While Truphone, IDEMIA, Workz, Valid and Eastcompeace have emerged as specialists, players such as Oasis, Kigen and Ericsson are in position to challenge the status quo in the future
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January 14, 2021
More than one billion eSIM (eUICC- and iUICC-based) capable devices have been shipped cumulatively so far, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s ETO (Emerging Technology Opportunities) Service. The uptake of eSIMs is poised to further grow across a gamut of connected devices over the next decade, led by the flexibility, cost efficiency, security and other myriad benefits offered by the technology. To better understand the positioning, platform capabilities and competence of various players managing these hundreds of millions of active eSIM devices, Counterpoint has analyzed and evaluated key eSIM management players. These players at core offer eSIM management platform to service providers from data preparation, entitlements, connectivity management and value-added services to drive newer business models in a scalable manner.
Highlighting the research findings, Senior Analyst Karan Dasaor observed, “eSIM management capabilities, especially Remote Service Provisioning (RSP), are critical to securely managing cellular subscription profile lifecycle remotely. RSP on M2M devices employs a server-driven push model operating without any human intervention, whereas the consumer solution follows a client-driven pull model, controlled by the end-user. Owing to these differences in the architecture of RSP on M2M and consumer devices, different elements are required for effective provisioning. M2M services require Subscription Manager Data Preparation (SM-DP) and Subscription Manager Secure Routing (SM-SR) while consumer services require Subscription Manager Data Preparation for Consumer (SM-DP+) and Subscription Manager Discovery Server (SM-DS). These subscription management service provider, data center operation and management capabilities are accredited by GSMA and are important criteria to fulfil security and interoperability standards.”
Thales and G+D are the top providers of end-to-end feature-rich eSIM management platform, followed by specialists such as Truphone, IDEMIA, Workz and VALID. The CORE (COmpetitive Ranking and Evaluation) framework ranks different players in terms of completeness and capabilities of the platform providers’ offering, level of GSMA compliance, the number of eSIM RSP management platform deployments, diversity of end-customers, partnerships, and other parameters.
Exhibit 1: eSIM Management CORE Scorecard for Integrated Players
Source: eSIM CORE Scorecard & Analysis, Dec 2020
Commenting on the eSIM management competition, Research Vice President Neil Shah highlighted, “Both Thales and G+D are eSIM Management leaders not only in terms of overall completeness of offerings but also all-round capabilities, partnerships and customers. Both the players have aced the GSMA-approved platform offerings though Thales surpasses G+D with growing number of partnerships, deployments and live eSIMs managed. Truphone and IDEMIA follow the two leaders but with a relatively broader platform play. Truphone is ahead of IDEMIA in terms of completeness with end-to-end offerings and has been seeing sizable traction in the fast-growing Entitlement segment, where most of the other leading players are still going with a partner route. IDEMIA ranks slightly behind Truphone in completeness but is ahead and one of the top three leaders with more than 110 subscription management wins globally.”
Shah added, “Oasis, Kigen and Ericsson are the dark horses with their recent entry into the eSIM Management race with GSMA accreditation for their platform offerings, key partnerships and for the likes of Kigen and Ericsson, a broad set of customers to cross-sell the eSIM solution. Handful of operators have built and managed an in-house eSIM Management platform. The top three Indian operators, Jio, Vodafone–Idea and Airtel, as well as STC and Telenor from the list are activating and managing eSIM devices on their networks using their own platforms set up with the help of partners such as HPE and Nokia.”
While the aforementioned eSIM Management players lead in terms of completeness and GSMA accredited eSIM Management platforms, there are multiple players offering proprietary subscription management solutions integrated with connectivity offerings in an MVNO/E or marketplace setup.
Dasaor further added, “Players such as RedteaMobile, Cubic Telecom, Telna, Airalo and Gotell, and newer players such as SIMLocal which initially started as eSIM MVNO/E, are growing to target the long-tail of MNOs and other MVNOs with targeted solutions to accelerate eSIM adoption. RedteaMobile leads this segment managing hundreds of millions of soft-eSIM devices and riding on its partnership with Deutsche Telekom to power the nuSIM solution. These players are pivoting to a Connectivity-as-a-Service model for both the eSIM users and the MNOs.”
Exhibit 2: eSIM Management CORE Scorecard for Connectivity Management Players
Source: eSIM CORE Scorecard & Analysis, Dec 2020
The comprehensive and in-depth report “Global eSIM Landscape: Part 1: Industry Overview and CORE Analysis” is part of Counterpoint’s ETO Service.
Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in technology products in the TMT industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects, and detailed analysis of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are experts in the industry with an average tenure of 13 years in the high-tech industry.