How are M2M SIMs different to standard SIMs?
Subscriber Identity Modules, better known as SIMs, identify which network your device connects to for calls, texts and data. While the same can be said for M2M SIM cards, there are some significant differences.
Even though M2M SIM cards act in a very similar way to regular SIM cards, they have been designed for very different applications, primarily the transmission of data from one machine to another, hence the M2M moniker.
Rather than connecting peoples’ phones, these SIMs provide a network for machines to send and receive data in real time across large distances. Popular applications include GPS tracking for boats and vehicles and even people tracking for patients with dementia and children. M2M SIMs are also great for remote locations, like weather and research stations, or any remote sensor that needs to send data to a main hub where the information is then collated and processed.
The infrastructure that governs M2M SIMs makes it much easier to manage large volumes of SIM cards from one portal. For example, if you had hundreds of tide sensors across the country, you could push updates or changes to setting across all SIMs at once from a single portal. In addition, you can also share data allowances across the ‘fleet’ of SIMs, via a single master SIM, rather than having to ‘top up’ each card individually.
M2M SIM cards have been designed to be far more robust than normal SIMs. They’re built to withstand extreme temperature, prevent corrosion and can handle vibration as well as sudden movements much better than a traditional SIM.
One of the main reasons M2M SIMs are used instead of conventional cards is because they are carrier agnostic and can use any network with a strong enough signal, rather than being locked to one network. This ability to ‘roam’ ensures that devices have more than one route to transmit their data in case the primary network suffers an outage and the SIM needs to change to the next strongest signal.
Given the use-cases for M2M SIMs, they are designed for efficient data transmission rather than receiving calls and SMS, and are great for any kind of GPS tracking where other forms of connectivity, like Wi-Fi, wouldn’t be applicable.
Some services also use SMS as a data delivery method, instead of transmitting the raw data. This can be a great cost-saving tool as you only pay for each ‘transmission’ of data, rather than paying for a data allowance that may not be used within a certain timeframe.
Global M2M SIM offer PAYG and contract SIMs, so whatever your use-case or frequency of data transmission, they will be able to use their expertise to provide the best solution.