Illustration of a hand with an eSIM card
#Connectivity & IoT

Time to adopt the eSIM

Global Trends
5 Mins.

Major smartphone makers are now producing eSIM-only units. The activation of these units is quicker and more convenient for the end user than it is with their physical SIM counterparts. Over its life cycle, the eSIM is environmentally more sustainable than a physical SIM as well. The requirements that had to be met for such a system to work remotely were remarkable. Now that they are in place, it is time for mobile network operators to be all-in with eSIMs.

In September 2022, Apple introduced the new iPhone 14 in the United States, an immensely important market. What made this release interesting was that the new model was offered with an eSIM-only approach. At least in the US, the iPhone 14 has no tray for a physical SIM card.

While eSIMs have been around for a while, they are still on the way to widespread use around the world. Indeed, many end users aren’t even aware of what an eSIM can do for them. In this context, Apple’s move to go all-in with eSIMs is a big step. Due to Apple’s size and influence, this move in one of its biggest, most developed markets is bound to have a tremendous impact on the larger landscape as well.

The new eSIM-only phone arrived in time for the gifting season in 2022. This period included some of the biggest spikes associated with the busiest buying periods worldwide. The activation of all those new devices required a high-performance, absolutely reliable eSIM management service with real-world functionality and connectivity. If there were any gaps in the eSIM management infrastructure, they would have been exposed.

As the new year dawned, one thing stood out: the unboxing and activation by the owners of all these new phones, exclusively through their eSIMs, was an outstanding experience. The rollout has been a great success story and free of technical glitches. The eSIM is here to conquer the market!

Given the relatively slow adoption of the eSIM by mobile network operators and mobile virtual network operators (MNOs/MVNOs) worldwide, this is a development that will drive market growth.

Mobile phone with graphic of SIM and eSIM

Opportunity beckons

While eSIMs have been around for a decade (G+D delivered the world’s first commercial eSIM management solution to AT&T in 2012), they are not yet the dominant technology in the global smartphone market. However, there has been strong growth of eSIMs in the automotive industry, and increasingly in the Internet of Things (IoT). Many consumers will also be familiar with them from the phenomenal success of many eSIM-enabled smartwatches. This growth in the eSIM market is measurable. As of March 2023, G+D reached a new milestone in its core connectivity business: 100 million eSIMs downloaded!

The eSIM is now clearly primed to move into the mobile phone market globally. As Apple has demonstrated with the iPhone 14, mobile manufacturers have the tech available to embed the eSIMs. However, global mobile operators are taking some time to adopt it as the primary mode of activation for new devices for their consumers.

This can be strategic: some MNOs might wait until more device manufacturers follow Apple’s path and include the eSIM in all their new devices. Other operators might foresee an issue with the transformation to fully digitalized processes, including the SIM, even if these have been shown to streamline flows, ease processes, and provide convenient and compelling user journeys.

“It is our expectation that eSIMs will be used in many more devices within the next few years, moving from a technology used in innovative markets only, into the mainstream.“
Tobias Lepper
Senior Product Marketing Manager at G+D

However, the advantages of eSIM are gaining the confidence of users and operators around the world, as its digital business model has been shown to be both attractive and verifiably useable. “It is our expectation that eSIMs will be used in many more devices within the next few years, moving from a technology used in innovative markets only, into the mainstream.” said Tobias Lepper, Senior Product Marketing Manager at G+D.

All of this falls apart, of course, if the eSIM management service employed by the MNO has flaws. Imagine you’re unboxing your new iPhone, but you can’t activate it due to an issue with the eSIM provisioning! Reliable eSIM management services with strong performance, security, and speed are key to a successful eSIM strategy.

If the eSIM management doesn’t work, mobile devices can’t connect. Clearly, the backbone must be functional if the structure is to stand. In this scenario, MNOs must partner with tech leaders with best-in-class eSIM management solutions. With data centers all around the globe, G+D’s eSIM management service has proven to be the best. It is the reason why G+D has gained prominence in this area.

Leadership through innovation

G+D continues to be a market leader in the eSIM management service space. This success has been obtained through constant attention to the needs of the customer – in this case, both the end user and the network operator.

Leading industry analysts like Kaleido Intelligence, Counterpoint, and Juniper Research continuously assess technology vendors in different markets. G+D has been continuously ranked by them as the leading eSIM management provider in the market. A recent vendor assessment by Kaleido Intelligence recognized G+D as “the leading service provider on the market, owing to innovative campaign management, analytics tools, and exceptional service availability.”

G+D’s solutions successfully combine experience, cutting-edge technology, ancillary services, and a heavy focus on security. G+D provides the largest number of certified eSIM subscription management sites in the world, alongside a wide portfolio covering solutions for consumer (SGP.22) as well as M2M (SGP.02) eSIM remote SIM provisioning.

eSIM services from Giesecke+Devrient
G+D’s solutions successfully combine experience, cutting-edge technology, ancillary services, and a heavy focus on security.

Consider some highlights of G+D’s eSIM management service:

  • Geo redundancy is a huge selling point. G+D’s back-end locations on two continents offer considerable peace of mind to operators concerned about the squeezing of bandwidth and other network connectivity issues.
  • G+D’s eSIM management service has an availability of 99.99%. In real terms, that means a downtime of less than 5 minutes per month!
  • The service is fully scalable. MNOs can plot their growth with G+D’s solution in mind, from only a few eSIM activations to millions of eSIM downloads across their networks.
  • What that means is that the service can handle millions of customers using it at the same time, which is very important in managing peak times such as Black Friday, Ramadan, Christmas, etc., where many customers may be activating their devices simultaneously.
  • G+D’s sites are GSMA accredited. Security is assured.

Seize the moment

Nobody knows this space better than G+D. It rolled out the first commercially available eSIM in 2012. It has earned the position of being considered an eSIM management expert. The reliability of its solutions has been proven on the ground, in real-world situations. It offers strong, secure, quick support that doesn’t falter, no matter the demands placed upon it.

Added to this, the eSIM, including its data center services, is more environmentally sustainable by far than the current physical alternative. It should be clear that it is now time to adopt eSIMs and their management as the activation method of choice for mobile phones.

Published: 02/03/2023

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