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How Zero Touch will transform IoT device deployment

e-SIM and i-SIM technology accelerates zero-touch IoT installation, lowering cost and labor

The slow deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) devices has resulted in a loss of revenue for mobile network operators (MNOs), communications service providers (CSPs), cloud platform providers, OEMs, and ODMs. One reason is unpredictable sales. In addition, the installation and configuration of each IoT device and actuator is a painfully long experience that requires significant effort and technical knowledge by field specialists.

The expectation for deploying IoT devices on a large scale in a smart airport, smart retail store, smart factory, or smart city requires simplifying the onboarding processes by reducing the number of manual steps necessary to make the devices operational. The goal for managing the overall IoT device life cycle is to set up each IoT device (short-range and long-range) to communicate with its intended destination.

There are approximately 20 billion connected IoT devices in the global market today. By 2025, the IoT market is expected to expand to $1 trillion, with more than 25 billion IoT connections, according to the GSMA. As OEMs manufacture more IoT devices, they need to be installed manually and configured to connect seamlessly with the IoT network. However, the manual provisioning of IoT devices today requires scheduling an appointment at the customer location for a field technician to manually set up the IoT devices. In addition, the field technician must test the functionality of each IoT device, which leads to higher labor costs and the potential for human error.

As the GSMA IoT-SAFE standard evolves, network operators, service providers, and cloud platform providers will create new Zero-Touch business models that could increase the average revenue per IoT device in various market segments and generate market-share growth. Furthermore, with Zero-Touch provisioning based on GSMA IoT SAFE and other cutting-edge technologies, such as 5G and Edge computing network architectures, one day soon, IoT networks will become entirely automated.

The promise of faster service activation, lower operational cost, scalability, and fewer human errors with Zero-Touch provisioning has created significant interest within the IoT industry and triggered SoCs, OEMs, ODMs, MNOs, cloud platform providers and other service providers to invest in the Zero-Touch solution for emerging IoT market segments.

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