How telecom operators can generate revenue with eSIM

How telecom operators can generate revenue with eSIM

How eSIM will help telecom operators unlock new revenue opportunities

 

December 15, 2022

 

The evolution of smartphones and devices over the last decade has given users a new way to access information and data at lightning speed. Smartphones are now being used as digital assistants, making everything from telemedicine to remote work more accessible and enjoyable. With the growing demand for accessibility and security, more bandwidth, and constant connectivity, operators are always looking for innovations that will help them evolve user experience and differentiate their offerings, while lowering costs and unlocking new revenue opportunities.

The eSIM (or embedded SIM) is one such innovation that helps operators meet all these criteria and takes telcos closer to their digital transformation goal.

What is an eSIM?

An eSIM or embedded subscriber identity module is the same as a regular SIM, except it comes permanently embedded in the smartphone. It replaces the need for a physical SIM card and a SIM card slot on the device. Users can remove or swap between different eSIM-based networks with more ease. eSIM also offers remote SIM provisioning technology, which enables the user’s profile information to be downloaded directly onto the device.

The traditional SIM has a unique IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity), which identifies the phone on the cellular network. Along with the IMSI, the SIM also has a unique MSISDN, primarily, a mobile number that is used by other consumers when they call or text you. An eSIM can, however, be reprogrammed and rewritten, unlike a traditional SIM. That allows you to switch between networks without removing the SIM card.

Given the benefits of eSIM for operators and consumers, the technology has enormous potential to transform network experiences in the near future. For consumers, eSIM makes it easier to add companion devices to cellular plans, as well as manage multiple connections, profiles, and bundled subscriptions using a master subscription. Operators benefit from eSIM technology by being innovative in offering multi-device bundling, connected IoT devices/UEs, shared plans, and much more, while significantly lowering their OPEX. eSIM eliminates the overheads associated with physical SIM installation and changing operators.

For telecom operators, eSIM can potentially be a great revenue-generating and customer-retention tool.

Difference between eSIM and SIM


eSIM

SIM
Non-removable and embedded SIM inbuilt in the mobilePhysical, removable, and insertable into the SIM slot of compatible devices
Can store five connections from the same or different operatorsCan have only one connection from an operator
Supports single or multiple profile configurationSupports a single profile configuration
Can be activated by selecting an operator and a plan from the mobileCan be ordered from the operator or collected from the store
Comes in a fixed size as a part of the mobile’s motherboardComes in various sizes: standard, micro, and nano to fit in the SIM slot
Supports remote provisioningDoes not support remote provisioning

How can telecom operators benefit from eSIM?

eSIM enhances the innovation and revenue capabilities of the operator, as it facilitates operators to introduce next-gen plans for the customers, their profiles, connected devices, and more. There are many more benefits that eSIM can provide to telecom operators, including:

Provides a seamless onboarding experience

Using eSIMs can help streamline the onboarding process because they allow consumers to switch operators remotely without visiting a store to obtain a physical SIM card or waiting for SIM card delivery.

Using the QR-code scanning functionality of eSIM technology, consumers can instantly add multiple owned devices. It allows operators to have more cellular-connected devices on their networks and provide a consistent customer experience across multiple devices, improving accessibility and increasing subscriber retention.

Enhances flexibility and security

With traditional SIM cards, one must purchase a new SIM card and insert it into the device – which is not the case with eSIM. With eSIM, consumers can be onboarded quickly.

Moreover, if a phone is lost with a physical SIM card, a lock screen, biometric activation, and remote lock support could stop attackers from accessing it. However, one can still take out the SIM card and use it on another unlocked phone, allowing the hackers to make calls, send text messages, or access social media and bank accounts. An eSIM provides prevention in all such uncontrollable scenarios.

Enables hassle-free roaming experience

Switching to a local network while traveling would be easier with eSIM because it does not require physical insertion. It would assist operators in providing frequent business travelers with a seamless roaming experience. Additionally, because multiple profiles are possible, travelers can stack plans from multiple operators and select the most suitable plan as they travel from one country to another.

Lowers operational overheads

eSIM enables operators to increase ARPU without incurring operational costs or physical touchpoints. Customers can choose the available mobile network, whether local or roaming, without relying on the operator. Furthermore, when a subscriber misplaces their physical SIM cards, it incurs additional costs and inconveniences for both consumers and operators to reactivate a replacement.

Allows users to have multiple connections

eSIM removes the restriction of having a limited number of connections on a mobile phone. Consumers can have multiple connections from one or more operators, as well as can opt for device-based plans and shared bundling from different operators. With traditional SIMs, the consumer can carry one dual SIM mobile or have multiple mobiles if they own more than two connections. On the contrary, one eSIM can hold up to five virtual SIM cards or profiles simultaneously, facilitating consumers to quickly switch profiles based on needs. For example, a consumer can switch to a personal profile from a professional profile after work hours.

Unlocks revenue opportunities

Watches and other companion devices can help to increase ARPU. As device bundling will be easier and users can add new devices to their plans effortlessly, Telcos can offer multi-device packages and cellular and data plans. The customized and additional plans needed by customers will offer new revenue opportunities to operators. And the eliminated need to produce physical SIMs will help telcos save money and improve revenue margins.

Since traditional voice and SMS services are declining, many operators are concerned that eSIM will result in a loss of profits. However, they can consider selling additional subscriptions to their existing customers to activate a secondary subscription on the device. For example, customers who frequently visit other countries without international data plans can be encouraged to purchase a secondary subscription from one of the operator’s partners in other countries, which could be an excellent revenue-impacting move by operators.

Helps accelerate enterprise IoT

eSIM also empowers enterprise IoT as it can seamlessly connect many remote IoT-enabled devices. With eSIM, operators can sell more devices, offer managed services, and accelerate the adoption of private networks by enabling users to roam seamlessly between public and private infrastructure. eSIM technology, along with the 4IR (Fourth Industrial Revolution), can bring a revolution for private networks and bring multiple benefits for enterprises, including complete visibility on the connected devices, scale up and scale down network resources as needed, automated network configurations, high QoS, highly secured infrastructure, and controlled costs. Some industries where eSIM and 4IR can transform the private network experience are utility companies with smart meters and CCTV, hospitals with patient tracking devices, energy companies generating energy using wind farms placed in remote locations, and more.
 

eSIM Use Cases

eSIM Use Cases

Conclusion

Telecommunication service providers should embrace the opportunities that eSIM technology brings to the table rather than see it as a potential threat.

With eSIM, telcos can broaden their sales of data plans to any device via exclusive digital stores and collaborate with other telcos to expand their channels to a broad audience.

GSMA estimates that more than 2 billion eSIM devices will be shipped by 2025. As market adoption grows and eSIM becomes more common, having a clear roadmap and plan in place will be critical for capitalizing on and monetizing the new opportunities provided by eSIM.

Alepo’s Digital BSS stack includes an eSIM Management module, which performs onboarding, and activation management. The eSIM Management module can help operators enable GSMA-compliant integration with the eSIM management platform for mobile, companion devices, and online (CRM, mobile app, Self-Care) and offline (Point of Sales) devices (android and Apple iOS devices). To learn more about the eSIM functionality, reach Alepo experts at market.development@alepo.com.

Rajesh Mhapankar

Rajesh Mhapankar

Vice President, Product Management

A seasoned professional, technologist, innovator, and telecom expert. With over 20 years of experience in the software industry, Rajesh brings a strong track record of accelerating product innovations and development at Alepo. He supports the company’s mission-critical BSS/OSS projects in LTE, WiFi and broadband networks, including core policy, charging, and control elements.

Subscribe to the Alepo Newsletter

Top 5 telecom trends to watch in 2023

Top 5 telecom trends to watch in 2023

Top 5 telecom trends to watch in 2023

 

December 12, 2022

New technologies and business models are emerging at an unprecedented rate. General trends such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and 5G have all gained traction in recent years and will continue to transform telecommunications in the years to come. In addition to these trends, here are predictions for the top 5 telecom trends in 2023.

Containerization

Containerization is a major telecom trend for 2023. The technology allows packaging an application’s code and its dependencies in isolation, facilitating optimal performance on any infrastructure, quick deployment, and faster time-to-market. Containerization is gaining popularity due to its portability, flexibility, scalability, security, modularity, and lightweight footprint. These significant features enable companies to process deployment-related tasks quickly and efficiently.

With the increasing complexity of networks and the software development challenges that go along with it, containerized systems make the life of developers easier and help them overcome operational and technical difficulties. Containerization increases the agility and accessibility of the application due to its leaner, virtualized, and service-oriented design, having no hardware or other system dependencies. When appropriately applied, containerization improves DevOps efficiency, streamlines work processes, and minimizes infrastructural conflicts. Containerization technology plays a significant role in implementing next-gen applications or networks. For example, it plays a prominent role in creating network slices, allowing technology service providers to create virtual replicas of networks with varied business requirements. To be more specific, when developers require a network that can handle autonomous driving and smart meters with varying delays and bandwidths, they can build those slices with the help of the containerized system.

And not to forget about the cost and security benefits of containerization, the containers-based networks are built with significantly lower costs and risks than traditionally built networks. Containerized applications can run easily in any environment thanks to its cloud-native infrastructure, significantly reducing maintenance and development costs.

Cybersecurity

Telecom has always been vulnerable to cyber-attacks and data breaches, and the IoT boom has further elevated the need for cybersecurity and cyber resilience. The more devices we connect to our network, the more opportunities emerge for attackers to access our data.

5G will introduce different security threats, making the industry vulnerable to cyberattacks. A large amount of sensitive data spread across complex, confidential, and private networks make it essential for telecom operators to invest in implementing stringent cybersecurity measures to strengthen security surrounding connected devices and the cloud systems and networks that connect them.

Gartner predicts that by 2023, there will be 43 billion IoT-connected devices worldwide. IoT devices, from smartwatches or human-wearable biometrics to monitoring systems, robots, alarm systems, sensors, IT devices, and industrial machines, are important to remember for those in charge of cybersecurity. The ability to remotely access base stations and data centers makes IoT security crucial as more telecoms embrace the industry and deploy these devices in their networks.

Private 5G

Private 5G has been considered the top telecom trend in recent years and will become mainstream next year. As consumers eagerly await the rollout of 5G, numerous telecommunications companies have already made significant investments in the necessary infrastructure with 5G SA networks live in South Korea, Japan, and many more countries.

With 5G ecosystems, users will take advantage of increased speed, reliability, and consistency. For businesses, with its ultra-low latency, Due to its ultra-low latency capability, Private 5G will enable businesses with several high-value use cases, including 3D robot control, digital twins, medical remote control, and more. These next-gen use cases were practically unachievable with legacy network technologies, thus opening a high-revenue generating market for telcos.

5G networks are expanding, and more importantly, many devices in the market now support 5G. And with the evolution of industry 4.0, Private 5G will help enterprises connect hundreds of IoT/IIoT devices, boosting operational efficiency and productivity and enabling the development of mission-critical applications in almost all industries. Alepo is also working with its partners on multiple private 5G projects for hospitals, universities, semiconductor factories, and more.

Cloud computing in emerging markets due to hyperscalers

In the past three years, cloud computing has grown in popularity as more companies have turned to digital service delivery to respond to the global pandemic. By 2026, the global hyperscale cloud market is projected to reach US$693.49 billion, according to Research and Markets. The global hyperscale cloud market is expected to grow by 2026. This potentially industry-changing technology is something that telcos should keep an eye on.

One of the most significant factors influencing the hyperscale cloud market is the growing adoption of hyperscalers among SMEs in developing markets. Due to physical infrastructure and constant technological evolution, SMEs are always looking for ways to reduce IT costs and overcome the challenges related to data security, digitization, and high CAPEX. An increase in the demand for cloud computing by SMEs across industries has led to growth in the hyperscale cloud market, with data centers opening around the world to get closer to the end-user, such as South Africa, Chile, Mexico, and Indonesia.

Furthermore, the market has been growing over the past few years, due to factors such as increasing penetration of IoT devices, increasing adoption of 5G, SaaS, edge computing, video streaming apps, AI, and big data analytics, growing internet traffic, and an increase in the number of hyperscalers from AWS, Microsoft, Google, and other companies. Additional services that these hyperscale data centers offer to enterprises include massive server storage, cloud computing platforms, data processing, IT networking, software customizations, and much more.

As more businesses discover the operational and low capital-intensive benefits of hyperscale infrastructure, the move to cloud computing will surely see a boom in 2023.

Edge orchestration

Edge orchestration or edge computing hosts and authorizes apps to run at a network’s edge. It’s a distributed computing architecture in which processing and data storage moves closer to the data source. It brings benefits like lower latency, accessibility, and reliability to use cases like AR/VR and IIoT.

Edge cloud computing technology will rapidly spread thanks to 5G as communication service providers will deploy 5G networks with hundreds of centers and distributed cloud edge sites. Edge cloud computing environments will grow, using network-as-code, multi-cloud, and open APIs with purpose-driven closed-loop orchestration. These facades incorporate a converged framework at the network edge that can serve various user needs, while maintaining high agility and low operational expenses.

With so many benefits to offer, edge orchestration remains one of the top telecom trends of 2023. Edge ecosystems will emerge as an essential pillar of CSPs’ digital transformation journey, allowing them to achieve market significance beyond connectivity.

Conclusion

2023 is shaping up to be one of the most transformative years for the telecom industry. These five trends will bring technological revolution, digital transformation, better data security, improved Quality of Service (QoS), and new revenue opportunities for telcos. And the adoption of these trends is a must to remain competitive and overcome future challenges.

Anju Gulati

Anju Gulati

Associate Director - Marketing

A core marketer with around twenty-one years of cross-discipline experience, including marketing communications, operations, and content creation. I believe with an increasingly competitive marketplace, marketing creates the magic to expedite sales closures, achieve business success, sustain brand leadership, and drive future growth.

Subscribe to the Alepo Newsletter

How cloud BSS helps telecom operators save costs

How cloud BSS helps telecom operators save costs

How cloud BSS helps telecom operators save costs

September 29, 2022
Operators are already seeing the benefits of digitization and BSS transformation. According to a report by Markets & Markets, the global OSS/BSS market is expected to reach USD 36.6  billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 12.8%1. Many telecom operators are taking the approach of Software as a Service (SaaS) models to pace out their investments as they modernize their infrastructure. An Analysys Mason report estimates that SaaS spending will likely rise by 11% by 20232 as CSPs continue to undertake digital transformation. However, a TM Forum report states that less than 5%3 have deployed their operations software in the public cloud. Here’s why this should change.

Telecommunications service providers today operate under pressure as their long-established value pools are gradually eroding, with growing competition and ever-increasing customer demands for more modern services. To thrive in spite of these economic and competitive challenges, they need to revolutionize their businesses. A modern and digital Business Support System (BSS) enables them to quickly reinvent their core offerings; deploying telecom BSS in the cloud significantly helps lower costs, eventually driving revenue.

Cloud BSS helps streamline end-to-end processes, from managing product offerings to sales and marketing activities. It also introduces technological changes that enable endless scalability, network availability, and security. It implements automations that not only optimize backend processes, but also digitize CX with 24x7x365 support offerings powered by AI chatbots. In addition, operators can provide advanced service personalization by leveraging advanced data insights.

How cloud BSS helps maximize savings

Modern telecom BSS stacks handle critical aspects of the business, including the launch, delivery, and monetization of services, billing and charging, customer support, revenue management, and more. Deploying BSS in the cloud results in significant savings and drives revenue for a host of reasons:

Ensures cost-effective deployment

Compared to on-premise deployments, cloud BSS is far more cost-effective to set up. Chip and hardware shortages can delay on-site deployment by 3-6 months, whereas cloud BSS can be ready for service in 30 days. Quicker deployment lets operators optimize their investments and begin deriving returns faster.

Reduces OPEX

In addition to keeping initial investments low, cloud deployment significantly lowers operational and maintenance costs due to factors such as reduction in data center real estate, power consumption, server maintenance, replacement of faulty parts, offloading network security, and more.

Optimizes investment

Instead of buying a large upfront capacity to plan for future growth, operators can opt and pay for only the licenses and infrastructure resources they need using pay-as-you-go SaaS deployment models, maximizing their investments and swiftly deriving ROI.

Provides support for 5G use cases

Cloud BSS acts as the backbone for next-gen monetization opportunities, letting service providers easily and swiftly introduce 5G services, monetizing them with support for advanced business models and partnerships. It supports advanced next-gen use cases that have high data, latency, and bandwidth requirements, as well as supports the large volumes of connected devices inherent to 5G.

Enables scalable business models

A cloud BSS can help scale a business with relatively lower investments, letting operators introduce new capabilities and modules without making costly changes to their core systems.

Conclusion

It’s clear that a cloud BSS helps telecom operators maximize their savings potential. It holds massive scope to enable them to differentiate themselves from and move ahead of their competitors.

Alepo’s cloud-native 5G-ready Digital BSS and SaaS BSS solution enable operators to capitalize on data network opportunities with affordable business models. Its comprehensive Digital BSS suite provides flexible cloud hosting options, advanced BI analytics, and a host of other features that streamline business operations, shorten time-to-market, ensure faster ROI, and maximize revenue.

Our experts can help you begin your cloud BSS journey today: market.development@alepo.com

Anju Gulati

Anju Gulati

Associate Director - Marketing

A core marketer with around twenty-one years of cross-discipline experience, including marketing communications, operations, and content creation. I believe with an increasingly competitive marketplace, marketing creates the magic to expedite sales closures, achieve business success, sustain brand leadership, and drive future growth.

Subscribe to the Alepo Newsletter

ETI Guinea selects Alepo Digital BSS to transform FTTH services and support upcoming LTE launch

ETI Guinea selects Alepo Digital BSS to transform FTTH services and support upcoming LTE launch

  • Alepo’s Digital BSS will provide a unified billing and charging platform for all ETI prepaid and postpaid
    services, including its existing fiber offerings
  • The platform will support advanced policy control, enabling the operator to introduce innovative new
    services
  • In addition, Alepo’s AAA will enhance network security and ensure scalability to support the operator’s
    growing subscriber base
  • The fixed LTE network will be deployed in phases, first as a data network and later introducing voice

Monday, September 26, 2022, Conakry, Guinea – Responding to growing demand for high-quality data
services, Guinea’s leading service provider ETI SA is transforming its network by implementing digital enablement expert Alepo’s industry-leading BSS Transformation. The advanced platform will modernize the operator’s existing FTTH services, as well as provide support for the future launch of its fixed LTE network.

The deployment will replace ETI’s legacy BSS with Alepo’s convergent Digital BSS, providing a unified billing and
charging platform for all of ETI’s prepaid and postpaid services. ETI will be able to introduce a range of advanced new offerings, including limited and unlimited plans, pay-as-you-go offers, high-spending and referral discounts, time- and volume-based offers, and more.

Alepo’s Digital BSS will enable advanced invoicing with support for invoices in different currencies, issued in advance and at different frequencies, and issued on demand. The solution will integrate seamlessly with the operator’s IT and core infrastructure, introducing digitization and automating key processes to streamline network management.

The platform also includes policy control for different services, dynamic offer creation, CRM, online payments, and more. In addition, Alepo’s AAA will bolster network security and enable a scalable network to support expansion as the subscriber base grows.

Alepo’s solution also includes a real-time reporting system that will enable the operator to gain advanced BI insights. These reports will enable ETI to create personalized and contextual plans based on customer usage patterns.

Alepo’s platform will also support data and voice services for the operator’s future fixed LTE network, for which the operator has recently acquired a license from the Guinea government. Over the next few years, the operator will roll out these services in phases, beginning with a pure data network and eventually introducing voice.

“We have plans to launch our LTE network in the pipeline, but we also wanted to modernize our existing offerings to quickly meet demand from our customers for advanced and innovative data services. Given Alepo’s reputation of rapid and seamless BSS deployment, we’re certain they will enable us to seize monetization opportunities now and into the future as we expand our network,” said Latif Taleb, Chairman and Founder, ETI.

Derrick Gross, President, Alepo, said, “We’re proud to partner with ETI in enabling increasingly digital lifestyles in
Guinea. The deployment will empower ETI to modernize their customer experience with enhanced offerings, while better monetizing their network. Alepo’s futureproof Digital BSS will support service innovation as the market evolves and we look forward to being a part of ETI’s growth for years to come.”

About ETI

ETI SA is a telecom operator, integrator, and application developer in Guinea. The designs, installs, operates, and maintains critical telecommunications and IT infrastructure for all sizes of companies, from small businesses to multinationals, ensuring their clients can drive operational success through service continuity and performance. ETI has extensive experience in difficult environments and geographical areas at risk where access, energy, climate, socio- political environment, and logistics, can be problematic.

For more information, please visit https://eti.net.gn/

About Alepo

Kurdtel Communications modernizes its network with Alepo’s fixed IN solution

Kurdtel Communications modernizes its network with Alepo’s fixed IN solution

  • The convergent fixed IN system helps Kurdtel Communications streamline charging and network management for all its services
  • Alepo’s system has helped overcome the limitations of the operator’s legacy system, plugging revenue leaks by introducing automation
  • Alepo migrated the operator’s existing subscribers to the new system without disrupting services
  • The operator can introduce advanced prepaid and postpaid plans for residential, government, commercial, and enterprise services

Tuesday, August 02, 2022, SULAIMANIAYH – Leading fixed-line operator Kurdtel Communications has transformed its network with an advanced solution from digital enablement expert Alepo. The modernization has implemented automation that ensures the operator can fully and accurately charge for residential and enterprise services with no revenue leaks.

Kurdtel Communications’ legacy system required manual processes that left the operator susceptible. Alepo replaced this legacy infrastructure with its convergent and automated fixed IN system for all its services, streamlining network management and preventing revenue loss.

The deployment enables the operator to charge for its PSTN fixed-line service, manage its interconnect partners, and charge for interconnect calls, as well as enabling new and existing subscribers to make calls seamlessly.

As part of the project, Alepo migrated Kurdtel’s prepaid and postpaid subscribers to the new system without disruptions or downtime.

The new system enables Kurdtel Communications to support a host of advanced prepaid and postpaid plans for its ADSL and FTTH offerings, including residential, government, and commercial services. The operator will also be able to introduce enterprise DID plans.

The deployment included Alepo’s SCP, CRM, OCS, billing, mediation, interconnect partner management system, product catalog, voucher management, IVR, and other key BSS modules.

“Our objective was to ensure smooth operations of our PSTN network and implement convergent charging. Most important, we needed to immediately prevent revenue loss by overcoming the limitations of our legacy system. We’re already pleased with the results we’re seeing with Alepo’s FIN system. Its advanced revenue management capabilities and robust security measures have equipped us to swiftly drive ROI,” said Jameela T Shareef, Director of Planning and Development, Kurdtel Communications.

Vishal Mathur, VP – Solution Integration, Alepo, said, “Our solution is system-agnostic, and we made all necessary provisions to seamlessly integrate our offering with Kurdtel Communication’s existing infrastructure. This included ensuring that our SCP is compatible with their NGN, and that our CRM supports invoices and payment receipts in the local language. The futureproof system will support the operator’s growing business, enabling them to introduce new plans and services as the market evolves.”

The deployment is one of Alepo’s long list of successful deployments in the Middle East, including leading networks in the region.

About Kurdtel Communications

Kurdtel Communications is the first leading company in Iraq and Kurdistan providing fixed telecommunication services widely. Established in 2001 as a joint effort between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the private sector to operate and develop Sulaimaniayh PSTN, introducing efficient and effective services that help build long-term relationships with customers. Its network now covers most of Sulaimaniayh city, providing internet access to all subscribers in mutual cooperation with the (ADSL) provider company. It also provides international access and interconnect services within Sulaimaniayh through a reliable fiber optics network.

For more information, please visit https://www.kurdtel.net/.

About Alepo