MWC 2022 – Unleashing the Power of eSIMs

Last updated: 08 March 2022

By 2025, 2.4 billion smartphone connections will use eSIMs globally, and as this adoption continues to grow, having a clear strategy will be vital to capitalise and make best use of the new opportunities that this technology presents.

We’re starting to see an increasing number of mobile devices that have eSIM functionality built in – and it’s safe to say that more mainstream manufacturers are embracing eSIMS than not. The latest iPhone, iPad, Oppo, Samsung and Pixel models are just a few examples of devices with eSIM capability.

This week at Mobile World Congress 2022, we’ve been meeting with operators, service providers, device manufacturers and other experts in the industry at MWC. And, yesterday here in Barcelona, I spoke during the eSIM summit with many of my peers. Discussions have centred on why it’s time to embrace this technology, how it can meet new and existing challenges, how it will benefit consumers as well as simplify the access & management of cellular connectivity for the massification of IoT. Here’s a few of the talking points:

Benefits for Consumers

eSIMS are built into the device providing easier connectivity and by removing the need for a SIM card slot it also saves valuable space – bringing with it many advantages for the consumer.

  • Greater choice and flexibility: eSIM functionality means that consumers could store multiple operator profiles on a single device simultaneously, and switch between them remotely. Manufacturers and operators can now enable consumers to select the operator of their choice and then securely download that operator’s SIM application to any device. This undoubtedly gives consumers greater choice and flexibility and can make it easier to stay connected when travelling abroad.
  • Easier sign-up: people want to buy consumer devices online and sign up to new mobile packages from home, this is even truer since the start of the pandemic. The eSIM, linked with an instant activation service, satisfies the needs of today’s consumers for immediate access to new services. This can all be done from an app, which can also handle the wider digital customer onboarding (eKYC) including the required identity checks.
  • Smaller design, more features: Removing the need for a physical SIM card and its tray opens possibilities for manufacturers to enhance features on a device – such as a bigger battery – or create more discrete wearables. The removal of a physical SIM could also decrease the risk of water or dust damage, due to fewer holes in the device

The Rise of eSIMs for IOT

Alongside the benefits for consumers, eSIMs are increasingly adapted to addressing many of the pain points facing IoT deployments.

As part of their digital transformation, enterprise OEMs need to bring connectivity to ever more devices. However, deploying IoT projects poses a number of challenges – not least due to the complexity of integrating multiple technologies and suppliers. From the initial prototyping phase, as well as during development and manufacturing prior to deployment, enterprise OEMs are facing multiple challenges, particularly in selecting the right partner and providers.

Enterprise OEMs are finding it a challenge to interface with multiple Connectivity Service Providers (CSPs), which require time consuming and costly roaming agreements, to properly connect their devices across multiple countries. The key business need is for a simple and secure way to connect their devices, and to benefit from a single SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) approach that avoids unnecessary supply chain costs.

eSIM technology service providers have the opportunity to simplify IoT device activation while saving costs and time. Here are three core ways an all-encompassing solution can help service providers achieve this when it comes to IoT connectivity activation:

  • Simplified manufacturing processes and logistics: Thanks to eSIMs, any device installed by a service provider can connect to any Mobile Network operator (MNO), regardless of the product type. For service providers, this removes the need to manufacture multiple product variants to support different networks.
  • Remote management: Instead of regularly sending out technicians to update both devices and SIM cards at the expiration of MNO contracts, eSIM technology gives service providers the ability to update their devices remotely. Using a web portal, technicians can update a device’s network provider from the comfort of their office, saving costs and time from unnecessary maintenance trips.
  • Streamlined installation: Devices with embedded SIMs can automatically select the optimal MNO network for any given deployment site. As a result, technicians no-longer need to spend hours travelling to sites and testing devices for their connectivity requirements.

The IoT industry is in constant evolution. With millions of new connections made every day, we are still progressing to a smarter world. However, maintaining strong and reliable connectivity will be critical if we are to reap the benefits of IoT. With the help of eSIM technology, the activation and management of IoT devices can be simplified across the business landscape.

Learn more about our eSIM solutions.

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