Evolving with the SIM industry

Remy Cricco, Chairman, Trusted Connectivity Alliance Board

An evolving industry

The ability of SIM technology to deliver trusted connectivity and prevent unauthorised access to mobile networks has been proven over decades and on a global scale. Mobile connections across the world now exceed 9 billion, the majority of which are related to mobile phones. (Source: GSMA)

Further growth in mobile connections is being driven by the burgeoning internet of things (IoT) landscape, which is expected to exceed 25 billion connections by 2025. (Source: GSMA) This has created new use cases for SIM technology. SIM solutions are now being considered and deployed across many verticals, such as connected cars, wearables, smart utilities, industry 4.0, consumer IoT and healthcare. They also have a key part to play in delivering security within 5G networks.

Alongside the currently unsurpassed levels of traditional SIM products being shipped annually, many of these new connectivity needs are fueling demand for complementary eSIM solutions. eSIM technology has a unique ability to deliver flexible control and dynamic security over a connected object’s lifetime. The emergence of thinner, smaller and more power-sensitive devices is also driving an additional, complementary need for SIM technology to be integrated into a larger system-on-a-chip (SoC).

With an increasing number of global authorities, industry bodies, governments and regulators working collaboratively towards defined IoT guidelines, certification schemes and mandates, there is growing recognition of the significant security advantages that the advanced features of secure elements (SE), including SIMs, can deliver to promote the development of a safe, sustainable connected ecosystem.

An expanding ecosystem

With SIM technology use cases expanding rapidly in line with ubiquitous global connectivity, the number of devices, applications and stakeholders engaging within the SIM ecosystem has broadened in recent years.

Industry collaboration in security provision for connected devices is in the interest of all stakeholders, as the development of a standardised ecosystem provides the foundation for the continued growth of connected objects globally. It is important for these ecosystem participants to have a collaboration platform to facilitate engagement. 

From SIMalliance to Trusted Connectivity Alliance

To reflect the continued expansion ofthe global SIM industry and the need for broad industry collaboration,SIMalliance has opened up its membership beyond traditional SIM vendors to engage new industry participants. The move has led SIMalliance to change its name to the Trusted Connectivity Alliance (TCA). The new organisational aim is to facilitate the sustained growth of connected objects through trusted connectivity which offers protection for service provider assets, device data and end user privacy.

SIMalliance has played a crucial role in facilitating and accelerating delivery of secure global services, through the development, enhancement and clarification of specifications and its work to promote a standardised security infrastructure. Trusted Connectivity Alliance will build on this strong legacy by bringing together a wider group of stakeholders within today’s SIM ecosystem to focus on one goal: enabling trusted mobile connectivity.

This is an essential foundation for the continued growth of connected objects globally, and the Trusted Connectivity Alliance will work with industry partners to support the standardisation of SIM technologies and champion the significant security advantages that secure elements (SE), including SIMs, eSIMs and iSIMs, can offer in the protection of connected devices and services.