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Bronze Level Contributor
The Difference Between a Regular Smartphone SIM and an IoT SIM for Enterprise

Illustration: © IoT For All

Despite looking identical on the outside, the features and functionality offered by regular SIM cards for smartphones differ vastly compared to IoT SIM cards, and using a made-for-enterprise SIM can save your business a lot of time and money.

The key difference lies in functionality and manageability – a regular smartphone SIM card just provides connectivity and doesn’t include the additional functionality offered by IoT connectivity providers. These enterprise-oriented functions are precisely what makes it simpler to scale your business. 

Coverage, Cost and Contracts 


Regular smartphone SIMs have contract terms that are bound to one local network, with differing terms and rates across foreign networks. This has several implications for businesses, which include: 

  • Tedious sourcing and managing of different connectivity providers on a per-country basis, with their respective contracts and bills. 
  • Complex inventory logistics to ensure devices are shipped with the right SIM to the right destination. 
  • High roaming charges that apply when devices are deployed in different countries or move across borders. 
  • Rigid terms predetermined by network operators (including contract periods, usage volume, pricing and packages, and billing periods). Changing contract terms, depending on the aspect, can be difficult or outright impossible. 

This is when IoT SIMs come into the picture with enterprise-focused features and operators behind them. Unlike regular smartphone SIMs that are hard to manage at scale, expensive and complex to deploy across many regions, and come with inflexible terms, IoT SIMs are the opposite and open up possibilities such as: 

  • Contract terms that accommodate your specific business needs (such as usage volume, billing date, and more). 
  • Flexibility to pause, resume and cancel a SIM card subscription, as well as ability to change terms associated with it. 
  • Availability of pay-as-you-go tariffs for additional pricing flexibility. 
  • A single SIM allows access to multiple local networks. This gives better coverage within the country since the SIM can now switch between networks, prioritizing the best available one. 

The ideal network operator of the IoT SIMs would also have arrangements in place for pricing across countries and networks, eliminating the need for using and switching between multiple SIM cards. 

Continue reading

Originally published by
EMnify | July 30, 2020
IoT For All

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