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  6. IIJ streamlines cellular IoT deployment with global SoftSIM support for nRF9160 from Nordic Semiconductor

IIJ streamlines cellular IoT deployment with global SoftSIM support for nRF9160 from Nordic Semiconductor

Built-in SIM functionality removes connectivity and regulation considerations and enables designers to design robust, battery-operated cellular IoT applications.

February 26, 2024
Internet Initiative Japan Inc.

PDF [620KB] / Japanese

TOKYO - February 26, 2024 - Internet Initiative Japan Inc. (TSE Prime: 3774), one of Japan's leading Internet access and comprehensive network solutions providers, today announced a collaboration with leading provider of end-to-end wireless connectivity solutions, Nordic Semiconductor (hereinafter, "Nordic") that brings support for IIJ's SoftSIM to Nordic's popular cellular IoT nRF91® Series. The cellular IoT solution supports the popular nRF9160 SiP, a highly functional and power-efficient System-in-Package. With IIJ's SoftSIM readily available in the nRF9160, companies can manufacture wireless applications, electronic devices, smart appliances, and other cellular IoT devices with reduced BOM, size and weight. In addition to reduced manufacturing costs, SoftSIM simplifies device management and requires no physical SIM card or chip SIM.

SoftSIM communication profiles eliminate physical SIM cards and sockets, simplifying the connectivity and local regulation overhead. In addition to saving physical space on the PCB, manufacturers can decrease failure rates and increase the application's resistance to high temperature, vibration and shock. By eliminating a physical SIM card slot, the chance of communication errors due to hardware errors is reduced. Designers can develop small and rugged devices protected from dust and water ingress (IP) while eliminating the chance of SIM card theft.

IIJ is Japan's only SoftSIM provider, with SoftSIM expertise since 2019. Expanding IIJ's lineup with SoftSIM support for the high-performance and low-power nRF9160 SiP offers Japan's IoT device developers and manufacturers an unrivalled out-of-the-box cellular IoT solution.

Advantages for customers

The nRF9160 SiP integrates all functions needed for wireless communication in IoT devices in one package. nRF9160 has a compact size, proven best-in-class power consumption and global certification. The SiP has an application processor and memory, reducing the need for additional components. Customers adopting the nRF9160 SiP reduce their products' size and weight and cut manufacturing costs. By leveraging the IIJ SoftSIM, the communication profiles can be provisioned at the manufacturing stage for efficient production.

Global communication profiles

IIJ provides communication profiles for use not only in Japan but overseas as well. A communication profile can be updated OTA (Over the Air, a wireless method of updating SIM information). An IoT product can be shipped to multiple countries and used locally by downloading the communication profiles for the respective country.

Two types of SoftSIM

Customers can choose two types of SoftSIM depending on their needs. Option one is nRF9160 SiP in modem-only operation. Option two allows embedding their dedicated program in addition to the modem for application-specific operation.

Upgrading to IIJ SoftSIM in existing products

Existing nRF9160 SiP applications can be upgraded to IIJ SoftSIM with minor software updates. In the case of a complete SiP model change or hardware redesign, IIJ has the know-how and experience to assist with SoftSIM support and PoC (Proof of Concept).

IIJ will continue to support a diversity of customer business efforts in the area of IoT product development and manufacturing.


IIJ has a unique and solid expertise in cellular IoT and SoftSIM in Japan. With both local adoption and global reach of cellular IoT outside of Japan's borders increasing, including Nordic's nRF9160 SiP in their offering, it was natural to support embedded developers. IIJ's SoftSIM solution provides significant BOM and manufacturing cost reduction, miniaturization of designs and simplified connectivity globally.

Bjorn Bob Brandal, VP Sales and Marketing, APAC
Nordic Semiconductor


IIJ SoftSIM for nRF9160 SiP is avaialble now. The cellular IoT solution with live data on "Thingyworld" will be demonstrated at Mobile World Congress 2024 in renowned as Barcelona at the Nordic Semiconductor booth.

A list of IIJ modules for IoT devices are found here:

About IIJ

Founded in 1992, IIJ is one of Japan's leading Internet-access and comprehensive network solutions providers. IIJ and its group companies provide total network solutions that mainly cater to high-end corporate customers. IIJ's services include high-quality Internet connectivity services, systems integration, cloud computing services, security services and mobile services. Moreover, IIJ has built one of the largest Internet backbone networks in Japan that is connected to the United States, the United Kingdom and Asia. IIJ was listed on the Prime Market of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2022.

The statements within this release contain forward-looking statements about our future plans that involve risk and uncertainty. These statements may differ materially from actual future events or results.

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