Q&A with Futoshi Sasaki, Internet Initiative Japan Inc

Deputy Manager of the MVNO Business Management Office, MVNO Division, at Internet Initiative Japan Inc., Futoshi Sasaki spoke with the MVNOs World Congress 2018 team on eSIM, IoT and their impact in the MVNO space.

How does the e-SIM ecosystem look like after the announcement of the 3rd phase of e-sim provisioning specifications?

The most important essence for building e-SIM ecosystem is terminals. The 3rd phase of e-SIM standardization is including many of attractive new features like LPA-API and rich UI for activation. I hope these new outcomes will wake new market demands and bring positive feedbacks for supply side.

What lessons have been learned over the last couple of years and what best practice examples have emerged?

The non-standardized soft SIM technologies have arisen mainly at China, with successful partnership between operators and manufacturers. The lesson is that the innovation will be brought by not only standardization, but also drastic experience of consumers intensely cycling the ecosystem.

How can Telco operators take advantage of greater flexibility enabled by e-SIM? Is it going to be a brand-new world for service providers?

For the next couple of years, partially yes and partially no. e-SIM seem to change the world from the niche, and non-mainstream usecase, such as portable PCs or tablets. Wearables are also promising, but small battery is another issue, so it could take more time waiting for LPWA to become ready.

What are the new applications that can be developed using e-SIM?

I think e-SIM could develop a quite new opportunity for B2B high-reliability market such as banking or ticketing service.

In a nutshell – what is IoT, why should it be of interest for MVNOs and how is the IoT technology changing the world?

Various new players will take their seats in the IoT world, and various new services will be launched. But these variety could have never been treated by only MNOs. Their traditional business models tended to mass market and there is little diversity among them. MVNOs could have their own vantage point in IoT world from this point of view.

Is the market of multiple providers of billing, connectivity, devices and sensors going to consolidate soon?

It might vary by market. In Japan, it seems that the partnership across those markets becomes more likely than fusion of the markets. Maybe in US, some kind of hyper giants can rule the market.

What will the future MVNO become in an IoT and E-SIM world?

I believe e-SIM could make a great success in the IoT world, and Soft SIM would be more prosperous. Soft SIM was not led by MNO but MVNO, so from MVNO perspective Soft SIM should gain more attention from MVNO community.


Taking place in Madrid, 23 – 26 April, MVNOs World Congress 2018 is engineered to ignite innovation and accelerate growth in the MVNO space.

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  • MVNOs North America

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