5 Features Telcos Need in an eSIM Orchestration Platform!


eSIM is an excellent innovation, replacing removable plastic SIM cards and enabling over-the-air provisioning, management and updating.

However, these advantages make deploying eSIM challenging for telcos.

An advanced eSIM orchestration platform is crucial. A simple eSIM management system is not sufficient for telcos that wish to scale and capitalise on the growth of eSIM acceptance and utilisation rates across the consumer, machine-to-machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) sectors.

In particular, GSMA’s publication of the new IoT specifications is driving eSIM IoT adoption.

Not only must telcos be capable of accommodating various types of eSIM users, but they must also be able to support the multitude of eSIM applications, such as smart cities, smart factories and industrial robots.

Telcos also need to factor in the variety of eSIM sales channels, including mobile network operators and enterprises, the profuse number of eSIM-enabled devices, and technologies like 5G, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) that will give rise to better and more eSIM use cases. 

An eSIM orchestration platform enables telcos to manage eSIM devices across multiple segments: consumer, M2M and IoT. It enables telcos to automate and seamlessly manage, update and provision their customers’ and clients’ eSIM devices.

However, not all eSIM orchestration platforms are the same. Telcos looking to enhance their competitive advantage must look for an eSIM orchestration platform with the following characteristics:

1.   Unified Management Dashboard

Traditional, siloed eSIM management platforms meant navigating multiple, isolated dashboards to manage diverse eSIM architectures. This fragmentation hindered telcos’ ability to effectively oversee consumer, M2M and IoT eSIM deployments, complicating tasks like provisioning, management and reporting.

The result was a slower response to customer needs and market shifts, affecting competitiveness and operational efficiency.

Telcos require an eSIM orchestration platform that consolidates management tasks into a cohesive dashboard. Such a platform will not only streamline the management of different eSIM types but also offer comprehensive functionalities like live monitoring and detailed reporting.

Access to real-time data on activation rates, connected devices, user activity, and billing is critical. It enables telcos to make swift, informed decisions, enhancing service delivery and responsiveness.

A unified management dashboard simplifies operations. By breaking down the barriers between different eSIM deployments, a single interface ensures seamless, efficient and scalable eSIM services.

2.   Ready Systems Integration

eSIM platforms are typically closed systems, limiting the telcos’ ability to readily integrate their eSIM deployment with existing and future systems. This has a direct negative impact on adaptability and scalability, as integrating new partners and systems with their eSIM platform requires substantial work and investment.

Telcos prioritising future-proof operations must embrace interoperable eSIM orchestration platforms. These are free from proprietary constraints, so telcos can add multiple users, sales channels, partners, entities, and new geographic territories, as needed, without needing to replace their existing systems.

Interoperability is a strategic advantage. By using a platform that offers ready and easy integrations, telcos can be agile and responsive to technological and market developments. They can also minimise the cost of future upgrades.

3.   Multi-Tenancy

As the eSIM market matures, telcos must be capable of accommodating multiple sales channels, vendors and partners. The best eSIM orchestration platform, therefore, is one that will let telcos add new entities at will quickly and inexpensively.

4.   Automation and Self-Service 

Multi-tenant capabilities are not enough. For instance, as the number of channels increases, eSIM orchestration will grow increasingly complicated. The variety of eSIM devices (trackers, surveillance cameras, sensors, wearables, consumer gadgets, etc.) adds to the complexity. In this context, manual profile generation, updating and provisioning processes can significantly slow down operations and leave users and partners unsatisfied with their eSIM services.

Telcos should use an orchestration system that automates all critical processes. These include profile creation, testing, approval, version control, and archiving.

Automation streamlines eSIM administration, reducing manual tasks and the potential for errors. It ensures that the eSIM management process remains smooth and effortless even as the number of users and volume of eSIM connections grow.

Additionally, telcos want an orchestration platform that has built-in self-care features. Orchestration platforms that allow self-service empower partners and users to manage their eSIM profiles and subscriptions, from activation to troubleshooting. Sales partners can manage their own eSIM services, reducing telcos’ administrative and management burden while enhancing customer satisfaction.

5.   Cloud Hosting

Telcos can choose between onsite or cloud eSIM orchestration. The latter can be more advantageous because it slashes capital investments significantly.

By eliminating the need to build extensive onsite infrastructure, cloud eSIM orchestration lets telcos allocate resources more efficiently so they can focus on innovation and customer service improvements. Cloud platforms also facilitate quick deployment, allowing telcos to respond to market opportunities swiftly.

Scalability is another hallmark of cloud-based systems. As the telecom operator’s user base expands or contracts, cloud services adjust seamlessly, ensuring that capacity always matches demand without unnecessary expenditure or operational hiccups.

Beyond economic and operational advantages, cloud-hosted eSIM orchestration solutions offer robust business continuity features. Geo-redundancy ensures that even in the event of a major disruption in one geographic location, services remain uninterrupted, safeguarding against data loss and downtime.

This level of reliability is paramount for maintaining trust and satisfaction among users.

eSIM Orchestration Features to Prioritise

eSIM adoption is growing by leaps and bounds, representing excellent growth opportunities for telcos. 

To take advantage, telcos need a cloud eSIM orchestration platform that allows for unified management, ready systems integration, multi-tenancy, automation, and self-care.

Article and permission to publish here provided by Jay Rodriguez. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on March 26, 2024.

Cover image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay