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A softSIM world: Is everything about to change?

By November 25, 2015 No Comments

 As a result, there will be a marked diversification of device types, industry verticals and distribution models requiring interoperable connectivity on an unprecedented scale. This may herald a significant power shift, driving further change in the way that operators interact with their customers and vice versa. Embedded-SIMs could provide customers with far greater choice as to how they buy and use telecoms and associated internet services, forcing operators to be truly customer-centric.

Embedded SIM: Power Shift, Phase 1 – Operator to Device Vendor

The operating conditions around M2M verticals have been the key driver in the evolution of the embedded-SIM. Often SIM-provisioned machines operate in challenging physical conditions, such as in the case of marine robotics. This negates the possibility for the SIM to be located at an accessible surface, where water damage would threaten the machine’s functional integrity. This led to the gradual integration of the embedded-SIM model into mobile services.

As it stands, the subscriber holds their primary engagement with their chosen operator. In the era of embedded-SIM, the user may hold their primary relationship with their device manufacturer at purchase. Demonstrated by the Apple-SIM launch, dynamic network access and the ability to interchange with ease presented an attractive proposition. Where the device is not locked to a network, the onus is on the operator to differentiate their service offering and better engage with their customers in order to maintain a competitive advantage. Cue the world of SoftSIM.

SoftSIM: Power Shift, Phase 2 – Device Vendor to End User

The core driver towards SoftSIM is the associated reduction in cost, where the need for SIM hardware manufacturing and distribution is eliminated. In an environment where connectivity may become a transient commodity, the end user will look first to their preferred device. A one-off, ‘no strings attached’ purchase, where the network is a mere afterthought could well become the reality if operators fail to offer a truly personalized service.

This is a 180 degree shift from the model we know today, where the end user can pick and choose connectivity from all available operators. We could see the end user presented with a dynamic menu of service offerings from a range of operators direct to the device:

Operator 1

1 Month Unlimited Data Basic Speed

$10

Operator 2

1 Day 100MB High Speed Data

$3

Operator 3

300: 1 Month 300 Voice Minutes, 300 Texts, 300MB

$30

Operator 4

1 Week Mail & Web Only

$1

With operators competing back-to-back, the SoftSIM device owner is empowered with the ability to switch out networks at the press of a button, based on the most competitive offering presented at a given time. As a result, operators will need to adapt and compete differently, leveraging far more transient and agile service offerings. Customer engagement will become priority. Proactive service differentiation, heightened configuration flexibility and the rollout of truly innovative offers in real-time will be more important than ever before.