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eSIM: a new world of connectivity control and new revenue streams

Iain Davidson, marketing director at Arkessa, introduces eSIM

GSM has been around for two decades now, but its use in the internet of things (IoT) is sometimes hindered by the fact that the mobile network operator profile on the SIM card, once installed, is hard to reprogram. Embedded SIMs (eSIM), coupled with eUICC (embedded universal integrated circuit card) technology, solve the problem with over-the-air provisioning so the eSIM need not be physically changed. Together with new cellular IoT technologies, such as NB-IOT and 5G, this will help simplify and future-proof global IoT deployments.

eUICC represents a radical change in terms of how customers can select and change service provider profiles based on the different criteria of their choosing, such as geography, data usage or other business rules. The automotive industry has been especially eager to embrace this new technology as it gives them exciting new ways to increase flexibility, optimise costs and simplify the logistics involved in car production, distribution networks and after-sales support.

The seismic shifts in the automotive industry are leading the car-makers to promote mobility services such as car-sharing, parking or charging assistance and even extend vehicle longevity or upgrade vehicle functions through over-the-air software updates.

At Arkessa, we see OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and enterprises engaging in eUICC for a number of different reasons. For example, they may have IoT deployments which stay in the field for more than two years; global supply chains or distribution networks; mobility solutions involving people, products and services which require roaming; and higher data applications where the connectivity or data plan is more cost sensitive.

Let’s look at some of these in a little more detail.

Global scale

Enterprises that sell connected products and services to a global market will benefit from eUICC, as will multi-national companies with worldwide operations, people and assets. A single SIM can be used in all instances even if the operating destination is unknown or if mobility is required.

Subscription management enables the appropriate subscription for region, application and corporate policies to be downloaded; the best commercial service in each area at local rates; local regulatory requirements to be met; and roaming charges to be avoided.

Mobility-as-a-service

The ability to manage device subscriptions remotely enables enterprises to control connectivity costs globally using a mix of roaming and local subscriptions. It is very compelling yet customers still often ask “What next?” and “How do I differentiate?”

With eUICC, the enterprise has a central standardised connectivity service and control of connectivity to remote devices, people and assets. Differentiation will come for those who capitalise on the insights offered from real usage and operational data to optimise product design, improve service and maintenance, and build loyalty into the customer base.

A single SIM can be used in all instances even if the operating destination is unknown or if mobility is required

For example, car makers optimise after-sales support and user-experience; utilities connect vehicle fleets and field service personnel; industrial machine builders provide remote maintenance services; insurance companies deploy connected solutions which encourage better lifestyles, safer driving and discourage fraud; advertisers run real-time, location and context-aware campaigns; and retailers are agile and deploy consistent advertising and pricing.

With the right data strategy the enterprise could make the switch to service oriented XaaS business models with monthly recurring revenues.

Managed service

The benefits of eUICC are multi-dimensional and go beyond the few most relevant to OEMs  I’ve touched on here. Deploying IoT devices, in whatever form, into the global market can be made easier by working with the right partners and using made-to-measure technologies. Arkessa makes it our business to bring these elements together in a single managed service leaving OEMs to focus on their core activities.

From a manufacturing point of view it is as simple as a single SKU (stock keeping unit) fitted in the factory. Logistics and distribution can be optimised and then beyond that sales, marketing and service partners can get creative with data plans to match different usage scenarios based on geography, user credentials, service plans and features. An eUICC solution can even make it possible for companies to offer a Hardware-as-a-Service business model.

Managed connectivity is a key enabler. At Arkessa, our experience as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) and track-record of working in successful ecosystems makes us a leading player, not least because the benefits and capabilities highlighted here are relevant across pretty much every IoT application area. This is particularly true for those companies ready to deploy connected products and services to a global or international market, but also for global enterprises with large-scale internationally deployed assets or large field service teams.

For more information visit www.arkessa.com/euicc

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