Swisscom and Enea provide affordable IoT

  • September 6, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

Switzerland’s telecom operator Swisscom is working with Italian firm Enea to launch an affordable, secure IoT deployment platform that allows enterprises with a smaller number of devices to launch via a VPN.

Swisscom will use a single APN (access point name) for all its enterprise users while delivering the traffic over one or multiple VPNs. IoT users can also set up VPNs to send traffic to their partners as with an SD-WAN.

The offering will be based on the Enea Aptilo IoT Connectivity Control Service (IoT CCS), which will make it affordable for enterprises with smaller numbers of devices to connect through a reliable VPN connection. It will also allow selected traffic to pass directly to the internet, protected by FortiGate, a firewall from Fortinet.

Enterprises turn to mobile connectivity for their IoT applications since mobile systems are standardised and secure. However, most IoT applications are either quite basic, requiring only SIM management and connectivity control, or highly advanced and customised for individual users. Stuck in the middle is the long tail of those that need value-adding security features, such as firewalling and getting traffic through dedicated VPN connections, at a reasonable cost.

The multitenancy private APN functionality of the Aptilo IoT CCS will allow Swisscom to use a single APN for all its enterprise users while delivering the traffic in one or many VPNs to each. As a result, IoT users can also set up VPNs to send traffic to their partners, as with an SD-WAN rather than a private APN.

From Swisscom’s perspective, the process of setting up a private APN is completely automated as the enterprises are handling their own enterprise VPN setup through an online customer self-service.

“Delivering a private APN with an enterprise VPN is normally a tedious process for both the service provider and their enterprise customers, which can take weeks to complete,” said Philipp Rimli, product manager at Swisscom ( “With Enea Aptilo IoT CCS, we can automate the delivery of VPNs for private APNs through a customer self-service portal.”

Using the IoT CCS, Swisscom will not only be able to offer scalable and secure IoT connectivity that is easy and fast to set up., it will also be much easier to make changes. With traditional private APNs, users face complexity when updating each device with a new APN name to change the enterprise VPN destination. Through the Swisscom service, enabled by Aptilo, enterprises gain efficiency and control by making such changes centrally in the cloud instead of in each device.

“Many IoT projects start small, and the Enea Aptilo IoT CCS can be viewed as the glue that supports enterprise IoT deployments all the way from early trials to large-scale deployments,” said Roland Steiner, senior vice president at Enea ( “We are happy to partner with Swisscom and bring more advanced and secure cellular IoT connectivity services cost-effectively to more enterprises.”

Using a single APN also has benefits for global connectivity. For example, service providers can offer a unified global IoT connectivity service across international partner mobile networks, where IoT devices can keep the same IP address and security policies even when their eSIM is connected to a partner network. Moreover, the fact that IoT CCS is hosted as a unique, dedicated instance for the service provider on Amazon Web Services in the cloud makes it easier to scale globally.