ODC unlocks new avenues for MNOs allowing them to diversify their connectivity services into the world of IoT, says Sherry Zameer, SVP, IoT for CISMEA at Gemalto.
CommsMEA: How would you define Gemalto’s on-demand connectivity?
Gemalto’s ODC solution gives OEMs, MNOs and service providers the capability to deliver a seamless customer experience for connecting consumer and industrial devices. Together, the embedded-SIM or eSIM and the subscription management platform enable customers to securely manage the lifecycle of cellular subscriptions. Together, eSIMs and Remote SIM Provisioning (RSP) enable new design possibilities, new services and innovative business models.
CommsMEA: How can ODC prove as an asset for operators?
With shifting value chains and changing supply chains in the industry with regards to SIM cards distribution, SIM subscription profile enablement has become an after-market process. This takes a certain level of control away from the MNOs, who previously controlled SIM distribution.
The requirements from IoT devices also differ in their behaviour. Consumer smartphone devices are a single subscription service with a relativity high data ARPU and at the point of failure, the subscriber can engage directly with the MNOs’ customer care for assistance. Consumer smartphones can also access other connectivity options like WiFi and can subscribe to OTT communication services, such as Skype and WhatsApp, at which point the MNO has lost the relationship with the customer. With high prepaid penetration, consumer smartphone devices are also prone to high levels of churn.
IoT devices on the other hand, which are part of a larger fleet of devices, cannot request for their own subscription or customer care, and have a lower data ARPU compared to consumer smartphones. Subscription contracts tend to be postpaid rather than prepaid and this could be a lucrative segment of enterprise business to target for the MNOs. If these smart connected devices are coming into the market with embedded-SIMs or eSIMs, then the after-market SIM subscription provisioning function performed by ODC can enable this new segment of business for the MNO.
CommsMEA: What are the main barriers on the way to make ODC mainstream?
As Gartner forecast 20 billion connected things by 2020, the amount of wireless networks, computing power and data moving around are continuously increasing. With the proliferation of eSIM in smart connected devices, MNOs have to accept and work in an ecosystem with multiple stakeholders and foster partnerships that will allow for value-based charging models for IoT applications.
With low voice, messaging and data tariffs, MNOs will be challenged to address the eSIM business unless they master these partnerships. It is also important for telecom regulators and national standardisation authorities to work with organisations like the GSMA with regards to certification for cloud based services for eSIM management.