The embedded SIM chip, aka E-sim for short, is one of those disruptive advancements; a game changer with the potential to reshape the mobile industry, the impact to be felt by consumers, device manufacturers and network operators.
People – and as such companies – are often resistant to change – but when technological advancement is set to bring major disruption, it’s excellent news for those keen to take the lead.
It’s not a matter of if, but rather, when. Best for operators to get E-sim prepared.
What is an E-sim?
Image Credit: Trendinfocus
An E-sim is a rewritable chip, soldered right into a device’s motherboard, discharging the SIM cards of today. It removes the need for lengthy paperwork by making plans and contracts instantly downloadable.
For the consumer, connecting to the internet with a new device happens within seconds of the purchase. The E-sim allows users to switch between networks without physically interchanging the default chip, saving them time and effort, and providing lots of potential possibilities for manufacturers and network operators.
2017 saw Google Pixel 2 become the first smartphone to include an E-sim when connected to its MVNO, (Project Fi) in the US.
There have been many developments already, but at this stage, globally speaking, Europe leads the E-sim market, making up almost 40% of the global market size to date, with the Asia Pacific expected to have the fastest growth.
loT is forcing an acceleration of the E-sim.
Image Credit: G+D Mobile Security
The benefits of E-sim
E-sim has tremendous benefits for the manufacturers of connected devices, as well as MNOs and MVNOs, because the technology will be used in smartphones, laptops, tablets as well as consumer devices that require connectivity at all times.
Mobile Network Operators will have the opportunity to offer multi-device packages and bespoke data plans, and E-sim will make device bundling easier because users will be able to easily add new devices to their plans without being forced to physically go in-store or wait for a SIM card to be delivered which can take days or weeks.
MVNOs have already proved how beneficial an industry-dependant strategy can be: for example, when the E-sim becomes the industry standard, MNOs can make deals with chipset firms to guarantee that specific networks are the recommended or perhaps, exclusive connectivity option in the devices produced.
MVNOs could also have the opportunity of joining forces directly with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) who could pair devices with specific network operators. This would not have been an option with the old removable SIM card.
As the use of it becomes more widespread, so too will IoT-enabled devices, and this means huge demand for constant network connectivity.
Smart devices, used for entire lifestyles, will soon need a continuous signal, even when the device exits WiFi zones and hotspots, and E-sim will keep them on the grid; allowing MNOs to offer products and services in ways they never could before.
E-sim eases MNO logistics by eliminating the handling of SIM cards and promotes fast subscription online instead of keeping users waiting for a SIM card to be delivered.
Disadvantages of the E-sim
With every benefit comes disadvantages and it’s no different with the E-sim which may force MNOs and MVNOs to radically change their business and distribution models, which is going to take up a lot of time, thought, cost and resources.
Because users can dynamically choose their operator of choice, they may enter mobile stores less.
The current shift has the potential to increase customer churn as it becomes a lot easier for users to switch operators, or MVNOs, at will, so the customer experience is going to be key.
Adoption of analytics technology as a smart decision-enabler will be key.
E-Sim will provide revolutionary opportunities
According to Roaming Buzz, by 2022, more than 70% of all IoT devices are expected to be connected using cellular technology, creating enormous opportunities for those who seek to enter the E-sim market.
The E-sim entered the market in 2016, and despite enthusiasm around it, a wider move to E-sim enabled devices is probably still a few years off, giving MNOs and MVNOs the necessary time to prepare for the revolution.
Adapt IT | Telecoms offers an E-sim management dashboard and loT-ready E-sim to control all aspects of connectivity and lifecycle.
The IoTConnect SIM is already provisioned for and secure. It allows MVNOs to define and control usage and connectivity policies for devices that are deeply integrated into mobile networks, allowing MVNOs core network control to manage connectivity.
Additionally, the dashboard comes with analytics intelligence to enable MVNOs to differentiate IoT offerings from competitors, as well as:
- Lifecycle management
- Roaming management
- Profile management
- Multiple network support