eSIM future-proofing: how can mobile operators support all eSIM devices?

By Emir Aboulhosn, VP Connectivity Domain, Digital Labs, IDEMIA

Forecasts predict that by 2025 there will be two billion shipped eSIM-enabled devices. While traditional SIM cards are associated with one mobile operator, embedded SIMs (eSIMs) can be provisioned over-the-air by downloading any mobile operator’s profile. They are a key component to the connectivity revolution and digital transformation that are changing the world we live in.

As the number of eSIM-enabled devices grows so do the requirements and considerations that mobile operators must consider, calling for a framework that can handle the increasing complexity in standards, specifications and requirements for each device and their respective use cases.

A cloud-based approach for a flexible and modular framework
The best approach for mobile operators to meet the different requirements is to adopt a framework that is made up of many interconnected components, each of which can be modified and updated independently. Without having to invest heavily in each use case and its unique requirements, the cloud supports the growing trend of virtualized telecom infrastructure for non-core network components. Cloud-based platforms offer the flexibility, agility and cost savings needed to support the latest and largest variety of eSIM devices at scale.

Microsoft and eSIM convergence for enterprise and consumer connectivity
Consumers and Enterprise customers alike have a growing need for the connectivity that eSIM enables. Microsoft’s vision for eSIM connectivity has extended throughout the company and cascaded to all parts of its business.

For consumer-use, Windows allows for the purchase of subscriptions directly from the mobile operator through a native Windows 10 app, called Mobile Plans, requiring mobile operators to integrate their subscription manager with the Windows backend.

For enterprise-use, connectivity is activated and managed by the enterprise’s IT administrator through a Mobile Device Management (MDM) platform, requiring mobile operators to integrate their subscription manager with the enterprise’s MDM platform.

Thanks to Microsoft’s collaboration with IDEMIA, mobile operators can enable both consumer and enterprise use cases with a single integration. They can not only save on integration costs but also benefit from IDEMIA’s pre-integration with not just one, but multiple MDM vendors. This is a key example of how a cloud-based, modular approach can both reduce costs and open new eSIM use cases for mobile operators.

Discover IDEMIA’s Smart Connect Platform
IDEMIA’s eSIM platform, Smart Connect, provides a highly flexible and scalable solution that can meet mobile operators’ needs. It takes a cloud-first approach with elements hosted either in GSMA SAS-SM certified data centers or in the public cloud. Smart Connect supports a wide range of eSIM devices and use cases including Consumer, Enterprise, M2M and more.

As more devices are launched in the coming years, at IDEMIA, we hope to see more mobile operators take this cloud-based approach to eSIM and fuel with them the growing demand for an always-connected world.

The views and opinions in this piece reflect those of IDEMIA and not necessarily those of GSMA