Trailblazing the eSIM Revolution

Why complete control over eSIM management is non-negotiable

Trailblazing the eSIM Revolution

By Olivier Sans, IoT Business Development Manager at Truphone

The eSIM revolution is a truly transformative one, but it isn’t new. It’s been gathering steam for years as more and more device manufacturers, Network Operators and consumers have been turning on to the huge opportunities these tiny chips offer.

Now, with prominent industry-watchers such as MacRumours, TechRadar and even Forbes all discussing the rumour that Apple will be announcing the flagship iPhone 15 Pro as their first ever eSIM-only handset later this year (and that they’ve already advised US carriers to prepare accordingly…), that revolution is set to take the next big leap forward as other device manufacturers follow suit and end-users discover the benefits of doing away with physical SIMs altogether.

“Multiple sources this week are claiming that Apple will remove the iPhone’s physical SIM card slot, which will leave the range entirely reliant on digital eSIMs.” — Gordon Kelly, Senior Contibutor (Consumer Tech) @Forbes

“Given the alleged September 2022 deadline, it is possible that Apple might remove the physical SIM card slot starting with some iPhone 14 models, rather than some iPhone 15 models as originally rumored, but nothing is definitive at this point.” — Joe Rossignol, MacRumours

But while many Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) have made some moves to adopt eSIM, they’ve been hampered by tools that don’t exploit its full potential and limit them from accessing benefits or achieving precious cost savings that should be within easier reach. Yes, eSIM offers a genuine step-change in the future of mobile connectivity and unlocks a new realm of faster, safer and more flexible communication – along with a new world of capabilities and benefits for network providers. But despite the benefits, all too many MNOs have discovered that their existing eSIM suppliers fall short of that potential, meaning that too many of those crucial benefits remain just beyond reach.

Despite the promises, too many network providers still do not have complete ownership or control of their profiles, are still forced to bulk order in advance and still forced to endure lengthy lead times and exorbitant costs to manage it all. Similarly, as eSIM continues to rocket in popularity, some larger MNOs have come to realise that with the increase in volume of required profiles, they can no longer rely on a single supplier to do it all. They need greater digitisation and digital transformation of processes that would otherwise be highly manual and time and labour-intensive, and they are increasingly coming to demand the ability to deploy eSIM with a supplier that can bring digital experiences to life for their customers.

The ideal supplier would allow MNOs to save time and money and enable faster-than-ever onboarding with real time insights and provisioning for complete control and oversight of all their profiles. It would provide intuitive UI to help get to market fast, APIs that allow real-time management of profiles via a dedicated portal that’s completely independent of third-party interfaces, and extended APIs that offer complete control of profile content and streamline the processes for provisioning and ordering.

In an ideal world, such a supplier would even enable MNOs to digitally activate eSIMs in bulk, providing a single QR code for downloading multiple profiles simultaneously and allowing MNOs to get truly creative, placing QR codes in printed advertising or on signage in key locations to deliver eSIM downloads quickly, effortlessly and digitally.

It seems that at this next great transformative stage of the eSIM story, any supplier that does not offer these features is one that is letting Network Operators (and therefore their customers) down by failing to offer the full potential of eSIM.

MNOs need something better in order to stay competitive in this rapidly expanding market and thankfully, not all suppliers are the same.

Originally founded as an MVNO in 2006, Truphone has since transformed into creators of technology that powers a global network through our infrastructure in London, New York, Amsterdam, Sydney, California and Hong Kong, and through our partnerships with other operators around the world. We’ve helped major networks around the world such as BT/EE, MÁSMÓVIL and Vinaphone and we maintain full ownership of our entire eSIM and Entitlements ecosystem to ensure future-proofed connectivity. More significantly, we’re the only provider to develop and operate our own GSMA-compliant eSIM, Remote SIM Provisioning and Entitlements Server Platform.

Ultimately, MNOs and MVNOs that are serious about staying ahead of the game will need to select suppliers that enable them to truly harness the full potential of the eSIM revolution by delivering total control. At this stage, anything less a half-measure.

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