eSIM Management: A New Version for A New Era
G&D has led the way in developing eSIM management highlighted in many commercial rollouts over the last few years. Andreas Morawietz, G&D´s Head of Solution Marketing, explains why G&D has great confidence in AirOn 4, which is based on the latest GSMA RSP specifications.
Why are the new GSMA specifications so important for remote SIM provisioning?
Standardizations have always been essential in the telecommunication industry, otherwise we would not have seen the huge success of mobile communication in the last 25 years. It was, for example, the standardized interface from SIM to the device that allowed every device to work with every SIM card produced on the market – and, of course, this made it extremely easy and practical for any user.
We see more and more devices with cellular connectivity already equipped with an eSIM when leaving the manufacturing line. This embedding of SIMs into devices, which started within the M2M area, gave the initial impetus for dynamic remote eSIM‐profile management technology – and led to the first GSMA specification. However, the rapid development of today’s connected society (driven by consumer devices) required new specifications for the industry – this meant covering interoperability and security solutions, otherwise the market take‐off could not happen as expected. The latest GSMA specifications are important because they take this development beyond M2M into the consumer arena. They foresee roll‐out scenarios for the mass consumer market. They will be completed by the next phases covering scenarios typical for unmanned M2M services or remote‐control use cases. Therefore, both consumers and machines will be included with this technology in the future.
The GSMA has specified different versions for eSIM management over the last two years. Which one is best fulfilling the present market needs?
The GSMA V2 specifications addressed the M2M market segment mainly. G&D rolled out several commercial projects based on them as they had a wide commercial and technical acceptance around the globe, especially in the important automotive sector. With around 15 commercial projects on the market based on our own AirOn solution, G&D is the market leader in implemented eSIM management solutions. However, the V2 showed some limitations, and to overcome these, the industry and GSMA kicked off V3, with some minor technical enhancements.
The specifications are still concentrated on M2M. While writing V3 the industry realized (with Apple and Samsung as prominent partners) the need to also address the fast‐growing consumer devices and its new ecosystem. This led to the GSMA fundamentally reworking the specifications, under the title Remote SIM Provisioning (RSP). As a significant contributor to this technology and a member of the GSMA, G&D took the latest GSMA RSP specification as the basis for latest AirOn v4 eSIM management solution. This solution allows new business opportunities for MNOs and the possibility to create, for example, smaller‐sized or fully sealed consumer devices.
Where do you see the benefits of AirOn version 4?
The first benefit is a clear performance issue: consider the roll‐out of a new consumer device. The launch period is highly critical, because over the first few days several million devices will be sold – this means millions of people switching on their new device and requesting a subscription. You need high‐performing technology in the background that can cope with such peak demands. There are many similar roll‐out scenarios – for example, at Christmas with new e‐book readers, wearables, smartphones and tablets. But the system needs to be both high performing and be highly scalable, because it is expected that the number of eSIM supporting devices will dramatically increase over the next few years. Moreover, earlier versions required a stable online connection for the eSIM profile download for a longer period, which is heavily dependent on the ecosystem used. In our latest AirOn v4, it is less than a few seconds. With such a fantastic performance, we provide scalability, because we can manage many more devices at a time. And from a robustness perspective, if you are online for just a few seconds, the risk of something going wrong is significantly reduced.
Director, Head of Product and Solution Marketing.
Andreas lead the Product Marketing for Telecommunication Industries of G&D and is heading the global Go‐To market activities of eSIM technology. Since 2010 he has been involved in various commercial projects around eSIM management dealing with the dynamic management of mobile network profiles and the opportunities towards MNOs, OEMs and the ecosystem.