Ahead of Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Workz’ CSO, Rob Varty and CIO, Edwin Haver discuss some of the hot topics for telcos in the eSIM market.
Learn more about the eSIM market and how it is changing for telcos. Reach out to us at https://www.workz.com/news/meet-workz-at-mwc22
General eSIM landscape
This year we may see some big changes in the eSIM market for telcos, I see two main factors for this:
The US & European markets have been leading the way with eSIM adoption and are now starting to mature with second vendors etc. We are starting to see large numbers of MNOs across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia also implement eSIM for their subscribers. What’s notably is the speed at which things are changing and providers are regularly re-evaluating the market opportunity.
The big news from the market is that Apple will launch their first eSIM only device. This will be a game-changer which we see as the inflection point for eSIM adoption, turbo-charging user awareness, meaning more OEMs will follow suite with eSIM-only devices. In turn, more MNOs and MVNOs will implement eSIM solutions to support their high ARPU / VIP customers and subscriber growth. In the context of the global chip shortage and rising SIM card costs, as well as an increased focus on a telco’s environmental impact this may become the most agreeable solution for everyone.
Secondly, the next-generation subscriber: As markets are maturing so is subscribers’ behaviours with users now activating a number of profiles on one device for example one for work, one for personal use. If you consider this and that the average subscriber will have four mobile-connected devices – be it phones, watches, laptops etc. – by 2023 as well as the impact 5G will have, then you can see subscriber needs are evolving dramatically.
Travel is back: Trade shows are back, business travel is back and tourism is coming back. With this travel, it means that roaming is back. But what will happen more often is that visitors will get a local eSIM instead of roaming on their home country SIM. So the telco that can offer this most easily will have the upper hand.
In short, 2022 could be a big year for the industry. We see eSIM not as cannibalizing the subscriber base but as offering a more flexible, value-added service; that gives a competitive advantage and that’s why we’re looking forward to Mobile World Congress to hear what telcos have to say.
More and more MNOs and MVNOs around the world are onboarding second and third eSIM vendors, exactly as they would with any other product. This is quite simply because many of the original eSIM platforms have outdated pricing so having a multi-sourcing approach ensures competitiveness and also provides vital system redundancy.
Managing multiple eSIM vendors may seem like a lot of work but with Multi eSIM Hub (MeSH) you have a system which integrates with your existing eSIM management platform. This enables you to manage multiple vendor platforms from one single interface. MeSH is a multi-tenant system that makes it quick and simple for you to add and manage new sites, sales channels, and partners this can be done without added resources, and the costs traditionally associated with installing and managing additional systems. It also allows for your channel partners to administer themselves on the platform.
Considering the reliability of a cloud platform, , one of the key issues we’re seeing when it comes to managing eSIM is the mission-critical failure of the telco’s platform or rather their vendor’s platform where subscribers are unable to activate their subscriptions as the system is down and there is no backup option in place. In this regard, we believe in the specialization – in other words using a specialist cloud service is a lot more reliable than managing it yourself.
With our eSIM platform we utilise Microsoft Azure’s expertise in data hosting to deliver a GSMA-SAS certified solution which guarantees excellent uptime at 99.95%. This is the first certified cloud-based eSIM platform for consumer and M2M devices. We offer hosting options in France and the US which provide telcos with high security, reliability, and geo-redundancy.
Generic profile management
Whilst the SIM form factor has evolved over the decades, profile management has changed very little and the process for generating data and developing profiles is still rather cumbersome and time-consuming. This is amplified if you have multiple profile requirements and/or are not one of the larger, more traditional MNOs who have specialist resources for data generation. We have several clients who are connectivity providers specializing in a certain sector and require 60-70 different profiles. Generic network profiles enable providers to streamline data generation, profile development, and management.