The eSIM solution is being introduced to remove physical SIM cards for improved user experience. It is also beneficial for device manufacturers, where devices can be designed with end-users and consumers in focus.
The eSIM solution offers remote provisioning of user profiles and device management, key functions that enable communication service providers (CSPs) to manage user profiles in a more flexible way. Good user experience of the services requires management of both devices and network elements.
The creation of the solution began from the consumer perspective and is based on data showing that consumers want to use and are willing to pay for eSIM services. A consumer survey, carried out in five countries and representing approximately 200 million smartphone users, supports the creation of six eSIM-based use cases:
- Connected devices – Easily add on other devices to an existing bundle in a few clicks
- Try and buy – Try out new offerings for 3-4 days before purchase, for example
- Travel specials – Use a local data tariff for surfing – billed by home operator
- Connectivity insurance – When the user has no network coverage and needs to make an important call or send a message, any mobile network can be used
- Marketing campaigns – Flexible business and marketplace model used by other companies for special launches
- Events – Flexible business and marketplace model used by event organizers
Based on the survey data, the estimated potential is around 10-15 percent revenue growth per eSIM smartphone subscriber. Initially, the largest contributor is expected to be connected devices.
Lynnette Luna, Principal Analyst, GlobalData, says:"Most communication service providers see eSIM-enabled smartphones as more of a threat than an opportunity. But eSIMs may very well be what CSPs need to break the falling ARPU curve, if they implement and market the capability correctly. eSIM can enable new use cases that can actually strengthen the customer experience."
Monica Zethzon, Head of Solution Area Communication Services at Ericsson, says: “When we developed our eSIM manager we focused on ease of use for the end-customer. If a service provider has both the secure entitlement server and eSIM manager from Ericsson we can enable a 100 percent automated provisioning of eSIMs. This offers a highly efficient way to provide flexibility and good customer experience for the consumers.”
Assessing the available market for devices, Ovum’s eSIM ‘Device Sales Forecast Report: 2019–24’, published in January 2020 predicts that in 2020, 5 percent of all smartphones will be eSIM. This is set to increase to 20 percent in 2024.
Further, eSIM devices are predicted to grow annually by 60 percent CAGR, thanks to the efficient and automated support for end-to-end onboarding of these devices.