4 Key Stages of Your eSIM Deployment

Marco Bijvelds, VP International Product Management
29 Aug 2019, 11:16:56

If you’ve followed our eSIM blog series, you’ve learned how this single-SIM, multi-carrier technology will enable the next stage of innovations in IoT. With eSIM, you’ll be able to gain reliable device connectivity, eliminate roaming fees, and protect against network shut-downs.

If you’re new to eSIM, start here to learn about its capabilities, identify your business and technical needs, and understand the most common eSIM use-cases.

Our most recent blog on eSIM readiness walked you through an assessment to help determine which eSIM strategy is best for your organisation. Some are more suited for a Natively Connected eSIM strategy primarily requiring global connectivity while other businesses need a global Future Proofing/Auto Provisioning eSIM approach that eliminates the challenges of SIM card inventory and multiple regional carriers. Regardless of the ideal use case, every eSIM deployment follows the same general stages.

 

Stage 1: Defining your eSIM Strategy

Armed with results from the assessment, it’s time to build your eSIM strategy. Beecham Research projects worldwide eSIM growth to more than double from 28 million units in 2018 to 60 million units in 2020 – and these figures exclude growth that will result from eSIMs to be placed in connected cars.

A successfully architected eSIM strategy will pay many dividends and enable you to:

  • Future-proof connected devices that could be impacted by evolving network technologies and sunsets
  • Leverage future deployment of LPWA networks
  • Eliminate SIM switching costs by remotely provisioning to alternate carriers or technologies
  • Streamline logistics management by eliminating costly and time-consuming truck rolls to dispersed device locations
  • Reduce costs and improve operational and logistical efficiencies
  • Minimise total cost of ownership while maximising return on IoT investment

To build a scalable eSIM strategy, you’ll need to navigate the IoT ecosystem and choose technology components and partners.

 

Stage 2: Evaluating eSIM Options

Whether embedded or removable, you’ll need IoT-grade eSIMs that are remotely programmable based on the latest GSMA eSIM standards to ensure full interoperability. Depending on your application, you may want to consider ruggedised eSIMs as well. You may want to consider integrating eSIM applets for a higher level of secure authentication. If well-matched to your needs, eSIM cards should be equipped to keep delivering throughout an IoT device lifecycle of at least 10-15 years.

When building your eSIM architecture, ensure that you’re deploying eSIMs from a carrier-agnostic provider. Some carriers may offer eSIMs restricted to their network only, or just multiple carrier options based on their alliances. A true carrier-agnostic eSIM provider will enable you greater flexibility to switch to your desired carrier network. Your single eSIM solution should also allow access to multiple technologies (2G/3G/LTE including LPWA) through a single APN as well as single data bundles via multi-IMSI capabilities. In addition, you’ll need to make sure you select the right device – a 2G/3G/4G device will not be able to transfer data on an LTE-M network and will limit your future-proofing options.

 

Stage 3: Deploying your eSIM Solution

After you’ve selected the right eSIM options for your solution, it’s time to get your solution to the market. The logistical details of your deployment are essential to success. From a compliance standpoint, make sure you’ve done your due-diligence complying to carrier and government regulations. On the business operations front, make sure you’ve established the right price-point for your solution and have launched an omnichannel marketing campaign to reach your target audience. Consider pilot programs to gather customer feedback for case studies and quality assurance. Focus groups can help you identify incremental changes you’ll need to make before a full-scale hard launch.

 

Stage 4: Managing Your eSIM Solution

After launch, you need to ensure you have the infrastructure in place to deliver on the promise of your innovative IoT solution. The ability to switch carriers and network technologies at a moment’s notice is one of the most appealing aspects of eSIM. But this also introduces the complexity of managing multiple network interfaces, contracts, and invoices. Avoid these complexities by managing your eSIM connectivity with a single provisioning platform that delivers real-time reports, provides proactive thresholds, alerts, and diagnostics. By leveraging a centralised connectivity management hub and a single APN for profile switching, you will simplify day-to-day tasks associated with your solution, leaving your team the freedom to innovate, scale, and grow your solution alongside the changing needs of your target market.

 

Questions?

The nascent eSIM ecosystem is loaded with complexities, particularly for organisations new to IoT. If you need help defining your strategy and navigating the many intricacies of eSIM, check out some of our eSIM ebooks and infographics, contact one of our IoT solution experts today, or get started with our complimentary eSIM starter kit, which includes three test SIM cards with global connectivity for three months.