The mobile industry is still unsure about how eSIM will affect future business and therefore many are only able to predict what may happen. Ahead of eSIM Connect, 01-02 November, London, we asked some of our keynote speakers what they anticipated were the challenges, opportunities and implications of adopting embedded SIMs.
According to Thomas Henze, from Deutsche Telekom, it’s all about transformation. He commented: “I see the introduction of eSIM as part of the digital transformation and therefore a big opportunity and challenge at the same time.
“By leveraging eSIM we will be able to provide a lot of advantages to our customers, such as connecting a larger variety of personal mobile devices to the network with a few clicks only.”
Thomas believes that operators will be in charge of “connecting those with an excellent and consistent user experience, whether via smart-phone, tablet, smart-watch, a “connected teddy bear or internet in the car”.
For Luis Ángel Vázquez Cobreros, from Telecable, the move provides an exciting opportunity for operators to capitalize on new customer services.
He said: “The impact will be paradigmatic and a true boost for IoT and AI. In an ever changing world and telecom industry, the operators should feel excited to make such a move, forget about concerns and provide the customers with more services, as well as to look into joint ventures with current and incoming industry players such as device manufacturers, SIM providers or technology enablers.”
According to Kerem Arsal, from Analysys Mason, the consequences vary depending on whether you are considering the short or the long term implication.
He commented: “It will probably have a modest impact on companion devices in the short term. However, eSIMs and RSP will also appear on smartphones in the longer term, with potentially much greater disruptive consequences for both retail and wholesale markets.”
According to Kerem, a few of the possibilities include; “declining switching costs for consumers, lower barriers to entry for mobile virtual network operators, a potentially growing number of mobile connections, changes in mobile data plans, and shifting channels for device sales.”
However, he anticipates that the extent to which these forces will be in effect will depend more on the commercial agreements between stakeholders in different markets and regulatory guidance than the technical capabilities of eSIMs.
Finally, Vivian Woodell, CEO of The Phone Co-op (an MVNO known for its focus on environmental sustainability and its partnership with Fairphone), and one of the speakers at MVNOs Networking Congress, believes there are potential economic and environmental gains.
“ will reduce the cost of physical sim cards. A lot of physical sim cards made are never used. They are produced, put into packs and then recalled because they reach an expiry date or the branding changes. In retail distribution, this wastage can run as high as 80%. This isn’t good for the environment and it’s also a waste of money which is ultimately a cost passed on to consumers. The move to eSIM could bring real improvements therefore, for the environment, for operators and for users” he concluded.
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