Ericsson enables seamless eSIM activation for Samsung devices

Comms tech giant claims enhanced digital experience for consumers by managing mobile subscriptions on eSIM-enabled devices without QR codes

Ericsson has introduced what it says is an industry-first entitlement server solution for on-device eSIM subscription activation without QR codes for smartphones.

The Swedish comms tech giant believes a major shift is taking place in the telecoms industry as physical SIM cards are being replaced by embedded SIMs (eSIMs) in mobile devices. With an eSIM, consumers will be able to manage new subscriptions – or transfer existing ones – to eSIM-enabled devices in seconds, without having to visit a retail store.

The number of eSIM devices is predicted to increase rapidly, reaching billions of users in the next few years. Ovum’s Device sales forecast report: 2019-24 predicted that, in 2020, 5% of all smartphones will be eSIM, and this will increase to 20% by 2024.  

The tech firm sees six key use cases for eSIM: connected devices, adding other devices to an existing bundle in a few clicks; try and buy new offerings for three to four days before purchase; travel specials, where users tap a local data tariff for surfing but are billed by home operators; connectivity insurance, where the user has no network coverage and needs to make an important call or send a message, and so any mobile network can be used; marketing campaigns, where business and marketplace models are used by other companies for special launches; and flexible business and marketplace models used by event organisers.

Ericsson made its first foray into eSIM in January 2020 with a product offering remote provisioning of user profiles and device management – key functions that could enable communications services providers (CSPs) to manage user profiles in a more flexible way. Ericsson expressed confidence that as well as boosting CSPs, the product will benefit device manufacturers, whose products can be designed with end-users and consumers in focus.

Ericsson indeed now has a device manufacturer in the form of Samsung, with which it is now introducing what it calls an industry-first entitlement server solution for on-device eSIM subscription activation for smartphones, such as Samsung’s Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Z Flip. Ericsson said it could now enable service providers to benefit from fully automated eSIM subscription management. A recent ABI Research report predicted that the launch of the Samsung S20 range of devices with eSIM support will propel global shipments of eSIM enabled smartphones to over 225 million in 2020.

The new eSIM offering enables consumers to remotely activate and manage their eSIM-enabled smartphone with a few clicks. It comprises the Ericsson Secure Entitlement Server and the Ericsson eSIM manager (SM-DP+ server – Subscription Management Data Provisioning).

The Ericsson Secure Entitlement Server enables on-device eSIM subscription activation for smartphones without using QR codes, while the Ericsson eSIM Manager provides fully automated device and subscription orchestration. The system is interoperable with smartphones and other devices and Ericsson is in the process of deploying it with several service providers.

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Ericsson ConsumerLab research recently revealed strong consumer demand for eSIM services, with 94% of respondents willing to pay extra to connect more devices to their current subscription plan, and 86% hoping for “try and buy” offerings.

“Together with Samsung, we are introducing a unique and easy on-device subscription activation solution for smartphones,” said Monica Zethzon, head of solution area communication services at Ericsson.

“This industry first, based on the Ericsson Secure Entitlement Server and Ericsson eSIM manager, is verified with the Samsung Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Z Flip. This brings a superior digital experience for consumers and new business opportunities and operational cost savings for our customers.”

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