It is well publicised that the move to eSIM has been gaining traction thanks to the likes of Apple and Samsung adopting it.
However, it does not come without challenges or bottlenecks, particularly when it comes to IoT domain.
Olivier discussed the innovative solution, CloudSIMTM, which is Oasis Smart SIM’s remote SIM which is stored in a secure private environment.
In this podcast Olivier and Neil discuss the eSIM landscape, challenges faced by the telecoms industry, use cases, scaling up and the real benefits of CloudSIMTM.
Full Transcript of podcast
NEIL SHAH: Hello everyone and welcome back to the Counterpoint Podcast. I'm your host Neil Shah and today we are going to talk about a very innovative technology called Cloud SIM, which will take the eSIM to the next level. A few months back, we had an interesting discussion with Olivier Leroux from Oasis Smart-SIM where we talked about how the component shortages and the entire ecosystem has been suffering, especially with the SIM card and eSIM and how has accelerated need for better eSIM connectivity and migration. So today we have Olivier back on the show. So we're going to talk about how Oasis and Tata Communication are building this new architecture called Cloud SIM and how it will help catalyze the eSIM adoption. So, without further ado, let me welcome Olivier. Bonjour. Olivier. How are you? Great to have you here.
OLIVIER LEROUX: Bonjour dear. Thank you very much for having me back here. It's always a pleasure to have a discussion with you and to talk to you or listeners and to try to see what are the fundamental trends of the industry. And yeah, a very different subject from last month's Forecast where we were talking about the difficulty of the semiconductor industry. Here we are going to talk, we are looking to look forward. We are going to see what are the future evolution of the industry in something which we think would be a fundamental evolution of the technology in the years to come.
SHAH: So we have been discussing about eSIM for almost now six to seven years. It has gotten to mainstream level, thanks to Apple, thanks to automotive industry as well, where we have seen a great adoption of eSIM. Right. But still there are some bottlenecks from architecture point of view, from supply chain point of view, which we discussed last time, and also broader adoption when it comes to M2M or IoT settings. Right. So can you talk about a little bit of challenges which industry is facing and how we can solve those?
LEROUX: Okay, so as you said, one of the first challenge the eSIM industry is facing is really the fact that eSIM is not one standout, but two, and in the future three standout which are working together. And this is a reflection of the reality. The industry started thinking that the eSIM would be totally dedicated to M2M and therefore when people think about M to M, they mostly think about automotive. And that was the first standard, the Htp Auto. Then we realized, and it was a pressure from the OEM that there was a strong demand from the consumer device industry because you remember, we discussed it all with that the traction is really coming from the smartphone OEM, from VCC, and therefore soda was born. And we realized then that there was an unserved gap in the middle, which was this IoT space. And hence the industry is working on this surf standard at GP 32. But the reality is we are still learning about those standards. And the reality is, you know, the M2M is a good standard for automobiles, but maybe a bit too rigid for the industry, too vertical to static. The standard for the consumer is fundamentally a replication of the traditional SIM model.
It has faced some challenge of adoption by Dmno, but we keep moving. But fundamentally, it remains the same. And the IoT is a type of converging model. So no new evolution. And in parallel, the world changed. The world, the usage changed. When we started to define those standards ten years ago, there was hardly one connection point into an automotive. And now we start to see automotive getting into the market with six, seven, eight connection points. It's not only the car by itself, the dashboard needs to be connected. Some other part of the vehicle needs to be connected. The passenger wants to have their own connectivity. So we have on one side the need to have permanent connectivity anywhere at all the time, and we need to accommodate new usage. And fundamentally, the three standard, which exists in eSIM are part of the need, but not all the needs. And this is what this innovation that is bring forward by Oasis and data communication intent to provide solution to new needs.
SHAH: So can you give an example on this new innovation which you guys are working on, glimpse of it?
LEROUX: Well, the idea is to say yes, we can rely on this permanent connectivity is covered by EC. ORC let's be clear, you want to connect the device one way permanently. When I call permanently, it's 24/7 and everything. You are well served by what exists in terms of technology but they are now business case that start to develop into the industry where you need on demand connectivity because you need on demand connectivity because at some point of time you need additional bandwidth. At some point of time you may want to use a different channel of connectivity for security because the service you want to offer with your connectivity is not a permanent service. We can take some very simple example. If you manage a rental car company, your cars are not rented all the time and the connectivity you want to give to your customer it's just during the usage of the car by this customer. So maybe this customer will run the car for one day and maybe this customer will run the car for 3 hours. How do you accommodate that? And the answer is not factored into DC. You need to invent different technology, different way to operate the access to the network and this is what we intend to do with the cloud team that is super interesting.
SHAH: So do you see this as an alternative to eSIM or a complementary technology to eSIM?
LEROUX: It's definitely a complement. Okay, we are not with this technology and you know that with this data we are pushing very strong toward the we propose to the market with the Tata Move platform something which is very unique, which is covering all the technology which is very horizontal towards segment, towards the UEM technology and everything. So we are a great sponsor and promoter of eSIM technology in the market. So the intention with cloud SIM technology we did not discuss it, but I assume people understand that fundamentally we want to position the SIM functionality in the cloud and to manage the pairing between the device and the cloud team into a smart and secure way. So that there is a dynamic of association between the device and the cloud team which is quite agile, quite rapid, which allowed to do pool, subscription management, fleet management, many use case that maybe we will discuss after. So clearly it compliments the action on the scene. We don't intend in any way to replace or to say it is better. It offers different use case, it offers different business model and we try to address to answer different questions with the cloud team.
SHAH: Correct. Now that's a great example of rental car company and I completely agree that cost, total cost of ownership there could be a lot of advantages right. Or use cases that you don't have to pay 24/7.
LEROUX: Yeah, exactly. Again, we are not here mentioning the cost of the cloud team itself. That's not the point. The really point is the point of connectivity. So how you can optimize your connectivity, which is very often linked to permanently the number of point of permanent connection and everything. And here you can create a pool effect ratio effect which will have a deep impact on the improvement of your cost of deployment of connectivity and through the on demand. This is where you fundamentally change the model.
SHAH: What are the different use cases other than that? The rental company example you gave could be really good.
LEROUX: Yeah, that's why I don't want to and we invite your listener to come to the workshop we are going to do during Mobile World Congress and automotive, where we will discuss other use case and automotive. This is not the only, of course the only segment we intend to cover with this technology. Let me give you one or two different examples. Many people today work from home today because we are still into a type of post COVID type of abnormal situation. Most of them are using their own connectivity to access the Company's information system. A - you don't work all the time. B - more and more you will need dedicated connectivity to access the It back end of the company. And this is something we are going to show during this Mobile World Congress. Can you connect this cloud SIM technology to your PC so that when you start to work you can access on demand during your working shift mobile connectivity which provide you a secure economical access and supported by the Company access to the It system of the company. So that's one of the use cases we intend to cover. We understand that in many industrial equipment today, the access to the equipment by the equipment manufacturer is not possible through the IT organization of where it is deployed.
Imagine you are supplying manufacturing equipment nowhere a company will give you access to its It infrastructure to do the remote support of the equipment. With cloud we open the possibility to open dedicated secure channel on demand to this equipment so that the remote maintenance can be done. In the industrial field we see some strong application. Even in the enterprise field we see some very key benefit that could reflect from the usage of this on demand connectivity solution.
SHAH: Yeah, absolutely. More I hear about it, I can envision different use cases where in fact many of the use cases in IoT don't require permanent connectivity. They send data in first, right? One time a day or two times a day. So completely agree with it.
LEROUX: Exactly. And again, I think it is difficult in a podcast like this to give you a full perspective on the possibility of the technology. But we can also address use case where the primary access of the device to the network. It's not mobile where you have device which are connected to satellite to narrowband IoT network and everything and suddenly bootstrapping those existing connectivity you can fire up on demand a mobile connectivity. Imagine you deploy satellite gateway and from time to time you have your gateway which is in your company and everything. And from time to time again for use case we tried earlier because you need additional bandwidth because you are requested to use a dedicated VPN to access some system you are pouring on for a period of time that could be 1 hour. That could be one day, one week. A cloud team which will give you to a mobile network. And this type of flexibility open, endless opportunity. And you know, because we are talking from time to time that we've been announcing, we released the first prototype of this technology in October 2020. It was really a prototype and since three years we are working on industrialization, working out the use case and the business case and at no point into this journey we have said no, we see some risk with this technology.
We don't believe into the future of this technology. And it's been reviewed, of course, internally at Oasis. In Oasis became part of Tata communication group. And the energy, the feeling that we have something great to play is the same within Oasis with its data. And this will be one of the major innovation because we arrived to the Mobile World Congress with an MVP and something which is ready to be deployed by some industry or player in the market. We are seeing the same level of energy and passion towards this cloud SIM solution.
SHAH: That's great. I believe this is more of a proprietary technology and you have intellectual property for this. Do you see this also becoming more of a standardized technology?
LEROUX: Of course, this is an objective I understand it will take passion, effort to convince the ecosystem. I have a fantastic team for that. We are pushing we are starting to get a lobby. It's not mandatory. Again, today the technology it's supported end to end by data communication of foodie soon by the sponsor of data communication and we will welcome every mno that want to access this cloud SIM technology. It's also a technology which is ready to be assembled. It has been designed in a way where in the same sense of security it can be assembled to the remote SIM provisioning infrastructure. Again during a podcast this is difficult to explain, but we would welcome anybody who want to discuss that during Mobile World Congress of after and how we can link the cloud team to the RSP infrastructure. But again, it is true that it is our intellectual property. This is a product we are patenting. This is an innovation we are bringing to the market who is the ambition at some point of time to get it accepted by the ecosystem. It's not mandatory, it's not a showstopper, it would be something good.
SHAH: I asked that question because I was also thinking about scalability and interoperability of the solution and I believe since it's cloud based, it should not be a huge issue.
LEROUX: No, it's not a huge issue. I mean, the scalability is fantastic on this technology. Hopefully we will see in the near future how easy it is to deploy IoT or the use case. We mentioned this technology, the scalability, there is no hardware involved, there is no footprint into the device or very little footprint into the device as you say, it's cloud based so the scalability. It's quite important. And again, I think that when we get to outside of this image, which is sometimes associated with the cloud, which is the lack of security and everything, which is not true, and again we are calling it cloud because the software is positioned on the cloud. But we position the software into a private cloud, which is GSMA certified, so it's not open cloud and everything. So we fundamentally respect all the principle of the security of SIM and for eSIM stand out. So I think that would only take time and that the ecosystem will soon realize that this is something that we can deploy and we can scale in a fast manner in the industry.
SHAH: It's fascinating. We have been discussing about these different challenges and I see some solution coming out finally which can address many of these challenges in a more efficient way. And MWC is the right setting, I believe with so many mobile operators, ecosystem players out there and with use cases like private networks coming out and on demand connectivity.
LEROUX: It come together. I forgot and my apology for that. But this is the point of those postcast private network is a super use case also and this is highly promoted by my team and access to private network is very often on demand. You can reside in the private network but let's say if you build a private network, people are in and out and what do you need to do? So we see a lot of try in terms of technology using EC, using multi MC. So some type of, I would say weird technology or technology which are two heavy to get deployed and to be scaled for private network where the use case of technology of the Cloud SIM. Technology for Cloud SIM is tremendous because it facilitates the adoption the integration of a device to a private network. And again, I'm happy to say that I think all those innovation, all those things are coming because at the moment what we have is a bit too rigid, has not been designed to be flexible, to change too often. We are not here to debate why we don't want, but we need consider that the world and the ecosystem we are operating it requires this agility, this flexibility, its scalability and that's why at least we are bringing our stone to the foundation of this IoT house. And I think with this one we are proposing something which is fundamentally different and which answer fundamental and critical points that are faced by many stakeholders in the ecosystem today.
SHAH: Yeah, it's fantastic. And look forward to visiting your booth and getting the demos first-hand and talking more about it in the industry. Super excited about this. Thanks, Olivier, for being on this podcast.
LEROUX: always a pleasure. Up to your listener. We have said something again. We will be at Mobile World Congress and like you, we welcome everybody on our booth and the Data boost to do some demo automotive, non automotive with different use case. You know where to find us and we can organize podcast seminars and interaction with people interested. So always a pleasure to talk to you. Thank you.
About Oasis Smart SIM
Established in 2011, Oasis Smart SIM is a France and Singapore-based company simplifying Telcos, Service Providers and OEMs’ adoption of eSIM by providing a range of GSMA-certified eSIM infrastructures, platforms and services designed to simplify technology. Oasis Smart SIM is now a member of the GSMA and TCA (Trusted Connectivity Alliance), ranked by Counterpoint Research as the 6th Global eSIM Management Solution Provider in 2022.
Oasis Smart SIM is a subsidiary of Tata Communications Limited, a digital ecosystem enabler powering today’s fast-growing digital economy.