As 4G/LTE reaches a state of maturity and work on 5G gets underway, Cisco and Ericsson predict the number of connected devices will reach 28-30 billion by 2021. During this time, a diverse range of IoT-enabled devices will be communicating, with around half expected to be used by the machine-to-machine (M2M) and consumer electronic segments.
Digitalization is driving up customer demands from both machine-to-machine (M2M) and consumers. Potential growth and profits derived from the IoT era will require a shift in mind-set. For their part, OEMs, MNOs and service providers will need to focus more on ARPA (Average Revenue Per Account) rather than ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) whilst guaranteeing improved security, convenience, and quality of experience for their customers. Alongside NB-IOT, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, eSIM technology has been identified as a fundamental enabler of growth in the IoT era and MNOs will have a central role to play in both its provision and management.
The next step in the customer journey
MNOs already face fierce competition from Over-the-Top (OTT) players like Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and others, and an IoT-empowered customer base will create as many challenges as it does opportunities. Existing ties to mobile subscribers via removable SIMs are being transformed into value-added services like eSIM management. Connected devices with embedded SIM cards require the flexibility to be able to load the profile of the required MNO at the right time. This eases the logistics of the OEM and gives the user the flexibility to change the SIM profile without having to unsolder the chip.
Ms Aileen Chia, Assistant Chief Executive and Director-General (Telecoms and Post), IMDA
The trial will explore the viability of using eSIMs.
eSIM management is delivered by the combination of a hardware module and over-the-air provision service. It is currently migrating from the M2M space towards companion devices and other devices such as tablets or smartphones. For consumers, eSIM management offers a full digital experience – no need to get a physical card in a shop or wait for one to arrive in the post. Even the registration for the mobile contract can be completed online via a video identification process. From the selection of a suitable contract, e.g. via web or device, with the online verification to the instant download of the eSIM profile, the user walks through a convenient, fully digital customer journey.
Research sponsored by G+D Mobile Security and carried out by tech consultants Ovum found that 66 percent of consumers surveyed said they want “effortless SIM activation” – this is especially true when connecting multiple devices. 47 percent of millennials said they would like to be offered alternative activation tools to the current model – the digital route would be preferable to avoid dependence on store opening times and location when activating new SIMs. More than 80 percent expressed an interest in devices with eSIM technology. Shortening the activation process is just one way in which MNOs can make a favorable impact in the minds of subscribers. On the flipside to simplified activation and connectivity is the need for strong security. Security is the bedrock of the connected society and MNOs need to protect privacy and assets without overlooking the importance of relevant tariffs and plans to limit customer churn.
Quality of service means staying ahead of competition
The shorter activation process and ability to change MNO offered by eSIM management is not expected to increase churn, which is largely down to the perceived quality of experience and service. Customer retention will be improved using predictive data to improved tariffs and introduce relevant plans – by offering superior customer experience, subscribers will have less reason to switch between connectivity providers.
40 percent of consumers told Ovum they value the freedom to choose their connectivity provider. Regardless, most of them will likely chose an MNO to be their service provider. Ovum found that the principal demand among consumers is for high-quality service and that perceived happiness with a connectivity provider is an important consideration.
of people want an alternative and effortless SIM
of millennials are open to alternative new onboarding processes.
are interested in eSIM phones (without a physical sim).
value the freedom to choose their connectivity
of consumers trust their MNO for their connectivity; 1 in 5 trust their internet company or device manufacturer.
eSIM management offers MNOs exciting opportunities
MNOs will need flexible money-saving solutions. The combined eSIM management hardware and platform from G+D Mobile Security is a comprehensive solution that offers MNOs exciting opportunities across a range of current and future possible IoT verticals. Not only are immediate costs saved, but time to market for new services is accelerated. Smooth BSS integration and analytics reduce time, costs and effort for small-medium MNOs. The cloud-based solution from G+D Mobile Security is modular, scalable and flexible for both large and small businesses. With simplified logistics and offers, MNOs can improve profitability via a leaner supply chain and new, open revenue streams by effortlessly setting up a platform upon which to roll out their own business solutions.
Using technology based on the latest GSMA standards, and with more than fifty commercial rollouts, G+D Mobile Security has extensive experience and hence is in a unique position to offer all facets of eSIM management.
The time to act is now
MNOs must act now to realise the potential of IoT and stake their place in the evolving ecosystem by:
• Entering the multi-device management space simplified by eSIM technology
• Staying one step ahead of customers’ security concerns
• Using predictive analytics to create new tariffs and relevant plans
• Improving customer experience to limit churn
eSIM technology is a prime example of how digitalization underpins a reinvented customer journey. Over the next few years, eSIMs will appear in significant numbers of mobile phones and even sooner in many other connected devices. The question is whether MNOs will embrace it to remain relevant in the IoT era.