SIM growth is unstoppable, ABI research predicts there will be an estimated 420 million eSIM - equipped devices by 2020 /- there are also many challenges to eSIM adoption. With increasing demand for eSIM comes the challenge of providing the enabling technology and infrastructure. That's where most IoT service providers and OEM's are finding their hands are tied. Since December 2021, Tata Communications acquired majority stake in Oasis Smart SIM and both companies have worked to leverage their joint capabilities to develop and co-create products and solutions to enable end-to-end embedded connectivity in the M2M and Consumer space and make eSIM a resounding success.
Deepak Gusain, Global Business Head, Mobility and IoT Solutions at Tata Communications and Olivier Leroux, CEO & President at Oasis Smart SIM, discuss these challenges around eSIM and M2M deployment.Here are some of the take aways.
The prevalent issues with eSIM encountered from Tata Communications' point of view
Deepak Gusain: "There are problems, but they don't solely revolve around the perception of the technology. First, we look at the DPSR framework. It’s complicated because there’s a lot of heavy technological infrastructure which is required to make it work. The difficulty to understand it in case someone is not an eSIM expert is where we believe that a lack of technology and technical expertise in the IoT application provider segment. The whole business is actually not eSIM, but the value added services. It makes it a bit difficult for the end customers who adopt it: they see many challenges to the adoption of eSIM.
Another issue is that of interoperability not fulfilling its promises. I have seen this occur personally. The technology has a lot of promises. However, as far as adoption is concerned, there still a high Cost of Adoption for eSIM vs traditional SIM Cards. But in the long-run, we believe that customers and partners are going to take full advantage of the technology provided that the obstacles of perception are overcome."
The alternatives explored by IoT application providers, beyond short and long-term shortcomings
Olivier Leroux: "The GSMA created a fantastic framework for eSIM. But we experienced difficulties because of the abundance of frameworks. There is a consumer framework, an IoT framework and its very complicated for customers to find their way around. Both Tata Communications and Oasis try to guide people through the framework. Not only on the M2M framework (ie DPSR), but also to guide them through the DP+. There will be convergence and we are going to guide towards convergence.
We are also trying to explore new ways. The standard solution of the standard MFF2 component to be included in the device is not the only answer. There are other solutions; integrated SIMs, Cloud SIM, SIM as a SIM card, which will help the service providers, or OEMs, to integrate the eSIM framework. It is critical to make the next generation of IoT happening. Together, Tata Communications and Oasis will provide great support to customers to achieve those objectives."
How Tata Communications' MOVE™ platform with M2M capability, which manages the eSIM lifecycle from Day 0 to Day 1 helps overcome the challenges
Deepak Gusain: "We built a platform which removes friction through a modular framework. Abstracting the different protocols and allowing each module to work independently to decouple from the core underlying infrastructure and replace it if needed. We built the intelligent MOVE™in collaboration with Oasis Smart Sim: their CRP (Connectivity Ressource Planner) framework is tightly coupled with the MOVE™ platform. The overall ability of an eSIM Hub doesn’t only rely on providing the eSIM capability to our end customers. Rather, it relies on linking all the underlying technologies, whether it is the profile, connectivity management, analytics, and then being able to intelligently swap profiles when needed for customers. An important aspect is to understand the business drivers for an end customer.
Whether it is local to a particular country or geography, or it is transient roaming. These are nuances that we are going to understand very well with the intelligent MOVE™ connectivity management platform. On top of this, we have deployed the eSIM Hub capability through our collaboration with Oasis Smart Sim. That is something that we have been able to maneuver in the right way. It’s more about the experience of our customers rather than the science behind it. That’s how we look at it with a simplistic approach. It should work seamlessly across borders and across different use cases, and we can resolve real business challenges that affect eSIM adoption."
What's the go-to-market for this technology? Will this help to widespread the adoption of eSIM?
Deepak Gusain: "Our go-to market strategy cuts across different verticals. One of the important verticals we identified is the MVNE vertical. Some within the MVNE verticals have seen a lot of enterprises, specifically focusing on the IoT MVNE part. A lot of service providers and MNOs jumped on this bandwagon because they understood the fact that the usual consumer use cases are not enough to ramp up revenues. Hence, there is a need for an IoT MVNO which is coupled with eSIM capability. This can then help MNOs across different geographies to take these services to the end customers of their market. That is something we have seen as one of our global go-to market approaches for our market customers.
The second point is, large automotive customers across this particular domain. They are taking it to the next steps and including eSIM as part of their design framework right from the inception stage. That is being done by a lot of large automotive companies. We are working with automotive customers across the World.
Alongside that, tele-markets, transportation, aviation, every other industry vertical is something that is now looking to adopt eSIM technology. One reason for this is because of the fact that it gives them flexibility in switching profiles, switching plans when needed.
Secondly, it allows them to support their businesses in the best possible way. So there are a few examples, some of the large MNOs in the Asia Pacific region who have subscribed to our MVNE, IoT capabilities and we are working very closely with them and expanding this partnership to an eSIM Hub capability with them. The second one is ANTEL in Latin America, who is our partner in Uruguay. We have been deploying the MVNE platform with them. The next conversation we are having with them is to onboard the IoT customers. eSIM Hub orchestration will therefore be an important aspect."
Olivier Leroux, CEO of Oasis Smart Sim: "Our discussion shows the power of Tata’s value proposition to automotive makers, service providers, MVNOs and MNOs. Together, Tata Communications and Oasis Smart SIM form a great team, with complimentary technology. We need to be able to address the M2M value chain. I think we are making big progress in the market. Our solutions are guiding people through the complexity of connectivity."