Why 2020 will bring a change of heart around eSIM

In 2020, consumer electronics device manufacturers will continue to push eSIM technology to a much broader range of devices. Here’s what it is about this revolutionary technology that will force connectivity providers to wake up and act. Yuval Mayron, general manager of IoT, amdocs:next reports.

eSIM growth will not be stopped

When Apple, Google, Samsung and Motorola adopted eSIM on a consumer level in 2019, it passed the critical “matureness phase”. Now, we’re heading towards a year of adoption within a much broader ecosystem.

This year will see more manufacturers taking the extra step to incorporate dual SIM, with early adopters in mobile, wearables, laptops and the Internet of Things (IoT) going full eSIM. ABI Research predicts there will be an estimated 420 million eSIM-equipped devices available by 2022. Meanwhile, chip providers and operating systems leaders have also incorporated eSIM in their latest launches. This means communications service providers must support eSIM, further pushing adoption.

We can also expect to see more IoT devices (particularly industrial ones), which to date were largely not connected, being equipped with eSIM technology. This will require more seamless connectivity to support capabilities like automatic provisioning, easy switching between service providers and launching of new services.

eSIM will unlock new, out-of-the-box business opportunities

Yuval Mayron

eSIM will bring new wholesale opportunities for connectivity players who to date were not part of the ecosystem. For example, a hotel chain could start offering bundles that include a room with a local data plan, and have guests scan a barcode to download a local SIM, even months before the consumer travels.

Opportunities like these explain why out-of-the-box partnerships will be vital to creating new areas of growth. Meanwhile, there’s also the flip side: the opportunity to lure consumers away from rivals using a combination of competitive pricing and a superior, digital user experience.

More devices could mean more problems for connectivity players

As smaller players become a growing force in the expansion of eSIM, for example in Asia-Pacific, connectivity providers will find themselves having to interact with a far larger ecosystem – meaning they’ll need to coordinate with different operating systems, approaches to onboarding, partner needs and subscription mechanisms, as well as specific device configuration requirements.

Since the sheer scale of the new ecosystem means it will be impossible for providers to work manually with each individual manufacturer, an integrated multi-partner, multi-device platform approach will be essential.

The key for service providers is to act now while eSIM uptake remains in its relative infancy and be ready for the eSIM wave. Failure to fully leverage this transition period risks losing crucial monetisation opportunities. Yet for those with the foresight to embrace this disruption head-on, the opportunities are countless.

The author is Yuval Mayron, general manager of IoT, amdocs:next

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