The MNOs are at a critical juncture as they gear for this influx of demand of billions of new cellular subscriptions from M2M and connected consumer electronics’ use cases.
Cellular networks have come a long way from providing voice and SMS services to the present-day backbone of mobility. With 4G/LTE reaching a state of maturity and 5G on the rise, the mobile network operators are poised to strengthen their position in the IoT ecosystem. Consumer and industrial usage of the Internet is evolving with very variable needs of bandwidth (broadband to narrow-band) and latency.
The MNO Challenges
The Internet of Things opens new doors for various contributors to the ecosystem. The MNOs face different challenges in being the key enabler of connectivity in the world of IoT:
- Customer Experience: End consumers and enterprise customers are becoming increasingly demanding. When connecting multiple IoT devices, customers no longer want to keep visiting MNO franchises or customer service representatives for buying new SIM cards and then activating them.
- Customer Ownership: MNOs are increasingly losing their ownership of the customers not to conventional competition, but OTT players. This ownership is becoming even more blurred in IoT.
- Expanding OEM Ecosystem: Historically, the MNOs were dealing with a limited number of phone manufacturers, which was still complex due to wide product ranges. Today, this complexity is multiplied manifold as there is an influx of OEM from geographically dispersed locations. This makes it even more complex to enable subscription for new and innovative OEM.
- Subscription Management: Conventional methods of enabling and managing subscriptions are not very relevant for industrial or consumer IoT. Commissioning or decommissioning of endpoints/devices and on-boarding of new devices makes subscription management a complex and expensive operation.
Thales' eSIM solutions for mobile operators
Remote SIM Provisioning unlocks new avenues for MNOs, allowing them to diversify their connectivity services into the world of Internet of Things. Connected cars, industrial routers, commercial drones and wearables can be powered with broadband cellular connectivity – Remote SIM Provisioning facilitates offering connectivity for multiple devices under a single contract.
Thales' eSIM solutions offer for MNOs counters these challenges through these solutions:
Thales Instant Connect
Thales Instant Connect allows mobile operators to remotely and automatically provide initial mobile connectivity to eSIM-ready devices at power on (as they are unconnected), wherever they are, while drastically simplifying OEMs' supply chain and enhancing the user experience.
Thales On-Demand Subscription Manager (OSM)
Based on the latest GSMA specifications and built on Global Platform standards, OSM empowers MNOs to provide seamless subscription management capabilities to its consumers and enterprise customers. It offers a unified platform for MNO profile management, eSIM order management and high-speed MNO profile download. OSM essentially puts MNO in the driving seat to own the cellular subscription, simplifying the supply chain and empowering new revenue streams.
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The Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) has evolved over the years, both in terms of form factor and functionality. Based on GSMA’s specifications, the eSIM (or eUICC) is an evolution of the SIM card, tailored to meet the requirements of industrial and consumer OEM.
Thales is a leader in digital security solutions, delivering products and solutions to more than 12,000 enterprises worldwide. We are uniquely placed in the connected ecosystem to enable consumer and industrial OEMs to connect with the MNO world.