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Do all MVNOs need to be eSIM-ready?

Learn the benefits of adding eSIM to your offering.

Be eSIM ready

Do all MVNOs need to be eSIM-ready? Andreas Morawietz of Giesecke+Devrient (G+D) and Gary Waite of NetLync believe so. 

Where do we stand with eSIM today? 

During the ongoing digitisation era, Apple's decision in 2018 to incorporate eSIM management and the 2022 transition to eSIM-only iPhones in the US signalled a notable industry shift toward extensive acceptance. Apple's reliance on the telecommunications sector to collaboratively implement eSIM for the entire North American region highlights increasing confidence in this technological transition. Other OEMs including Samsung and Google have supported eSIM within their devices for many years as well.

The adoption of eSIM is rapidly increasing. 

With approximately 1.3 billion eSIM-enabled devices currently in the market, concentrated mainly in Europe and North America, the growing opportunity for other regions of the world is clear. As younger generations consistently seek to use the latest devices, this figure continues to expand daily. Therefore, there is undoubtedly no turning back; eSIM is here to stay. M(V)NOs need to be prepared for eSIM management capability within their portfolio. 

Andreas Morawietz of G+D (AM): “When we look at eSIM management, we are transitioning from physical SIMs to eSIMs, and while it may seem easy, it has significant implications. This transition affects various aspects such as backend systems, billing, customer care, and marketing, along with how you interact with your customers. But how to fulfill the need for eSIM management in the best way? The answer is DP+ as a Service, which allows M(V)NOs to manage and operate eSIM management services, providing a fully digital eSIM onboarding journey for their customers. This business model offers numerous benefits for M(V)NOs within a fast-moving business environment.

Let me give you an example where G+D, together with BMW, leverages DP+ service for consumers.  The BMW iX, one of the latest electric vehicles, has a fully integrated consumer eSIM management feature. You can seamlessly add the iX as a new device within your portfolio. For instance, when you receive a phone call on your smartphone, as soon as you enter the BMW, the call is automatically transferred to the eSIM in the car. Such seamless connectivity leaves little reason for customers to consider churning to another provider.” 

Considering this substantial change - What are the benefits for you and your customers? 

The undeniable logistical benefits of eSIM include a lower total cost of ownership for M(V)NOs. Beyond direct costs, encompassing capex investments, plugin-SIM logistics, and addressing shipping challenges, eSIM stands out. The advantages are even greater for your customers, and the enhanced digital customer experience starts with that initial signup. 

Gary Waite, G+D's strategic partner at NetLync (GW): “Posters, TV adverts, or mobile ads - that's your initial contact point with the customer. As soon as they've decided they want to be with your brand, how quickly and easily can you get them signed up and connected with their smartphones to your network? If you can do that within a couple of minutes, in a very seamless way that the customer will enjoy, then that's a customer likely to stay with you." 

In addition to that M(V)NOs can leverage digital capabilities to enhance customer engagement through campaigns like 'try and buy.' Offering free data encourages customers to test your network, leading to compelling conversion rates. These digital tools enable a unique and effective interaction with your customer base. 

Moreover, eSIM allows customers to connect their other personal devices such as smartwatches and wearables in just a few minutes. As eSIM popularity grows, M(V)NOs need to consider how easily their customers can upgrade their current device to the latest model, taking their subscription to the new device. This seamless process is easily achievable using an Entitlement Service.

What is an Entitlement Service and why is it important? 

With the ever-expanding capability of eSIM technology, Entitlements management serves as a digital tool that governs and regulates specific rights or permissions for the end-user and their device. It possesses the capability to manage rights, ensuring controlled access to designated services and also the execution of particular actions. 

GW: “An Entitlement Service, working behind the scenes, automatically provisions services like iMessage and Facetime. So, as soon as customers are connected to your network, they can immediately start using them. While it's possible to perform some of this provisioning without an entitlement service, it is clunky. Ideally, you want to avoid a poor experience, especially in those first few minutes of contact with the customer.” 

Entitlements help manage device pairing, activate multiple devices, and streamline the eSIM transfer process between devices. This service can significantly improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and expand the number of connected devices, thereby increasing stickiness. 

Key takeaways: eSIM is here to stay, therefore MVNOs need to be eSIM-ready to seize the opportunity of providing new services. Delivering a great customer experience is key, and it's much easier with the right partner who is well-versed in eSIM and offers an Entitlement Service that greatly enhances the eSIM experience. 

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