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3 SIM Solutions Worth Checking Out for MNOs

According to the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA), 2021 saw 67% of the global population (i.e., 5.3 billion people) subscribed to mobile services. This is expected to increase by 400 million to reach a global penetration rate of 70% or 5.7 billion people.

Likewise, smartphone and internet of things (IoT) connections are expected to increase by 9% and 54.3%, respectively, during the same period. The telecommunications sector is indeed growing and will continue to grow, with capital expenditure expected to be at $620 billion and revenues at $1.16 trillion by 2025.

These subscriber identity module or SIM solutions are worth checking out if you are a mobile network operator (MNO) or a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) looking to capitalise on the mobile industry’s upward trajectory.

1.ESIM Management Cloud Platform

One of the ways MNOs and MVNOs can capture a bigger piece of the market is by maximising the utility of embedded SIM or eSIM technology. Data from Juniper research indicates that the number of eSIM modules installed in connected devices will increase to 3.4 billion by 2025.

Generate Revenues and Save on Operational Expenditure Through eSIM

By embracing eSIM tech and delivering their services via eSIM, telecommunications companies can generate revenue and save on operational expenditure (Opex) — and these can help their profits grow. ESIM makes this possible when it enables MNOs and MVNOs to:

  •   Get new subscribers or increase average revenue per user (ARPU) by making subscriptions (particularly cellular data services) readily available to mobile device categories (e.g., smartwatches, laptops and tablets) other than smartphones.
  •   Increase the utilisation of existing economical and cost-efficient digital distribution channels.
  •   Reduce the time between customer signup and service commencement, enhancing customer experience, which leads to greater customer loyalty and lower churn.
  •   Provide easy-to-procure international roaming services.
  •   Minimise logistics costs by reducing or eliminating the need for physical SIM purchases and distribution.
  •   Introduce new digital services.

Onsite or Cloud Hosted?

Network operators need an eSIM management solution to take advantage of eSIM revenue-generating and Opex-minimising opportunities. In this case, they typically have two options: build onsite hosting for eSIM and use a cloud-hosted platform.

Onsite hosting gives carriers absolute control over their eSIM operations. They can develop whatever software they require and operate it as needed because they own the infrastructure and thus define its limitations. They can also easily comply with regulatory restrictions, if any, that require consumer data to be hosted onsite.

Unfortunately, building a functional onsite eSIM management infrastructure takes time and considerable expense. A network usually has to wait for one to two years before being audited and gaining approval. Additionally, it has to spend a significant amount of money long before it can realise any returns from eSIM.

This makes the cloud hosting and software-as-a-service option better for those who are just starting to get into eSIM. With eSIM cloud management, a network operator can deploy quickly, pay only for the resources it needs, and shortly realise returns from its expenditures. Cloud hosting also provides georedundancy, so carriers can provide uninterrupted services even when there’s an outage in the primary server’s location.

While there are cons to cloud eSIM management — e.g., you do not own the infrastructure, so you don’t have absolute control over your technology — it is still the most efficient way to get started in eSIM. At the very least, you can use the cloud-hosted platform while you grow your eSIM user base and build your eSIM management infrastructure.

2.M2M SIM and eSIM Modules

In 2019, Juniper Research predicted that machine-to-machine (M2M) connections would reach 1.6 billion by 2024. Telecom providers can take advantage by working with an M2M SIM modules provider.

ESIM technology is a key driver of this forecasted growth. Specifically, remote provisioning (as well as complementing anti-fraud measures) will encourage the utilisation of cellular M2M in smart city tech, the automotive sector and high-tech agriculture, among other industries.

End-to-End M2M SIM and eSIM Solutions

The following comprise the range of M2M solutions network operators may procure from their M2M modules provider. 

  • SIM and eSIM Modules Production: The manufacture of SIM cards with removable or embedded form factors to ensure fit with a wide range of devices and applications
  • Connectivity Management: The provision of bootstrap operational profiles and development of custom applets
  • Remote Management: SIM provisioning, eSIM over-the-air provisioning and subscription management, cloud-hosted eSIM management

3.Over-the-Air Platform and Campaign Management Services

Over-the-air platforms enable telecommunications companies to provide over-the-air updates to their subscribers’ SIM cards. Conventionally, networks use OTA updates to replace service provider names, alter specific contact profiles and make other changes to similar parameters.

Today, there are OTA platforms that can accomplish so much more than delivering minor SIM card parameter updates.

One such platform is the Z-OTA by Workz, one of the world’s top eSIM providers. This OTA platform enables over-the-air file management and the installation and activation of applets (say, a mobile money applet) that can enhance a SIM card’s native functions. More importantly, network operators can use the Z-OTA platform in their campaigns, specifically as a means to deliver their marketing and advertising messages.

An advanced OTA platform allows carriers to promote their value-added services among their subscribers.

For instance, if they want to increase awareness for their roaming services or let subscribers know they can buy additional data packs to boost and extend their connectivity, telcos can use their OTA platform to send some or all of their subscribers an OTA flash message. Depending on the configuration, such a message can be unignorable. In other words, the message will flash on a subscriber’s screen and remain there until he interacts with it (say, by closing it).

Therefore, for the purpose of ensuring reach and exposure, campaigns delivered through OTA platforms are superior to traditional short messaging service (SMS) campaigns. After all, SMSes can be ignored.

Poised and Ready for Growth

The mobile services industry is expected to expand and grow in the next few years, characterised by the increasing adoption of eSIM technology and cellular M2M connectivity. To keep pace with the industry’s growth trajectory, telcos can obtain cloud-hosted eSIM management and work with an M2M end-to-end solutions provider. MNOs and MVNOs can also integrate an advanced OTA platform into their marketing and advertising strategies.




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