T-Mobile announced today eSIM, a ready-to-use SIM card that companies in the Internet of Things field (also known as machine-to-machine, or M2M) can preload on their connected devices, such as wearables and smart cars.
As part of its Uncarrier strategy, last year T-Mobile removed roaming costs for its clients when travelling in over 100 countries. Now the company wants to bring the same convenience to the connected car market, where cross-border travel can incur heavy roaming fees.
According to the carrier, travelling to Canada can cost drivers of connected cars up to $200 per month, if services like mapping, email, or video monitoring are being used. With eSIM, that cost is reduced to local rates if the driver travels to a country where T-Mobile has a roaming agreement. For now that means Canada, but T-Mobile promised more international markets will be announced throughout 2014.
“We’re bringing Un-carrier to the M2M space by doing what T-Mobile always does: putting our focus on the customer first through simplicity, transparency and cost”, said Drew Kelton, executive vice president, T-Mobile Business Markets.
Connected cars are a growing area of interest, with initiatives like the Google-backed Open Automotive Alliance and Apple’s iOS in the Car. A majority of cars shipping in the future will feature cellular network connectivity, and T-Mobile positions itself in this area as an ideal choice for companies looking to give users a seamless and affordable experience.
One of the first clients to use T-Mobile’s eSIM will be Mojio, which provides a module that turns almost any car built in the past 15 years into a connected vehicle. But it’s not only cars that can benefit from eSIM – as more categories of devices come with cellular connectivity, there will be a real need for international data plans that don’t cost users an arm and a leg.
More details in the press release below.
BELLEVUE, WA – February 18, 2014 – T-Mobile today announced eSIM, a first-of-its-kind approach to international wireless machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. With today’s announcement, T-Mobile eliminates roaming costs for M2M communication in the U.S. and Canada giving its customers local data rates when located in each respective country.
The M2M market, also referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT), is exploding. ABI Research estimates that the number of independently connected wireless devices will grow from 10 billion in 2013 to 30 billion by 2020 with ever more powerful and ubiquitous cellular networks contributing to that growth.
“T-Mobile is uniquely situated to take a leadership position in the M2M market. We have the network, capacity and organizational nimbleness needed by companies bringing M2M products to market,” said Drew Kelton, executive vice president, T-Mobile Business Markets. “With eSIM, we’re showing how we’re different than our competitors. We’re bringing Un-carrier to the M2M space by doing what T-Mobile always does: putting our focus on the customer first through simplicity, transparency and cost.”
How does it work?
T-Mobile is making it easy for innovative companies to embrace the M2M revolution. T-Mobile M2M enables always-on connectivity for products and services through T-Mobile’s nationwide network and international partners. Companies can build eSIM into an assortment of connected product categories including connected car and navigation, mobile health and wearables, among others. Think of a cloud-connected smart watch or fitness band that’s no longer restrained by borders.
“The Internet of Things knows no boundaries. or at least it shouldn’t have to,” said Rusty Lhamon, director of M2M, T-Mobile. “This unique approach to cross-border wireless communication is designed to eliminate the issue of permanent M2M roaming and makes connectivity seamless and simple.”
The potential cost-savings of eSIM are enormous. Consider a trucking company that travels frequently between the U.S. and Canada as an example. Between mapping services, video monitoring, email, fleet tracking software and vehicle diagnostics, a single truck might easily use 100MB of data per month while traveling in Canada. The roaming cost for that single truck alone could be as much as $200 per month or nearly $2,400 per year1.
Starting today, eSIM is available for businesses in the connected device market to integrate into their M2M solutions. eSIM ships fully configured out-of-the-box for use with multiple international carriers and can be easily pre-built into virtually any connected product — simplifying inventory management, removing the need for SIM swapping and best of all providing local data rates.
T-Mobile will continue to announce additional countries of support throughout 2014.
About T-Mobile US, Inc.:
As America’s Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc. (NYSE: “TMUS”) is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company’s advanced nationwide 4G and 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences for customers who are unwilling to compromise on quality and value. Based in Bellevue, Wash., T-Mobile US, Inc. provides services through its subsidiaries and operates its flagship brands, T-Mobile and MetroPCS. It currently serves approximately 46.7 million wireless subscribers and provides products and services through over 70,000 points of distribution. For more information, please visithttp://www.T-Mobile.com.
T-Mobile US Media Relations
877-281-TMUS OR 212-358-3210
1 Based on standard $3/MB data roaming rate
It’s good to see some small steps being made from companies like T-Mobile or Three UK (Hutchinson 3G) and even lawmakers like the EU for reducing or eliminating international roaming charges.
Here’s hoping these stories don’t remain in the minority for too long…
Having studied T-Mobile extensively, they’ve realized one great thing – there is opportunity in disruption. Incumbent carriers overcharging for legacy infrastructure are only beginning to realize how aggressive and ambitious T-Mobile truly is. With Legere at the helm, and with the moves they’ve made over the past 12 months, it’s safe to say that they are going to be top of mind for many; and rightly so.