Talas provides the cellular module with the esms that go into the at devices, as...

...well as the back end platform that does the plumbing between the device, between the s MDP plus and has all the subscriptions downloading into devices and makes it available a list, makes it available as a very simple commercial model. So you have the hardware on the device, that. EASM, that goes along with the cellular module. So you have one price there and then you have a transaction fee for every subscription that you download into the device. Okay, and WHO's the primary customer? It seems like they could be a multiple different types of customers, as is solution. So sort of I category. Can you serve? Absolutely the customer for which this is the, let's say, the easiest utility from a from an implementation point of view, it's easiest is an IOC divide, an Iot device makeup also bringing its own connectivity. That's because you have out devices makers just as make the hard way and then sell it on to someone else who puts together the solution, an Iot device maker that's also bringing in the connectivity. Yeah, the package is the device plus the connectivity is ideal for this, and it could actually even be so you have a many customers, for example, e. bike manufacturers. When you bike manufacturers, they build a device, they also provide a connectivity because that's part of the service. That's a sweet spot for this. You might even have, and you might be surprised to know, in some of for example in the smart metering world, the commercial contracts are changing. They move from a hardware model, just sell smart meter to the utility and then the utility by their connectivity, to a model where the smart meter manufacture sells metering as a service, in which case the smart manufacturer cells and Salla and then has to do all the negotiations and chooses the best conn again. Yeah, that's another typical one. Then there's a model that's a bit hybrid, and let's take the smart metering example, where the smart meter manufacturer will ship the smart...

...meters but the utility would buy the connectivity. YEA, the problem is not going away. If it's utility buying the connectivity of the smart meter manufactured by the connectivity, you still have the same problems. That smart meter needs to get the best network as at Rock, in which case the hardware, so to speak, is bought by the smart meter manufacturer and the service to download the subscription is bought by the utility. So those are typically the two kind of models that exist. And of course, for the infrastructure self, the SMDP plus, that's on the telcost side. That's something the palace sells to the MNOS or the NBA Nos directly. Yeah, okay, I got it. I think one of the other areas touched on in your initial view was security. Would you say that we all know how big a concern security is and in fact continues to be and is actually getting more and more important because of the threat the expanding edge we took to it and previous podcasts here. But does this solution things easier to implement a security policy or any of the customers that you've been referring to? Absolutely so. I'll come back to that in a second because so one of the things about security is the needs to be a concept of security by design. If you don't build in security from the start, you can't retrofit, and this is easier said than done because every device is unique. Of Your Environment is unique. So the principles of security are quite simple. Putting that into practice is harder. So within the GSMA there's a new initiative that's launch called IOT safe, which is sim is used as a kind of a route of pruss and as a as a base to start to secure the device. Yeah, and that's him. Could actually be the same eason that we've just spoken about earlier to download the subscription of the telegra of the of the MNO, the telecote. Are you selected? That Sim could also be used as a route of trust and as the trust anchor in the device for the security of the device itself. So moving forward,...

...what's going to happen is there's going to be a massive deployment of e Sims and ESEM technology. In parallel, there's a parallel track within the GSMA to standardize security via this Iot safe initiative, and that capability could reside with within the same eason we spoke about. So Your Sim now becomes your way of acquiring and managing extremely resilient connectivity and your way of acquiring and managing extremely resilient IOT divide security. And one of the reasons I asked you that it is just to actually such onto something that we as si offer, because I think security is, as we both know, a large, complex area and many components, and one of them is the issue of policy. A nominally did exttion behavior and deployment of policy to the edge. And so, in other words, when do you how do you spot infringement? When do you change the security cificate inside the spin? So one of the things that we have done is a relationship with the agentless security company called armies. There was a subject of a previous podcast. Now I think this fits in with with with what you just said, because my own view of as back to my opening comments, my own view of what's going to happen as a result of this change of the what I call the I won't use the P word that he's skilled me not to use, but let's say to a generic Sim is that you're going to see more adoption. And clearly that's one of the commercial reasons you've done it. It's one of the reasons we're in business. You see more adoption because as you rightly said at the beginning, people have held back, particularly, you know, the we mentioned the fifty billion things that we're going to be connected by. Two Thousand and twenty we got to eleven billion. It's a classic Parato. It's the eighty percent of things that are owned by twenty percent of the companies that didn't really give to full deployment. And they're the big multi region global deals, because people want global the big brands from global solutions. And if they were going to have to change the sins all the time and change their back ends, and there eight the eyes and the support infrastructures, it's too complicated. There was the Roi wasn't there,...

...but the moment you have introduced this. So Oh, then I can have a global sin and then the based on where the device lights up, I can actually have the poll technology to pull up right emty at time. So you have to assume that one of the effects of this will be an increase in adoption. Now, looking at it from the completely the and that's the glass half full, perspective, looking at the a's PARF empty perspective, you say, well then, if Iot security cellular devices is a problem, then as the number of cellud devices increased than the security threat perimeter, if you like, increases. So back to what we've done with arms, our miss and, in case people haven't heard, the armist episode. But they do agentless securities. So their philosophy. The California based company leader in by far in the agentless security for uty devices. What they say is, look that you can never keep pace with the bullets planting down the stairs. You can never actually put a security piece of an agent security likes semantic do on every device because the number of devices is growing exponentially. So you have to almost like use radar. My words, not, there's sense what's out there. And then you have a CMDB configuration management database. Is it behaving properly? Oh, that one's not behaving properly. Take a look at it. My policy is if it's not behaving properly, quarantine it, inspect, find out what's wrong and then, if need be, change in security certificates that would fit into the safe. He same thing that you're talking about. The challenge for both of us is that the IOT devices that are behind epeno fire walls aren't visible to enterprise. It's because they're one step removed because they're behind the MNO. so as your technology enables more m nos to basically be switched in and out of devices, because that's essentially what it does, then those devices arguably become even more invisible. So what we've done, I think it is a very important piece of the juice or here, because by running here at SI rerun all of our platform connectivity management platform over a private network.

So thinks that's like our own MPLS network. By connecting the R mpls network to our miss is cloud solution, which is connected to the enterprises mpls network, essentially you have a single mpls connectivity to every device, independent of which m now it's using at any one time. So suddenly you've solved a very important problem. You've extended the perimeter of your end. If you're an enterprise, you've extended the perimeter of your enterprise network to Iot devices that themselves can be on potentially hundreds of m notes, at which point you can then set policy centrally and have it deployed to the true edge, which is the Iot Edge, and that that, I think, is I believe that that's going to be really important as companies like your own enable much greater adoption across many more MNO's. That's the glass half full. The glass top empty. Is people would say, Oh, what's that going to do with my security? It's going to make problems worse. Therefore, you have to have governance, policy, compliance, quality of service. It's almost as armist described it to me, or some restricting to me is it's almost like every iot device is if it's connected by Ethernet cable into an ASSISCA rootter. But the idea of extending visibility policy control to the edge of the network, and I think that's going to be really important because you literally cannot put agent software and all these devices because they're all made by different manufacturers. A lot of them are sealed, they have pretty poor security, and I think it also it probably also solves the concern for the device manufacturers, doesn't it, because they they are also worried that any security problem often reflects on the device up manufacturer. Yeah, absolutely so. In fact, what you described, I mean, those are complete the complementary efforts, because with things like IOT safe and trust ankle...

...and security by design, it's, let's say, it's hygiene factor. It needs to be done, but security by design doesn't mean fire and forget, because security is always a moving target and and hackers always moving really fast. And what you describe of having the ability to constantly scan the behavior of devices and, based on the analytics, to be able to detect any device, as you know, divised devices that are behaving up normally flagg it set policies, is an essential component because again, remember, these are long life devices. So you might have the security by design and you will have your security policies that are said at the time the devices introduced into the market, which may not be good enough five six years down the line, which is where the ability, besides the good practice of having the ability to update and patch devices in a secure way, the ability to detect this behavior using something like the system you describe from our miss is is essential. Besides the fact that for many enterprises, if there's not been alt devices that I've been designed with security by design principles, you at least cover for that possibility by having such a kind of solution. So these solutions, one at the during let's say time of device design and implementation, and the other one constantly during the life cycle of a device, are essential and complete complementary to each other. So I think that makes for a very good compliment. Okay, I think a good understanding an overview of it. If you've announced it recently. Where are even in terms of the projecting your you in the early adoptor's phase? I guess you've got them and always meant, as you point out, the moment network copper is already have most of them. I guess you would have a SMDP plus. It's not like they have to learning happy because of the consumer devices use, right. You sort whole technology. Yeah, so you're in...

...the process of just rolling out the program now and signs the program absolutely. Absolutely. So. We've got our first device is shipping and we went, you know, classic we tested the concept minimum biable proposition and product eyes and rolling out in mass. Thank for some pretty big rollouts on. I can mention one example because that's public. Besides, there's lots of others which are bit under the Hood Right now, but there's a very big smart metering rollout that's happening using this technology up in Scandinavia and really segments like smart metering really need this technology as well because of, for example, in Scandinavia you've got. You might not have the best coverage all over the country, like in every country. So you need to have this whereas a smart meters fix at the location of the wall, at the meter where the non smart met at the location with a non smart meter was fix. So rather than have technician go out trying to figure out the best network, the antennas and everything, this intelligence is built in and its the ECAM downloads the subscription that's needed at that point of time. So this is commercialized, rolling out on Katam Networks, on Lt cat one networks, on Lt cat NBAT networks as well. It's been tested, works brilliant young cat and be networks as well. This is very, very much production grade, rolling out in implementation, in deployments and under testing beyond the ones that all did in deployment, and that the thing with a host of customers and at the same time there are many eminos and mb and nos also on boarding into the platform so that as they sign up contracts on their side with device makers, device makers could also use this capability. Okay, all right, great. So, Francis, if any of our listeners wanted to get in touch with you to find out more, how would they do that. Well, you got my friends at that. This is that Pallett Groupcom you real ID. But besides that, at any point of time you could just go to the palettes website, Palletts Groupcom Iot,...

...just fill the perform requests and get in touch with us. Or I mean we've been doing especially on this topic of what we call the IOTAS you put in a search for IODEA SIM on Linkedin, you'll have plenty of stuff that POPs up. You'll have me and a lot of different videos going to give me on Linkedin and we can take it from there. Yeah, and I've been on there and I've seen he's got a few explanation videos and absolutely done of quite paper. And do you absolutely that's right? All right. Well, I think that's probably a good overview for people, and hopefully people do visit the website and find out most for what if we leave it there. Thank you very much for appearing on this episode of Iot leaders podcast. Is exactly what we wanted to do and we design this series. It is really a Shinne light on how to navigate through a lot of the complexities of Iot and certainly this area of being able to get large global deployments, to be able to simplify the deployment and to actually have choice, agnostic choice across different operators is something that many of our previous speakers I've spoken about, so I'm sure it will be successful. So I'd like to finished by again thanking friendstance Susan from Temas, and thank you for listening. Will be doing all Iot lead as podcast. If you need to get in touch with me, I'm a Nick Gel, CEO of SI. You can find me on Linkedin, but also that we have our email address as well, which is Iot leaders, sieeseyecom. So thanks for listening and look forward to talking to you all the next episode. Thanks again for tuning in. Thanks for tuning in to Iot leaders, a podcast brought to you by SI. Our team delivers innovative Global Iot cellular connectivity solutions that just work, helping our customers deploy differentiated experiences and disrupt their markets. Learn more at SICOM. You've been listening to iote leaders, featuring digitization leadership on the front lines of Iot. Our Vision...

...for this podcast is to be your guide to Iot and digital disruption, helping you to plot the right route to success. We hope today's lessons, stories, strategies and insights have changed your vision of Iot? Let us know how we're doing by subscribing, rating, reviewing and recommending us. Thanks for listening. Until next time,.

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