It looks harmless enough, up on the wall – a camera in a hotel lobby or the entrance to an apartment block somewhere in the world. It’s there to protect visitors and residents and to give the building manager an overview of people entering and leaving the premises. You might think this sort of camera is not particularly significant in terms of technology. “Quite the opposite,” counters Sapkota. The product manager at G+D Mobile Security connects the camera to the Internet and protects it against unauthorized viewers throughout its entire lifecycle. “That camera isn’t just sitting there recording images on a hard drive in a back room. During the ten years or so of its service life, it regularly communicates via the Internet in order to download software updates, for example, or to save data in the cloud. Each time it does so, hackers could gain access and compromise the privacy of people in the building or its security arrangements.”
Sapkota is firmly committed to tackling this issue: “With our knowledge of connectivity and security, we can protect this camera and everything else in the Internet of Things throughout the entire lifecycle.” And he certainly won’t be short of work, as more and more devices and machines are connected over the Internet – from fitness trackers on our wrists through car-share vehicles at the roadside to major power stations on the outskirts of cities. How can all this technology be made digitally secure? “The key component here is the SIM card. It can be inserted in exactly the same way as the one inside your smartphone. Many devices, especially larger ones, now have a SIM card already built in, which is called an eSIM – where the ‘e’ stands for embedded.” These eSIMs have become a kind of control hub for our modern, interconnected lives.
Riwaj prepares for a meeting.
The participants of the Group-wide talent program visit G+D advance52, the incubator for digital business models.
“We estimate that there will be the equivalent of 3.5 networked devices per person by 2021,” reveals Sapkota, highlighting the scale of online connectivity in the future. This huge number of devices not only needs to be interconnected but also continuously identified, managed, and maintained – which requires eSIM management from the moment a device first logs on to the Internet through to its eventual decommissioning. “Anyone who is as fascinated by these things as I am should work at G+D. Some 30 years ago, when I was still a child in Nepal, G+D produced the first commercial SIM card. Today, we supply the global market with 700 million new SIM cards every year. In addition, we manage nearly three billion SIM cards across more than 80 countries.” G+D has been involved in all major commercial eSIM projects to date and is the overall global market leader.
And as if all that weren’t enough, Sapkota is also making the most of every opportunity that comes his way. “As a trainee here, I had an unbelievably busy and highly educational 18 months. I worked in four roles within the company, one of which was in Mexico, and during that time, I made many contacts that are still active today,” he recalls. Since then, he has also been involved in the “CEO meets Millennials” project, in which Group CEO Ralf Wintergerst meets with junior staff to discuss how to make G+D more attractive to young professionals from generations Y and Z. For his part, Sapkota has already set his sights on his next goal: He is participating in the G+D talent program for aspiring managers, which runs until 2020. “I gain so much positive energy here. I get back much more than the time and effort I put in.” And where does he hope to be in five to ten years’ time? “I want to be a manager and open up new areas of business for G+D.” That’s something he’s already started on: Recently, Sapkota and his colleagues from Mobile Security’s research department began working on a project that cannot be made public just yet. “We want to expand our existing range of SIMs and eSIMs so that we can safely connect the myriad of devices that have yet to join the Internet of Things.” It looks like Riwaj Sapkota is unlikely to get bored anytime soon.
This many devices, machines, cars, planes, and entire factories are expected to connect to each other in the near future via the Internet of Things. The benefits will become tangible for end users when cars automatically make emergency calls in the event of an accident, washing machines order replacement parts and arrange for a technician to visit, and fitness trackers can be used to pay for a snack after a run.