Feature Article

January 15, 2013

ABI Research Insists Embedded SIMs Not a Death Sentence for MNOs

ABI Research has released a new report that offers a surprising look at embedded SIMs. Only 7 million embedded SIMs shipped in 2012, which has contributed to the widespread believe across the industry that mobile network operators (MNOs) will lose big-time in the event that SIMs crossover into smartphones and tablet devices.

As it seems this is more and more likely to happen, ABI Research decided to take an in-depth look at the issue and its potential consequences for MNOs, but their findings may surprise more than affirm these conclusions.

ABI Research is taking the complete opposite stance on the issue however, and reports MNOs might gain the most compared to companies like Apple and Google if embedded SIMs do make the market jump.

John Devlin, security and ID practice director for ABI Research, added his two cents on the matter, saying “My recommendation would be for MNOs to embrace such technological developments like embedded SIMs and to drive the market forward rather than looking to block and stifle competition with closed business practices.”

Embedded SIMs would allow MNOs the ability to become more flexible with managing their subscriptions, which could then add to the improvement of device distribution and activation processes. This added flexibility factor could also remove the burden MNOs are currently under regarding SIM card inventory.

“A more open and progressive stance would increase their appeal, open up new business models and use cases as well as drive innovation and build customer loyalty,” explained Devlin. “It would also undoubtably increase their competitiveness against any likely new entrants.”

These new entrants would include powerhouse mobile device companies like Apple and Google, many of which have already taken the lead in areas like brand recognition and customer loyalty.

With direct sale to customers, successful app stores, and the ability to activate and personalize consumer devices, MNOs may seem the weaker party, but ABI is steadfast in their opposite stance.

According to ABI, MNOs are definitely the side with larger potential, especially in the area of consumer electronics and handsets. The ability to switch networks is something that could open new M2M applications and broaden the companies’ appeal to customers on-the-fence.

For a complete understanding of ABI’s unique argument, check out their “Embedded SIMs for M2M, Mobile and CE Mobile Devices” report.




Edited by Rich Steeves


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