My journey in the telecommunication industry started 30 years ago when I joined the Israel Defense Forces, in a special unit where I developed end-to-end, resilient solutions for mission-critical communications.
At Nortel, I built the first cellular network and implemented the only multiplexing solution outside the United States. Then, at Pelephone, I engineered new technologies and capabilities to optimize the company’s network while reducing dependency on other vendors.
In 1998, I realized that a pre-paid solution was the only way to increase the penetration of cellular service in emerging markets. I started a company around the concept, and in just a few years, we grew from a startup to over 25 operators worldwide. The company was very profitable, and Amdocs acquired it in 2007.
As I joined Amdocs as the general manager of the network business unit, I saw great opportunities and recognized new challenges.
To take any business idea off the ground, we must demonstrate that it has the potential to move the needle—and it’s a big and heavy one. Then, the new initiative must create synergy with Amdocs' existing technologies, expertise, customer base, etc. Lastly, it must help Amdocs differentiate itself as the market leader.
Not only did I have to connect the dots and meet all three criteria, but I also had to hit milestones and numbers. I couldn’t afford to dabble on disparate small pieces—I had to identify big, complex, “mega” topics that would yield game-changing results.
Our story of the eSIM (Embedded Subscriber Identity Module) revolution started when I came across a white paper published by Apple. I recognized that it’s the direction for cellular to flourish—and we embarked on a long, structured process to bring it to fruition.
From SIM to eSIM: Revolutionizing connectivity
We’re familiar with how SIM cards work, but the logistics of getting the physical plastic and switching it every time you want to change service providers (e.g., when you travel to a foreign country) is cumbersome and frustrating.
In fact, this is the only digital service with which after paying for your subscription, you have to wait a few days for a SIM card to arrive before you can use the service. So why can’t we bring the experience on par with what consumers expect of other digital services?
That’s what eSIM does—instead of switching out the physical piece of plastic inside your phone, you can change your service provider by having the eSIM reprogrammed over the air.
eSIM is the key to modernizing the telecommunication experience to meet consumer expectations in the digital age.
Ushering in this new concept isn’t easy—it didn’t even exist when we first came up with the idea. It’s a theoretical market, and we had to create hypotheses around the practical implementation—what were the issues we needed to solve, and how could we design a product that solves these theoretical problems? We had to define everything from the ground up.
Our persistence paid off. Today, Amdocs has the most advanced eSIM technologies in the field. We have a 360-degree understanding of the complexity and requirements to turn this concept into reality. We have already addressed many topics around manufacturing and standardization that the market is just beginning to recognize.