IoT marketplace ConnectedYou
ConnectedYou is a digital marketplace of IoT connectivity, where makers of IoT Services and solutions can procure unlocked connectivity that is essential to launch their service or product. The company was launched in 2018 by IoT enthusiasts with the idea to build a single platform that unifies major suppliers on a single access and single service platform allowing customers to switch as and when needed without any lock-ins or penalties, more importantly at-a-click and free of charge.
ConnectedYou’s vision is to "Democratise IoT Connectivity"
An innovative IoT service starts from an idea of an application that is then developed by experts in a particular domain or vertical, who, in many cases, are new to SIM and telecom technologies. The IoT application requires two components, a device running the client and a cloud service to host it. While the cloud services have become a common technology in recent years and the development of an application does not require unique expertise, the right choice of the device can be already quite complex. This choice is rather driven by its programming capabilities and the applicative features it provides (e.g. SDK, crypto operations), while its capability to support eSIM is most likely left out of scope. And one of the last steps in the chain is the selection of the Connectivity Service Provider (CSP).
Lack of domain expertise on the IoT makers side and the complexity of the GSMA specified Subscription Management ecosystem make the integration with the selected CSPs and onboarding of eSIM technology, that is required for the successful deployment of the application, a troublesome journey.
What are the problems of the current eSIM offering?
First, the GSMA driven eSIM implementation is relatively complex and proves to come with high entry barriers for newcomers, who rely on so called "experts" to start using the eSIM technology. In particular, the IoT makers mostly do not have experience with SIM technology. However, they are forced to make the choice of the right eSIM product and its configuration. They also do not have expertise in the telecom domain at the level of the CSPs, but have to make the right choice regarding the connectivity partners and onboard them as part of their service. This entry barrier does not leave much choice for the IoT makers other than to select one major CSP partner, who will serve them with a "one-stop-shop" offer. Alternatively, the IoT makers may build up their own partner ecosystem based on the GSMA specifications. This approach, however, requires high upfront investments. The automotive industry is a good example for this approach.
Second, if an IoT maker decides to select the packaged offer of a certain CSP, he is locked into the partner ecosystem of this CSP. He is completely dependent on this CSP with regard to the commercial conditions of the connectivity service offering in the different regions of the world (e.g. price of connectivity in China, where the IoT device is produced) and the connectivity product packaging (e.g. data volume included in the connectivity product). In majority of cases eSIM is used as an "insurance" that the IoT mkaer can change to another connectivity provider one day. The CSP partner, however, has little incentive to enable this change and therefore uses the eSIM as lock-in into its ecosystem, misusing the idea of freedom of choice which laid the ground of the GSMA specifications.
Third, in case the decision is taken to build their own partner ecosystem, the IoT maker is confronted with integration tasks with every single partner. It creates a situation where he is forced to manage connectivity using different CSP portals or consoles, to handle integration between Subscription Management components of different providers, and to handle eSIM product introduction with every potential eSIM vendor (EUM). Onboarding of every new partner requires a gain/loss analysis and is associated with investments.
So how is ConnectedYou solving these problems?
1) Packaged offer for the IoT makers consisting of:
- A universally independent ConnectedYou eSIM (fully integrated and pre-qualified with the Subscription Manager powering the ConnectedYou marketplace)
- Connectivity packages from the CSPs on-boarded on the marketplace
- Devices tested with ConnectedYou eSIM, Subscription Manager and the on-boarded CSPs
2) Single entry point for management of all integrated CSP subscriptions, as of today 40+ (unified console and API)
3) Transparent unified billing
4) Cloud based service allowing easy and cost effective service launch, avoiding major investments into integration tasks
5) Capability to test all IoT service components in a real environment, and in particular CSP change, at the step of IoT product qualification
ConnectedYou is a true and live example of how the eSIM technology can be made available to the benefit of the IoT market and in particular masses (even buyers who need few eSIMs), without incurring high complexity and costs, while maintaining true flexibility in the choice of the CSP services.
The fact that ConnectedYou is not a CSP and does not offer its own connectivity services differentiates it from most of the market players, making its offer unique with the power of true freedom of choice.
achelos is proud to be part of this amazing journey, powering ConnectedYou’s eSIMs and the digital marketplace platform using achelos' Subscription Manager platform.