What is an IoT SIM card?

What is the difference between IoT and IIoT? What exactly is an IoT SIM card and what are the use cases?  These are a few of the most basic questions when it comes to the topic of IoT SIM cards and in this blog post, we want to provide you with the most important answers.

First of all, let’s define the term IoT for you. In addition, it is also important to distinguish what the difference is to the similar-sounding term IIoT.

1. The difference between IoT & IIoT

What is IoT?

To understand what IoT SIM cards are in the first place, it is necessary to explain the term IoT. This is in fact the abbreviation for the term Internet of Things. With the Internet of Things, it is possible for smart devices to connect to each other on the one hand and to the outside world on the other. To make it easier to understand, you can also imagine that through these SIM cards the devices have the ability to talk to each other without involving a human being. This makes it possible for everyday objects to become intelligent devices.

What is IIoT?

IIot is an abbreviation for the term Industrial internet of things. The IIoT is a subset of the IoT that focuses on industrial applications. Companies can increase the efficiency of their gadgets in their operations as a result of this. Thus, it can be said that IIoT is a subset of IoT and focuses only on industrial purposes.

2. What is an IoT SIM card?

Once you understand what the term IoT even means, it’s easy to understand what an IoT sim card is.

Unlike traditional sim cards, which we use in devices such as cell phones or tablets, IoT sim cards are designed for smart devices. IoT sim cards allow devices to be connected and able to communicate with each other.






What are the actual use cases for IoT sim cards?

Whether we know it or not, in our daily lives, we often encounter products powered by M2M SIM cards – e.g., wearables, smart home devices, sensors, industrial and medical devices. Those products need to communicate with each other or, very commonly, cloud-based applications in order to be fully functional. 

3. What is the difference between IoT SIM cards & traditional ones?

IoT SIM cards, as previously said, are designed to connect between devices and between two machines’ northbound apps. As a result, the automotive, industrial, logistics & telematics, and medical industries are the most common applications for IoT SIM cards. Traditional SIM Cards, on the other hand, are mostly utilized in consumer devices such as smartphones and tablets. However, there isn’t the only distinction between the two sorts of SIM cards. They, on the other hand, differ in the following areas:

  • Durability

M2M SIM cards, unlike regular SIM cards, are frequently utilized in distant places with tough conditions. M2M SIM cards are engineered to survive more extreme circumstances than standard SIM cards used in consumer devices. Furthermore, M2M SIM cards can last for up to ten years.

  • Increased storage capacity

M2M SIM cards differ from regular SIM cards in that they have a larger memory capacity. IoT devices are frequently installed in remote areas, and a large amount of data is delivered there that cannot be removed on a regular basis.

  • Scalability and Roaming Capability on a Global Scale

Mobility of the devices and cross-border communication are significant requirements in many IoT and M2M use cases; M2M SIM cards are typically allocated to tariffs with standardized regional cost structures. The only way to successfully power an international and even global-scale network, especially with M2M eSIMs, is to use M2M SIM cards and IoT cellular connectivity.

  • Security

As a result, traffic from M2M connections is frequently segregated from the rest of the data traffic in mobile network carriers’ core networks. Private access points, or APNs, are commonly utilized to do this.

  • Management platform

Another significant distinction is that M2M SIM cards are typically controlled through a platform. This allows you to manage all of your SIM cards and end devices from a single location. Learn more about the CMP at freeeway (Connectivity Management Platform)

  • Accounting

In contrast to regular SIM cards, special data tariffs are offered for M2M SIM cards. In addition, the standard approach of data pooling allows one device’s unused data volume to be passed on to other devices. As a result, the tariff bundles are usually better utilized.

4. Benefits of the freeeway IoT SIM card

Our Network Partners

From a single country to global network coverage, co-operates with leading Mobile Network Providers to provide you with access to over 680 networks throughout the world. Take a peek at our current partners, but stay tuned because we’re always expanding!

KPN is a Dutch landline and mobile telecommunications company based in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Freeeway offers access to 461 networks and provides services for 2G, 3G, 4G, LTE and LTE CatM1.

A1 Telekom Austria is the leading communication provider in Austria based in Vienna. Through the provider network, Freeeway connects to 406 networks for 2G, 3G, 4G, LTE and NB-IoT.

Magenta is an Austrian-based telecommunications provider and a fully subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG (Germany). The partnership enables Freeeway to offer 524 networks for 2G, 3G, 4G, and LTE-M, LTE CatM1, NB IoT.

Vodafone is a global leader in technology communications based in Newbury, UK. As an official Vodafone partner, Freeeway offers access to 680 networks for 2G, 3G, 4G, LTE-M, LTE CatM1 and NB-IoT.

Arquia Datora is our first network partner in South America, based in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Through this partnership, freeeway is able to offer 2G, 3G, 4G and LTE in Brazil through TIM and VIVO networks.

Telna provides Freeeway with a managed global network infrastructure for cellular connectivity. Its multi-network platform enables simplified billing and localization, utilizing 6+ telco pops globally.

TELUS is a dynamic, world-leading communications and information technology company with 15.2 million customer connections spanning wireless, data, IP, voice, television, entertainment, video and security, healthcare, and agriculture.

floLIVE offers advanced 5G network solutions, both privately and over the cloud, and a full suite of global cellular connectivity services for IoT use cases. floLIVE operates floNET – a one-of-a-kind Global Connectivity Service designed and built especially for IoT. With floNET, enterprises can enjoy seamless global connectivity for their connected devices.

Our Tariff & Pooling Options

At freeeway, we offer two pricing and two pooling options to provide you with the product that is right for you.

Pricing Options:

  • Postpaid

At the end of the billing cycle (usually aligned with the calendar month), the consumed data volume and SMS are charged. In addition, the invoice highlights the different data bundles, SMS and M2M voice consumption, and out-of-plan fees.

  • Prepaid

Optionally you can select a prepaid model that provides a per price-plan level, an MB data bundle, and a validity period, e.g., 500MB for 24 months.

Pooling Options:

  • Static Pool

Where a certain number of data, i.e. 500GB, is provided monthly. An infinite number of SIM cards can be assigned to the static pool and consume from there. After the pool is consumed, you have the option that another pool of the same size is opened or that a second smaller pool, i.e., 50GB is added for this billing cycle. In the following billing cycle, the system will start again with a static 500GB pool.

  • Flex Pool

A Flex pool allows you to use the data allowance of multiple SIM cards within a price plan. With every additional activated SIM card, the overall pool for you increases. The price plan consists of a data allowance per SIM and an over-usage rate per zone. In case that the data allowance is used up, the SIM card is NOT deactivated.

Price plans can be changed at any time during the month. The price plan set on the last day of the billing cycle (month) will be charged.

The technical details of our SIM cards

We provide you with all possible M2M SIM card formats:

  • Form Factors

All SIM form factors are available: 2FF (Macro), 3FF (Micro) & 4FF (Nano) as well as MFF2 (SIM Chipsets)

  • Branding

Two visual SIM card options. Customized with your company branding if needed or plain white.

  • Industry Grade

Special industrial-grade SIM cards with more read/write cycles as well as higher/lower temperature ranges (-40 up to 85 or 105 degrees celsius).

  • MFF2

Format for industrial assembly. MFF2 SIM cards are SMD (=Surface Mount Devices) units. Hence, the SIM is like any other active or passive electronic component that will be added during the manufacturing process. These SIM cards are usually more durable than normal plastic cards and have their main applications in appliances that work in harsh conditions.

  • Customized Solutions

We offer special solutions for aviation, automotive, and your use case. Ask how we can help you!

That is all!

We hope that we could give you a good overview of M2M SIM cards. Feel free to contact us to get your free test SIM cards!

7 min.