In developed markets, operators are facing increased competition, a slowdown in growth, and steady if not dropping ARPU levels. In emerging markets, growth is stronger but ARPU levels are lower. In response, SIM cards are being widely deployed in large volumes, but the costs for this deployment are not as easily covered as in years past, leading operators to scrutinize the SIM card supply chain.
In fact, in many markets there is no longer a one-to-one correspondence between SIMs, devices, and subscribers. The automatic tendency for most customers to stay with one operator can no longer be assumed, and purchase patterns for airtime are increasingly mirroring those of fast-moving consumer goods. In this context, a new approach to provisioning becomes a necessity.
Therefore, a significant opportunity for optimization is to reconsider the point at which SIM cards are provisioned with a telephone number (MSISDN), and the associated provisioning of network elements, such as the HLR (home location register). Implementing technological, and possibly commercial, changes to this process can result in significant cost savings as well as revenue-generation opportunities.
Fast-moving companies such as Evolving Systems are taking advantage of this opportunity and bringing solutions to market. Incumbent providers like Ericsson may also alter their product roadmaps accordingly.
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Table Of Contents :
In a nutshell
Revenues and margins shrink as the number of mobile connections and usage grow
Developed markets face market saturation and steady revenues
Emerging markets face rapid growth with less margin
Middle East and Africa
South and Central America
SIM cards and operational inefficiencies require a solution
“Wastage” within SIM card distribution model
The SIM card supply chain and pre-provisioning
Costs and availability of number ranges
HLR and AUC costs
Improved SIM card process unlocks new revenue opportunity
Personalized or “vanity” numbers
Efficient distribution – reaching all audiences
The distribution imperative
Regional allocation of numbers
Telefónica Móviles México (Movistar) example
Potential solutions: How to optimize the process
Addressing operational inefficiencies and just-in-time or “dynamic” SIM allocation
Renegotiation of current HLR contracts
Competitors for operational solutions
Large vendors hold sway…for now
Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks, and other HLR vendors
Nimble providers in best position in dynamic SIM allocation market
List of Figures
Figure 1: Increasing pressure on revenue and growth, 2009–14
Figure 2: Key indicators in the Middle East, 2009–14
Figure 3: Key indicators in Africa, 2009–14
Figure 4: Pursuit of subscribers shifts from high-growth strategy to greater sophistication
Figure 5: Key indicators in South America, 2009–14
Figure 6: Key indicators in Asia-Pacific, 2009–14
Figure 7: The journey of the SIM card
Figure 8: The Dynamic SIM Allocation (DSA) platform
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