Anritsu Partnership Develops First Solution for Live and Simulated Testing of Vehicle SIM Cards

Anritsu, Thales and European car manufacturer Groupe PSA have integrated the world’s first solution able to test vehicle with embedded SIM cards both in a laboratory environment and in a live mobile network, with rapid switching between the two.

Based on Anritsu’s MD8475x base station simulator platform and Thales’ On-Demand Subscription Manager (OSM), the solution allows Groupe PSA to conduct a full laboratory test of vehicle with the eSIM integrated into a car’s Telematics Control Unit (TCU). 

The eSIM in the car has a profile allowing it to connect to the mobile operator’s network providing connectivity to PSA group vehicles. Until now, only one environment, live or laboratory, could be used in the validation and in the verification test of the vehicle. 

The new solution ensures the eSIM can be switched easily to the laboratory profile, allowing the test team to control all aspects of the simulated network environment as well as all measurements. This is particularly important in the automotive industry, where safety is a priority.

Using the Thales OSM, the profiles can be conveniently switched over the air at the press of a button. During integration, the solution showed it could change from the live to the test profile and back again – initially connected to the live Mobile Network Operator (MNO), the eSIM switched its connectivity to the test radio network from the base station simulator.

The new solution brings great benefits over previous ways of swapping profiles, one of which involved physically desoldering the embedded SIM and replacing with another, bringing delays and the risk of damage. Another alternative is to use commands in the TCU, which can be complicated due to the use of proprietary software and may lead to undesired changes in TCU firmware.

As well as the automotive industry, the solution can be used in any applications that use embedded SIMs, such as in the rapidly growing Internet of Things.

Martin Varga, EMEA Wireless and Custom Solution Team Leader at Anritsu says: “Working with our partners, the integration of this unique new solution shows that Anritsu has the ability to support a wide range of demanding test environments. By speeding up the testing of vehicles with embedded SIM cards and giving testers complete control of the test regime, it will bring immense benefits to any industry where this technology plays a leading role.” 

Cyril Vialleton Architecture Network Security for Connected Car at Groupe PSA says: ‘’Today this technology brings many advantages to Groupe PSA, such as great flexibility for the teams in charge of current and future telematics gateway development of our vehicles. It also allows validation of the eSIM use cases – the OTA MNO migration campaigns for our connected services international development, for example, and enable simplified homologation process approvals for emergency call (eCall) of our vehicles.’’   

Christine Caviglioli VP Automotive at Thales says: “With more than 240 connectivity platforms already deployed, Thales has proven expertise in eSIM technology and related subscription management services. Our partnership with PSA and Anritsu demonstrates how to swap connectivity provider for vehicles in a laboratory environment. Together we are building trust in the safety of connected cars