Orange Wholesale unveils the first eSIM for France

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Orange Wholesale France (OWF) launched an integrated SIM card (eSIM) for light mobile virtual network operators (MVNO), in partnership with Prixtel to become the first French MVNO to be supplied in bulk to offer such technology to its customers .ESIM is designed to remove physical SIM cards for a better user experience. With an eSIM, consumers will be able to manage new subscriptions – or transfer existing subscriptions – to eSIM-enabled devices in seconds, without having to visit a retail store. The number of eSIM devices is expected to increase rapidly, reaching billions of users over the next few years.

Ovum’s Device Sales Forecast Report: 2019-24 expected in January 2020 that this year 5% of all smartphones will be eSIM, and that this number will increase to 20% by 2024.

The technology company sees six key use cases for eSIM: connected devices, adding other devices to an existing set with a few clicks; try and buy new offers three to four days before purchase; special travel deals, where users get a local data rate for surfing, but are billed by domestic operators; connectivity assurance, where the user has no network coverage and must make an important call or send a message, so that any mobile network can be used; marketing campaigns, where business and market models are used by other companies for special launches; and flexible business and market models used by event organizers.

The first initiatives of the region’s technology companies really started with Ericsson, which launched in January 2020 an eSIM card designed to remove physical cards for a better user experience, then, a few weeks later, presented what it said be a first rights server solution for activating the eSIM subscription on the device without QR codes for Samsung smartphones.

OWF has more than 1,300 expert employees at 20 sites in France and coordinates Orange’s public initiative networks as well as purchasing and wholesale activities on the French domestic market. Its customers represent more than 600 infrastructure and telecommunications operators selling telephone and Internet access services to individuals or businesses in France.

The eSIM functionality offered by OWF complies with the GSMA standards developed for all operators worldwide. The functionality is designed to allow MVNO customers to take advantage of new services. For users, this means simplicity, explains OWF, without the need for an adapter or the insertion or removal of a SIM card. Users simply use the mobile plan of their preferred operator by downloading and activating their profile.

Other services are also available using this technology, as customers can also add a profile to their eSIM account. For example, this means that they could switch between a personal plan and a work plan on the same smartphone.

By enabling almost instant digital use by its new customers, OWF says that the new technology offers a clear competitive advantage. And in a context of fierce competition in the French mobile telephony sector, the eSIM announcement with Prixtel is supposed to reflect the ability of OWF to provide its partners with the latest technological developments, offering “innovative” solutions for the fat servant.

From summer 2020, Prixtel customers will be able to download an electronic SIM card on the latest smartphones that offer this functionality, and will no longer have to wait to receive their physical SIM card in the mail to start using their flat rate.

“Our ambition is to become the preferred partner of operators in France, in particular by helping them to digitize customer journeys,” said Bénédicte Javelot, CEO of OWF. “This is what we are doing with our partner Prixtel, who has just confirmed his continued confidence in our services.

David Charles, founder and CEO of Prixtel, added: “We are delighted to be the first French light MVNO to benefit from eSIM technology, which will be the norm in the coming years. This reflects our promise to provide the best possible service to our customers by providing the latest innovations in mobile networks. “

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