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The Importance of eSIM IoT Devices for Sharing E-scooters
The Importance of eSIM IoT Devices for Sharing E-Scooters

In the fast-paced world of micromobility, the Internet of Things (IoT) device has emerged as a game-changer, transforming the way we navigate our cities. The integration of IoT technology with micro-mobility solutions, such as e-scooters and bike-sharing systems, has ushered in a new era of convenience and efficiency. IoT-enabled micromobility devices are now equipped with an array of sensors and connectivity features, allowing real-time data collection and analysis. However, through our own experience of being a fleet manager for Bird scooters, IoT devices boast a lot of connectivity issues deemed to have an unknown cause in our workspace.

To better understand the issues we and many more fleet managers around the world have faced, it is important to realize the exact issues we are dealing with. Our first experience with micromobility IoT devices was with Okai’s in-house built 4th-generation IoT device. In the spring of 2022 we officially partnered with bird and started to receive shipments of Okais manufactured ES400D e-scooter models. Many of the scooters were deemed offline and unbeknown to us at the time, was due to a dysfunctional IoT. We were just stepping foot into the micromobility space and these scooters being a new model for Bird Mobility, their knowledge on Okais scooters and IoT devices was just as limited as ours. This caused months of confusion and scooters mysteriously going offline and never coming back.

Through trial and error, a trusted method of ours, we were able to finally pinpoint the connection issues we were having straight to the scooters IoT. This led us to investigate what was failing in the IoT. We found the issue was related to the sim cards and the sim card reader. It is important to note that Okai IoT devices come with two different options, a conventional micro sim card or a built in eSIM card. Now that you know all this information you may see why the title of this article is “The importance of eSIM IoT Devices for Sharing E-scooter fleets”.

…Had these materials been readily available and shared transparently, our intervention might not have been necessary.

The inside of Okais IoT devices are completely covered in silicone except for the sim card and its reader. This allows for small particles such as dust to sneak in and contaminate the sim card and the reader which seem to be extremely sensitive. Various methods allow these IoT devices to function and return online yet are tedious and time consuming. However, when the IoT device has a built in e-sim card everything is covered with silicone allowing for zero contamination with harmful particles. Having to leave the sim card and its reader uncovered is the achilles heel of the micro sim versions, although that is not the only reason why we recommend the eSIM version.

Micromobility IoT devices require SIM cards for connectivity as they rely on wireless communication technologies like cellular networks to transmit data and communicate with the central platform. With remote provisioning, eSIMs allow operators to manage SIM profiles OTA (over-the-air), simplifying device activation and reducing maintenance hassles. Their flexibility to store multiple operator profiles offers seamless switching between carriers, making global deployments more convenient. eSIMS also have enhanced security features, such as tamper-resistant hardware and encryption, making eSIMs more resilient against unauthorized access. These factors paired with the glaring micro sim flaw, is why emphasize the importance of eSIM IoT devices in the micromobility space.

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