Thursday, February 2, 2023
HomeDroneDangers of Shopper SIM playing cards for drone operations

Dangers of Shopper SIM playing cards for drone operations

SIM card for drone operations

public area picture, CC0

Working sUAS on cell networks is nice – however what’s the precise SIM card for drone operations?   The Case for IoT SIM playing cards.

A latest report by Verizon and the FAA signifies that cell connectivity is a sound and fascinating type of management over drones and UAVs. A paper by Ericsson from 2019 explores the subject and addresses the necessities wanted to help drone operations.  Drone connectivity specialists Elsight agree, on this place paper.

Using cell networks for drone C2 is sweet for the trade, because it doesn’t require a complete new infrastructure.  Industrial drone operators utilizing cell connectivity for command and management want to make sure they’ve the precise instruments to make sure connectivity and make it work, together with the precise SIM card.

Normal client SIM playing cards are cheaper and have greater connection speeds and decrease latency.  Shopper SIM playing cards even have limitations on information and may very well be dangerous for industrial drone ops.  IoT SIM playing cards – designed for industrial and industrial use – may be a safer wager.

What’s an IoT SIM card – and What’s the Distinction?

An IoT SIM card is a variation of the SIM playing cards that are utilized in smartphones and different cell units.  It consists of extra options tailor-made particularly for IoT units and has higher sturdiness, safety, and suppleness. Whereas client SIM playing cards are usually activated and operated on a person foundation, IoT SIMs should have the ability to be remotely managed and have the ability to be operated and activated in bulk. IoT SIM playing cards are constructed to outlive in additional “industrial” situations that ordinary SIMs received’t be anticipated to come across, together with excessive and low temperatures, robust winds, rain and snow, and extra.

Which may make IoT SIM playing cards appear to be an apparent selection, however client SIM playing cards do include some benefits: for client use, they provide decrease latency and better connection speeds, site visitors precedence, and the flexibility to ship voice in addition to information.  IoT SIM playing cards are additionally dearer than client SIM playing cards.

(This text from Expertise for Learners gives extra data: this piece from (a vendor) additionally does a good job laying out variations.)

The Dangers of Shopper SIM playing cards: Regulatory limits

The largest downside with client SIM playing cards is that in virtually all circumstances, utilizing a client SIM for an IoT system doubtless violates the cell community operator (MNO) phrases and situations relating to use of the SIM card.  That’s a threat for industrial operators, as an MNO might resolve to shut the account and even impose fines.  That’s a major threat for industrial operators: it will require grounding the fleet till a brand new contract is procured and all SIM playing cards are changed.

The community operator isn’t the one occasion who could trigger an issue.  The FCC hasn’t but accepted use of economic wi-fi to help UAS operations. Companies who use a client SIM card for drone operations as an alternative of an IoT SIM can threat enforcement motion on the FCC – together with their MNO.

Bodily SIM card limitations

Along with regulatory points, IoT SIM playing cards are extra rugged and sturdy than client SIM playing cards – which signifies that IoT playing cards are extra capable of stand up to all kinds of flight situations.  IoT SIM playing cards can function in temperatures starting from -40°C to 105°C (-40°F to 221°F), and provide elevated resistance to corrosion. IoT SIM playing cards may be anticipated to function optimally even when encountering robust winds, intense vibrations, extreme motion, rain and humidity, all issues which one can count on to happen throughout common drone operations.


Lastly, there’s the difficulty of information.  A number of information.  Nearly all of client information plans include a restrict on how a lot information you should utilize: as soon as that restrict is reached the information speeds are severely slowed down, often called “throttling”.   Most customers don’t have to fret about throttling, as a result of they a) normally don’t attain their information limits and b) have the flexibility to complement their information utilization with Wi-Fi to restrict the usage of their information plans.  Drones wouldn’t have these choices. As soon as a drone reaches the information restrict and encounters throttling, this could significantly impact drone connectivity and endanger the drone.

An enormous information plan may assist, however that’s an costly proposition.  Shopper information plans aren’t usually designed for industrial drone operations.

Whereas the temptation to make use of a client SIM card is comprehensible because of the low latency and excessive connection speeds obtainable to the buyer market, the downsides and potential ramifications of utilizing a client SIM make an IoT SIM card a safer selection for scalable – and dependable – industrial drone operations.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular