Global eSIM market – trends and major drivers
The eSIM card is the new kid on the telco block, and his popularity is only growing. The eSIM, unlike the ordinary SIM, is a combination of embedded technology in next-generation devices and a virtual token from telco operators. It lets users switch between mobile operators and between cellular and wifi automatically, or with a few clicks. It has changed the way devices connect to mobile data, and the possibilities are endless. The global eSIM market is projected to grow at a healthy 13.5% between now and 2025. But with the arrival of new devices in the Internet Of Things(IoT), this number could possibly be higher.
Multiple opportunities for eSIM technology use
The eSIM market has been divided into:
- Machine to machine (M2M) – In the IOT, machines will communicate with other machines without the need for human intervention. For example, smart metres communicate readings automatically to a computer, or a smart smoke alarm alerts the sprinklers to turn on when smoke levels increase. In these devices, eSIM enables the device to connect to the best network within range and function correctly irrespective of location or circumstances. For instance, the smoke alarm would automatically be able to use mobile data if the fire caused the modem in the house to turn off.
- Wearable and companion devices – The eSIM has already made it’s launch in the Apple Watch 3.It can help the device to track your fitness and activity levels while jogging even when you are on the move, away from your mobile phone or in a remote location. This is of greater importance for wearables in health care – for example a wearable with an eSIM would connect to cellular networks to alert caregivers if a patient’s health deteriorated.
- Smartphones – The eSIM has arrived in smartphones with Google Pixel2 and Google Pixel2XL. Google is using eSIM to offer customers the same flat data rate irrespective of their location – very advantageous for international holidays or travel.
- Tablets and laptops – The eSIM could replace data sticks and SIM cards in these devices making using them on the go much more convenient. You will be able to access cellular data from any device at any time, without the need for multiple accounts or SIM cards. This alone is a huge market to capture as everyone upgrades to the next generation device.
Asia Pacific projected to have the greatest regional growth
Geographically, the global eSIM card market is divided into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and South America. In 2016, Europe stood as the leading revenue generation region, primarily due to favourable government initiatives supporting the implementation of this “Industry 4.0” technology. United Kingdom, France, and Germany were the leading revenue contributors to the Europe eSIM card market.
North America held the second-leading revenue share in the global market, with key industry players in the US driving growth in this region. Asia Pacific, including Australia, came at third position, with increased adoption of eSIMs in M2M devices in China and Japan. Within Australia, the launch of Telstra’s One Number and Optus Number Share indicate market move in this direction. Asia Pacific is projected to experience the maximum growth over the coming decade
Automotive Industry to fuel market growth
As the automotive industry moves towards remote controlled vehicles and greater automation in driving, it is going to require better and faster access to cellular networks. Embedded Sim in automobiles is used for real-time navigation, infotainment services such as weather information, traffic, and insurance and breakdown services. Other uses of the eSIM card in the automotive industry include remote vehicle monitoring, automatic placing of an emergency call in the event of an emergency, and assumption of car control if driver loses consciousness. As a result, the automotive sector is expected to emerge as one of the most promising areas of application areas of E-SIM in the next few years, providing vendors in the market massive growth opportunities.
Convenience the key factor in commercialisation
The main reason why average customers like you and me will benefit from eSIMs is because we do not have to visit or contact a telco customer centre to switch operators. The eSIM gives consumers greater leverage and bargaining power – which means more price discounts for us and less profit for mobile operators.
Some other factors include:
- Smartphones – The smartphone segment is projected to widely adopt eSIMs by 2019.
- Logisitics industry – They can reduce operations cost by using eSIMs in their M2M devices and avoiding network roaming fees as they move from one country to another.
- Emergency Services – Having an eSIM on you lets you contact emergency services anytime, no matter where or in what situation you are. Emergency wearables and the emergency services sector is bound to drive eSIM growth.