Qatari operator Ooredoo has announced that it conducted live eSIM tests on its mobile network. The eSIMs will enable Ooredoo to provide a completely digitized user experience, with no need to insert a SIM card into a mobile device. With this innovation, subscribers will be able to shift between their private and business numbers in a single phone without the need to physically change cards.
The operator also says that eSIMs will be important for utilization of the Internet of Things. Many small devices, such as watches and other wearables, will be able to connect to Ooredoo’s mobile network without the need for a SIM card.
The rise of the eSIM technology appeared to bode ill for mobile operators, because of the fact that it offers end users the possibility of switching from one operator’s network to another at will, depending on quality of service and other concerns, potentially at any time. However, as Ooredoo’s initiative shows, there are also upsides for operators in the use of this emerging technology.
As the operator stated, eSIMs have the potential to improve the user’s experience within the operator’s ecosystem, by making it easy to switch not between operators but rather between different subscriptions with the same operator, as in the case of BYOD users who have both personal and business subscriptions. Furthermore, by making access to the network more seamless for users of the IoT (which is growing very rapidly) and wearable connected device, eSIMs improve the end user’s experience, which is good for any operator.
In addition, Oordeoo’s testing of the eSIM indicates that, as a general principle, operators always need to accept and embrace new technologies in the mobile sphere, regardless of the immediate impact on their bottom line. eSIMs are coming to the mobile marketplace, and any operator that resists adoption will risk alienating customers and potential customers.