M2M SIMs for e-charging stations: Reliable and secure connectivity for charging stations - worldwide

E-mobility is one of the biggest issues of our time. More and more drivers are deciding against combustion engines and in favor of more environmentally friendly electric vehicles. However, a reliable and well-developed charging infrastructure for electric vehicles is needed for the transport transition to be successful. The reliable networking of charging stations for the transmission of data plays an important role in this.

E-charging station

Mobile radio for data transmission from charging stations

Functioning charging stations require more than just power lines. In addition to consumption and status data, smart e-charging stations must also be able to reliably and securely transmit payment data from users to operators and payment processors - regardless of where they are installed. One option for data transmission is mobile radio via the use of M2M and IoT SIM cards. The advantage of mobile communications is that the technology is standardized and established and the infrastructure is available almost everywhere. And not just in Germany, but worldwide. For charging station operators in particular, who install charging stations in different countries, this global availability is an important element in simplifying processes.

But not all mobile communications are the same. In a study on network coverage, the German Federal Network Agency came to the conclusion that individual network operators have a lot of catching up to do. In around 7.2 percent of the total area of Germany, only one of the cell phone networks of the major network operators is available in the 4G standard. Coverage can be expanded, especially along highways and important traffic arteries - predestined locations for charging stations and charging parks. The risk of connection interruptions and failures during data transmission is correspondingly high there. If the transfer of payment data from an e-charging station does not work, this is frustrating and disadvantageous for users and charging park operators alike. In addition, the availability of the networks in individual federal states varies greatly. In Bavaria, for example, network availability is worse than the average: in 15.5 percent of the total area, the network of one mobile network operator is available at most.

Multiple networks at the point of use: advantages of M2M SIMs in e-charging stations

The patchy network coverage of individual providers shows the importance of corresponding M2M SIM cards for IoT and M2M projects in e-charging stations. This is because M2M and IoT SIM cards use the mobile networks of different network operators. So instead of only ever establishing a connection via the network of a specific network provider, IoT SIM cards use all locally available networks for a stable and reliable connection. However, there is also a stumbling block here: steered roaming or the prioritization of a network operator.

M2M SIMs with non-steered roaming for stationary charging infrastructure

Depending on the provider, the IoT SIM card prioritizes networks of certain operators (steered roaming). In this case, the SIM forces the device to always connect to the network of provider 1 first. This continues until this network is absolutely no longer available. Only then does it switch to the network of another operator. In the worst case scenario, this means that users are regularly disconnected. This is particularly risky for stationary and permanently installed IoT SIM cards such as those in e-charging stations. While mobile IoT devices may have better reception again at a different location with the provider, this will rarely change for the stationary SIM. So if the reception of the provider prioritized by the SIM is weak at the place of use, this becomes problematic for reliable data transmission. With our M2M SIMs, on the other hand, these charging stations enable connection to the strongest network at a location. So it is not the network provider that counts, but only the network strength. In this case, we speak of uncontrolled roaming or network independence. With our M2M SIM cards for e-charging stations, both stationary charging parks and mobile IoT devices are reliably networked everywhere.

M2M SIMs for e-charging stations: Reliable and secure connectivity for charging stations - worldwide

Laura Gaber, M.Sc., is the longest-serving of our two Marketing Lauras. The Cologne native worked for several years as a communications all-rounder at EU level for the renewable energy sector. In 2016, Laura's curiosity drove her further afield - straight into the north and our arms. Since then, she has been dealing with the latest developments in digitalization, M2M communication and the IoT on a daily basis.


Laura Gaber
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