iPhone eSIM is an opportunity not a threat, says European network operator

Mikaël Schachne of BICS

Apple’s new iPhone is to use an eSIM. The Cupertino-based company confirmed that there is an eSIM solution for the S 2018 iPhones refresh.

Far from being a threat to mobile network operators, however, as some people have suggested, Jeremy Cowan reports that one operator insists this is a great opportunity. 

In August, IoT Now reminded readers of the 2017 report from IHS Markit that suggested eSIM shipments will increase from 109 million in 2016, to 986 million by 2021. At the time, Ian Marsden, CTO at Eseye, said this growth will largely be driven by continuing IoT development, with eSIMs set to play a major role in ensuring the connectivity of billions of connected devices around the world.

No more roaming charges

Mikaël Schachne, VP mobility solutions at BICS, also links this development with the introduction of Roam Like at Home (RLAH), the popularity of which means carriers are unlikely to reintroduce roaming charges post-Brexit.

Schachne tells IoT Now“Many operators will greet Apple’s introduction of eSIMs with apprehension, yet the move should be grasped as an opportunity, rather than feared as a threat. This goes for telcos, device manufacturers, and other parties which stand to benefit from a globally connected IoT.

“As with the introduction of Roam Like at Home (RLAH), much attention has been focused on how eSIMs will negatively impact operator revenues. But once RLAH had been implemented, LTE data roaming traffic surged by 600-800%, and the popularity of the initiative proved such that carriers are now unlikely to reintroduce tariffs post-Brexit.

For consumers, eSIMs present clear advantages thanks to the increased flexibility and seamless device roaming they support, meaning operators can curry favour amongst customers by supporting Apple’s decision,” adds Schachne.

Multiple devices added

“In addition, eSIMs provide operators with an opportunity to add multiple devices to subscriber contracts, on a global scale, creating valuable new revenue streams. Manufacturers and logistics firms also stand to benefit, as connected devices with embedded eSIMS can be produced in one region, and then easily shipped and tracked across the world, giving them access to wider global markets.

“However, sourcing SIM profiles from multiple operators and managing the handover from one to the other presents a challenge,” the senior BICS executive concludes. “For eSIM strategies – including Apple’s – to be a success, a global eSIM profile must be used. Only then can eSIM’s benefits be full realised.”

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