Giesecke & Devrient and Telefónica to offer eSIM management for consumer devices

Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) teamed up with Telefónica at Mobile World Congress 2016, which took place from February 22 to 25 in Barcelona, to introduce a solution for eSIM management in the consumer sector.

A demonstration at the stand showed a Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch being integrated into an existing mobile communications contract using a smartphone. The user connects the smartwatch with his mobile via the Bluetooth interface, then scans a QR code. The additional device is then added to the existing data contract and immediately networked. The eSIM management solution is based on AirOn from G&D and enables the embedded SIM (eSIM) integrated in the smartwatch to be configured ‘over the air’. Telefónica, building on AirOn from G&D, will launch the first commercial pilot project in April, offering the solution in several o2 shops. The offer will then include additional devices.

Wearables, for example smartwatches, are a growing market for mobile network operators (MNO): over the next two years, the number of devices shipped will increase to five times what it is today. The devices are networked and often also have a mobile network connection. With wearables, this connection is created almost exclusively via a built-in SIM module. AirOn technology developed by Giesecke & Devrient makes it possible to configure these modules, integrate them into existing contracts and make changes to their configuration at a later point in time.

As a result, information such as contract data and access authorisations can be installed on the SIM module or changed at any time, without needing to replace the SIM card. MNOs now have the capability to create customer loyalty on a sustainable basis and offer their customers comprehensive services for their networked devices, making the smartphone the center of customers’ networked device suite. From there, they can include devices in or remove them from their mobile communications contracts and change applicable settings.

“The networked society is becoming a reality. The number of networked devices is on the up in all segments, and the Internet of Things is one of the most important tech trends right now. GSMA has laid important groundwork for this with its current specification for remote SIM provisioning. The fast response from market participants shows the extent to which eSIM management technology is expected, even in the consumer segment. We’re seeing the first commercial pilots after just a few months. We developed the current Version 4 of our AirOn technology parallel to the creation of the specification, and actively supported the GSMA in this process,” says Andreas Morawietz, head of marketing at G&D Telecommunications Industries. “Telefónica in Germany and the UK relies on our solution to offer its customers perfect service for their networked devices.”

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