Industry Thought Leadership

Potential of Bubbletone Blockchain in Telecom for Further Development of eSIM Technology

January, 2019
Alexander Yakovenko
Project Director

Bubbletone

Mobile device manufacturers have been increasingly producing equipment that only works with an embedded SIM card, which is called eSIM. The latest examples are Apple Watch Series 3, Gear S2 Classic 3G and others. Growing is the number of smartphones that have embedded SIM cards as the main connectivity component or are equipped with it along with the traditional SIM cards. Smart Insights forecasts the sales of eSIM-enabled handsets would total 346 million to 864 million units by 2020. In the near future 100% of devices will be eSIM-enabled. In the IoT segment the pace of eSIM adoption is even higher.

The eSIM standard requires pre-installation of a bootstrap mobile profile during manufacturing of eSIMs. Any device vendor that produces “connected” devices has to find a provider of the bootstrap profile. Any small and medium-sized mobile operator should also resolve the same issue.

Any IoT device vendor can produce “connected” devices, with easy connectivity to a local mobile network via embedded SIM cards. In order to implement this case, some problems should be solved:

  • How to provide choosing of a local mobile operator and its tariff plan;
  • How to pay for its services;
  • How to download its mobile profile onto eSIM.

Bubbletone Blockchain in Telecom can take care of these concerns by providing an easy solution for device vendors and mobile operators. Here is how it works.

For embedded SIM users, Bubbletone offers an ecosystem where new economic relationships can be made by connecting mobile devices to a specific network. Each user will have the opportunity to choose a network operator and switch to another operator, including the MNP procedure, without the involvement of operators and retailers. This approach reduces the costs of subscriber acquisition, starter kits production and logistics. As a result of this change, the operators can use new mechanisms to reduce the price of services to local rates, as compared to selling physical SIM cards in retail stores. We hope that in the coming 3 to 5 years, the Bubbletone blockchain-based platform will be able to process a large amount of connections to mobile networks worldwide. To implement this process, vendors of mobile devices will just have to connect to the Bubbletone platform.

Bubbletone is developing an open marketplace of bootstrap mobile profiles from proven mobile carriers. As a result, any device vendor or mobile operator is able to create a “request” (smart-contract) to any provider for required amount of bootstrap profiles. All settlements and profile management are conducted via transactions on the blockchain platform.

As for benefits for all participants, they are as follows:

  • New revenue streams on telecom services for device vendors;
  • New customers with zero acquisition cost for mobile carriers;
  • Convenient for end-users.

New opportunities with non-geographic mobile profile (GMP)
The Bubbletone team is also on its way to create GMP, which is independent of the legal requirements of any specific country where mobile service is rendered. This will allow for the creation of a universal product operational throughout the world according to uniform rules. GMP allows registration of mobile devices and loading of the mobile profile of the local operator via SMS messages or https channel in accordance with eSIM standards (SGP-21), Security Mechanism for the SIM (3GPP TS 23.048), and other solutions ensuring secure loading of profiles to mobile devices. This gives the user the option to select the necessary network operator and use mobile services at local rates worldwide.

For the GMP to operate correctly, the team plans to implement and maintain the relevant telecommunications infrastructure and also to sign agreements with network operators throughout the world to ensure the GMP is registered in their networks. To accomplish this, the team is going to use the infrastructure of its MVNO network. Agreements with operators will be signed according to the standard roaming procedure utilizing the existing infrastructure of transit operators (SS7,IPX/GRX). GMP will change the current process of connecting a mobile device to the mobile operator eliminating the involvement of retail chains and SIM card logistics.

PoC
Bubbeltone has been conducting a proof of concept (PoC) with mobile operators worldwide. PoC is a demonstration, the purpose of which is to verify that the concept has the potential for real-world application.

As the technology is ready for use, the team invites mobile operators and service providers that are interested in seeing evidence of the blockchain capability, to participate in PoC. More information available at https://blockchaintele.com/.

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