Are MNOs Rejecting Software-SIM Technology Only Because of Security Concerns?

Short Answer … No :wink:

In 2010, GSMA experts started deep discussion the evolution of traditional SIM that born in 1991. After years of tough discussions, GSMA introduced multiple approaches that can speculate the next generation of SIM.

Regardless naming conventions, and varied definitions, there are 3 common terms has been adopted (so far) by all players:

:point_right: eSIM: Embedded SIM that has the same functionality as a removable SIM, but permanently soldered into a specific secured chip called eUICC, which can remotely provisioned with multiple networks profiles.

:point_right: iSIM: Integrated SIM that has same functionality as a eSIM but integrated directly inside device hardware. As per definition, it aim to tackle the shortcomings of eSIM like power consumption, footprint, cost, and overall security.

:point_right: sSIM (SoftSIM): Software SIM that has same functionality as removable SIM but, there is no physical SIM, and no specific hardware or chips required. It is being loaded, stored, and executed as pure software piece in cellular device memory and microcontroller.

So, back to our question, let us analyze market status:

:rofl: Old Status: Only Removable SIMs

  • SIMs are produced by card manufacturers OEMs, but operators have full control on SIM’s contents, capability, and life cycle.

  • SIM distribution is monopoly for MNOs that own greatest share of telecom market power.

:joy: Past Status : Removable SIM + Open Devices

  • Tec giants (Apple, Google, Microsoft) be able to release and define there own phones/devices and control them through OS and apps.
  • SIM slot, management, and distribution still there and controlled by MNOs regardless the continual efforts from OEMs to change. Indeed, MNOs lost some share, and market power of OEMs is increasing.

:smiley: Current Status : Removable SIM + eSIM + Open Devices

  • Replacing traditional SIM with eSIM is ongoing. MNOs losing distribution channel and its revenue stream.
  • SIM Management capability still owned, and controlled by MNOs.

:thinking: Hard Status : SoftSIM + Open Devices

  • Opcos may not control SoftSIM management specs.
  • Practically, It can be handled by OEMs in companion with MNOs. That mean, OEMs will gain more and more power over SIMs and devices.

:rage: Un-Accepted Status : SoftSIM + Open Devices + MVNO

  • If OEMs adopted Soft SIM technology in its devices, and successfully offer network access/coverage as global MVNOs.
    So, it will have full power on subscribers devices, SIMs, and access.
  • That mean, MNOs are losing direct customer access and become just a pipe for OEMs.

That is why, we can see clearly why almost all mnos has strongly pushed-back on the Soft-SIM concept and never standardize it, for both security reasons, and actual commercial concerns also.

Source: Hassan Elzahar on LinkedIn: #sim #esim #euicc #isim #esim #esim #ssim #softsim #sims #oems #sim #mnos…