Streamlining the SIM Lifecycle

There is more than one way of pursuing and implementing such a strategy.

The traditional SIM: There’s life in it yet

While eSIMs are proliferating for the reasons partially outlined above, traditional SIM resources are not going to disappear, underlining that the industry is moving into a hybrid era. Driving sales of the physical SIM is—and will remain, for the foreseeable future anyway—important despite being potentially expensive. Why? The reason is that MNOs need to increase SIM supply despite the need for reducing costs and growing revenues at the same time. Fortunately, achieving this twin goal is possible using new upgrade strategies like self-service SIM swap. This strategy can activate new services in real-time by assigning MSISDNs and other resources at the time of first use and provide support for new initiatives to encourage SIM reactivation.

SIM Challenges: What happens next?

I’ve briefly outlined some of the challenges brought to the fore by the changing SIM environment. In light of them, what steps should you as a mobile operator be taking in response? Experience tells me that your best approach will be one that enables you to consider the entire SIM lifecycle and the impact on the subscriber from a single vantage point. If you can achieve this, the benefit is immediate. You’ll be able to:

  • Mobilize your salesforce
  • Better address the complexities of number management
  • Handle network provisioning, activation and verification quickly and simply
  • Manage the SIM/eSIM activation process 

What then, are the component parts of the proposed Complete (e)SIM Lifecycle Management technology I am proposing? In my view, they are as follows:

  • Manage Resources, while keeping track of IMSIs, ICCIDs, MSISDNs, IP Addresses, IMEIs, and also managing SIM expiration and recycling of resources.
  • Provide regulatory reporting and effectively manage and track SIM distribution, SIM profiles (eSIM) and assignment of SIM stock to defined locations.
  • Streamline the SIM ordering process by planning and maintaining the use of resources through dynamic SIM allocation and efficient management.
  • Produce accurate resource reports for regulators, ensuring utilization compliance.
  • Drive the sale of SIMs through unique methods by increasing supply in the channel at a reduced cost, ultimately increasing your revenue.
  • Engage in new upgrade tactics to help drive 4G/5G adoption (self-service SIM swap) and engage a mobile salesforce, supported by sales management tools and incentives for indirect channels.
  • Activate new services in real-time by assigning MSISDNs and other resources at the time of first use, ultimately reducing or saving on costs.
  • Enable efficient service activation, for subscriber on-boarding, network provisioning of services, remote SIM Provisioning/Bootstrap, and allocation of MSISDNs and IPs (no pre-pairing).
  • Provide loyalty, upsell and device over the air (OTA) management capabilities by targeted marketing of new offers and unique loyalty models using third-party content.

There is more than one way of pursuing and implementing such a strategy. For instance, it could be delivered and deployed either as a SaaS cloud offering or as an on-premise solution.

As mobile operators attempt to expand market share in a rapidly changing SIM landscape, they should urgently think about taking a holistic approach to the challenges I’ve outlined. There is no advantage to relying on siloed legacy solutions no longer fit for the purpose when a new approach is required. 


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