This paper is focussed on the challenges faced by the wireless operator, both in managing a heterogeneous wireless customer base – a base that will include devices supplied by the carrier as well as devices (grey market and otherwise) brought on to the network by the customers themselves – and in managing over-the-air application delivery and activations. This has long been a challenge mastered by some GSM-based operators who have developed techniques to herd the cats but is new for others – including the more closed CDMA-based carriers that are putting their dainty toes into the crazier world of GSM/UMTS as they investigate and deploy HSPA networks along the path to LTE as well as GSM/UMTS carriers that have been less focussed on harvesting the potential of SIM management to lower costs, increase revenues and increase customer satisfaction.
The genesis of this paper is Canadian, as Canada’s wireless carriers, new and old, begin their UMTS network conversions from CDMA (Bell Canada and Telus) and new deployments (the new AWS entrants: Videotron, Globalive/Orascom, DAVE, Public Mobile, EastLink et al).
SeaBoard suggests that these new network operators look beyond the network itself as they ramp up engineering and business models, there is a signiﬁcant opportunity in harvesting SIM card potential.
The genesis may be Canadian, and there may be CDMA roots, but the lessons apply beyond Canada’s borders and to carriers other than CDMA refugees. Clearly the network core is important, but there are lessons for all carriers. The signiﬁcant impact of device management on carrier business models is a subject that needs to be understood by all carriers.