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E-SIMs: Opportunities & Implications for MNOs

  • ID: 3734888
  • Report
  • May 2016
  • Region: Global
  • 32 Pages
  • Mobile Market Development Ltd (Wireless Profit)


  • Airtel
  • Blackberry
  • Gigsky
  • Jersey Telecom Wholesale
  • Movirtu
  • Samsung
  • MORE
Operator ownership and control over SIM cards is being threatened as OEMs and device manufacturers push for embedded SIMs that are operator-agnostic.

Early moves by Apple were strongly resisted by MNOs, but recent specifications released by the GSMA indicate that operator attitudes are changing. Operators are seeing the opportunities that such developments can bring, particularly in terms of increasing the number of M2M connections and potential for consumer wearables and IoT devices.

Progress is also being seen in terms of operator-agnostic SIM technology being included in smartphone devices, i.e. movement beyond data-only devices. This sits less comfortably with operators as it suggests potential disintermediation of primary subscriber relationships and relegation of MNOs to the role of dumb pipe commodity providers.

This report aims to understand developments in e-SIMs in order to identify the associated opportunities and threats so that MNOs’ overall approach to operator-agnostic e-SIMs can be informed.
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown


  • Airtel
  • Blackberry
  • Gigsky
  • Jersey Telecom Wholesale
  • Movirtu
  • Samsung
  • MORE
1. Overview

2. Introduction
2.1 Background to the Report
2.2 Report Content
2.3 Currency and Conversions
2.4 Further Questions and Feedback

3 SIM Evolution
3.1 Early and Current SIM Cards
3.2 GSMA Embedded SIM Specification
3.3GSMA Consumer Remote SIM Provisioning

4 Factors Influencing E-SIM Development
4.2 Leadership of the E-SIM Solution
4.3 Standardisation Beyond Technical Aspects
4.4 Regulation
4.4.1 MNP
4.4.2 IMSI/ SIM Ownership
4.4.3 Competition
4.4.4 Subscription Manager Function
4.4.5 Know Your Customer
4.5 Consumer E-SIM Education

5 Potential E-SIM Challenges for MNOs
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Increased Churn
5.2.1 Increased Incidence of Multi-SIM Use
5.2.2 Shorter Term/Prepaid Plans
5.2.3 Permanent Churn
5.3 Decline in Handset Subsidies
5.4 Price Pressure
5.5 Loss of Roaming Revenue
5.6 Disintermediation
5.7 Lower Security
5.8 Power of E-SIM Issuer
5.8.1 Growing Role of Subscription Manager

6 E-SIM Benefits and MNO Opportunities
6.1 Introduction
6.2 M2M
6.3 Incremental Connections of New Device Types
6.4 New Consumer Propositions
6.5 Becoming an E-SIM Issuer
6.6 Distribution Costs
6.7 Handset Cost Reduction

7 E-SIM Applications
7.1 Introduction
7.2 M2M Services
7.2.1 Swisscom, Switzerland
7.2.2 NTT DoCoMo, Japan
7.2.3 Jersey Telecom Wholesale
7.3 Consumer-driven SIM Swapping
7.3.1 BlackBerry
7.4 Consumer Managed Network Selection
7.4.1 Apple SIM
7.4.2 Samsung Gear S2 3G Classic
7.5 Third Party Managed Network Selection Service
7.5.1 Project Fi
7.5.2 Windows SIM
7.5.3 Zong, Pakistan
7.5.4 Truphone

8 Key Findings and Conclusions

9 Recommendations

10 Appendix – Feedback Questions
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
- AT&T
- Airtel
- Apple
- Blackberry
- Enexis
- Gemalto
- Gigsky
- Google
- Jersey Telecom Wholesale
- Limmex
- Microsoft
- Movirtu
- NTT DoCoMo
- Samsung
- Swisscom
- Telefonica
- Transatel
- Truphone
- Verizon
- Vivo
- Zong
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown