Does eSIM cannibalise or grow your subscriber base? Here we look at the market reality of this age-old debate.
Considering the flipside
For some mobile network operators (MNOs), the eSIM is a source of fear with a more virtual SIM removing a physical barrier and thus increasing the threat of losing customers. Whether this concern is actual or only perceived is debatable but for argument’s sake let’s say that eSIM does make it easier to change networks if they are unhappy with their service. This would create a flip slide which is the increased opportunity for telcos to acquire new subscribers for those offering a better experience.
The overlooked and untapped opportunities
When talking eSIM, there are many opportunities to increase revenues and strengthen customer loyalty but some of these require looking beyond the traditional devices and user behaviour.
Smartphones are only one part of the connectivity picture
Telcos must look beyond smartphones to the next-generation of mobile connected devices such smart watches, laptops and other fast growing device segments which their existing subscribers base are already buying. Even though the eSIM has been traditionally associated with smartphones, the consumer eSIM market is increasingly diverse and rapidly growing in size. By 2023, the average user is expected to have around four connected devices, and some of these, such as smartwatches and vehicles, will exclusively rely on eSIM for cellular connectivity by 2025.
eSIM consumer devices
eSIM is changing customer behaviour
A network provider must also consider the way subscribers are changing how they use SIMs moving from traditional single SIM subscribers to multi-SIM subscribers. For example, we have seen many domestic subscribers buying more than one eSIM subscription to address different needs e.g. work and personal, or to avail their preferred pricing e.g. one for local calls and one for international calls etc. OEM features such as Apple’s Dual SIM Dual Standby make this highly attractive and easily accessible to users.
How telcos can grow ARPU with next-gen subscribers
eSIM has opened a whole new market of devices that were previously unconnected or unavailable. By offering eSIM subscriptions for them, operators can not only grow revenues but strengthen user relationships and loyalty but also turn a single revenue channel per customer (smartphone) into multiple (smartphone, smartwatch, tablet, laptop, car, and more).
“eSIMs may very well be what CSPs need to break the falling ARPU curve if they implement and market the capability correctly. eSIMs can enable new use cases that can actually strengthen the customer experience.”
Lynette Luna, Global Data
After all, as Capita research point out, it is considerably cheaper (approximately one fifth of the cost) for telcos to sell to existing customers than it is to sell to new ones – with existing customers also proven to be more profitable.
Cost of subscription acquisition
In summary, eSIM should not be seen as cannibalising the subscriber base but as offering a more flexible, value-added service; something that subscribers will look towards the competition if not offered by their current service provider.
MNOs must be able to accommodate next-generation devices
With Counterpoint Research expecting eSIM devices to hit 6 billion 2025 and permeate into nearly 100% of the cellular-connected smartwatches and vehicles, the profile of the subscriber we used to know is changing.
Users of these new eSIM devices won’t wait for their existing operator to accommodate their connectivity needs. As such, MNOs must act now and implement a flexible and scalable eSIM management solution to connect both smartphones and all non-smartphone devices.
eSIM consumer devices by category
Activating eSIM companion device subscriptions
Operators can use an entitlement server to increase their subscriptions by the remote eSIM provisioning of the fast-growing number of companion devices such as Apple Watch, Samsung Gear and Huawei Watch.
Capture all eSIM revenue opportunities
Workz is the only eSIM provider with a single hybrid eSIM management solution capable of capturing all eSIM revenue opportunities across both industrial M2M devices and consumer eSIM devices. It is also the first provide to offer GSMA-certified cloud-based eSIM solutions with cloud sites in the USA and France.
Furthermore, Workz’ Z-Entitlement is an entitlement server solution, fully compliant with both Apple’s and Samsung’s specifications, that enables telcos to provision eSIM companion devices and easily, activate new subscriptions. If you’d like to learn more about our eSIM solution get in touch today.