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MACH Travel eSIM Unveiled From Shadows to Clarity
June 12, 20242 min read

Travel eSIM Unveiled: Discovering Inbound Roaming Activity

In a recent blog, we discussed the rise of Travel eSIM and whether this should be a concern for roaming managers. Much is being debated about its threat to roaming revenues, but we at MACH have a more optimistic view of its transformative technology. We believe operators can mutually collaborate and formulate new commercial arrangements to leverage the quality of their networks and retain their market share.

Let’s draw a parallel. We have witnessed the rise of OTT applications such as WhatsApp as an alternative communication channel to voice and messaging. So far, many mobile operators have failed to respond effectively to these disruptive technologies and have witnessed ongoing revenue leakages. However, why is WhatsApp not popular in certain regions? Why do subscribers continue using traditional telecom services instead? It depends on how operators approach it from a commercial perspective. Like eSIM, cost is the primary driving factor for consumers to look for alternative options, even though not the most convenient ones.

Understanding Churn

Besides operators’ concerns about losing inbound revenues, they should observe the impact of Travel eSIM on their domestic markets. With many cheap offerings, an eSIM subscription can be 40 to 60% more economical than retail tariff plans for the same data package. With data-centric services going mainstream, consumers, and even devices, could continue using their mobile applications for basic communications and, as a result, increase the churn rate. It's important to state that operators are investing heavily in new network technologies such as 5G SA (Standalone), customer experience and engagement, content and media, and cybersecurity, so the added value for their subscribers goes much beyond traditional telecom services. Still, it's something to keep an eye on.

Another question surfaces: Why are these eSIM offers so cheap? This is the benefit from low wholesale rates and attractive discount agreements. For this reason, consumer adoption is experiencing double-digit growth. For this reason, mobile operators are keen to understand the impact on their revenues, from a roaming and domestic point of view.

Monetizing is Better than Blocking

MACH offers detection capability services leveraging usage and signaling data to deliver more accurate visibility into inbound roaming activities. The service uses static parameters such as APN lists combined with a hardware profile look-up (IMEI), and statistical and machine learning algorithms. These algorithms monitor the roaming duration of registered devices and handsets based on specific behavior, revealing potential opportunities for monetizing permanent roaming traffic.

This information is precious for roaming teams to plan their commercial relationships with eSIM providers and home operators’ partners, as well as safeguard domestic markets from churn. The detection is just the beginning. With the right tools, eSIM roaming can be an opportunity for mobile operators to supercharge revenues and launch innovative offerings to attract both occasional and frequent travelers or become a new business model through a marketplace.


Interested in Learning More?

Connect with a MACH expert today to learn more about our Detection services and discuss Travel eSIM opportunities!