Connectivity: Seven billion eSIMs by 2024?

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Connectivity: Seven billion eSIMs by 2024?

“Demand for faster, more intelligent, connected devices is continuing to accelerate and customers depend on the best connectivity options to be available in a simple and secure manner. But to deliver on this, the model of a single SIM card being locked to one network operator for its entire life can no longer hold true”, writes Michael Moorfield, Director of Product at Truphone, in a post forMobileWorldLive.

With the GSMA Association predicting that the total number of IoT connections (cellular and non-cellular) globally will reach 25.2 billion in 2025, up from 6.3 billion in 2016, the market for eSIMs is expected to explode over the next few years, possibly reaching as many as seven billion by 2024.

eSIMs: Michael Moorfield Director of Product at Truphone

Michael Moorfield, Director of Product at Truphone.

As eSIM is adopted across the entire connectivity supply chain, it will deliver unprecedented freedom and flexibility to customers, Moorfield says. we have now hit a ceiling. The ever-faithful SIM card has reached the limit of its ability to scale to meet the insatiable appetite for data and connectivity taking place around the world, he believes. Because SIMs are still physical cards, we have to manufacture them, store them, ship them and handle them, creating friction and impacting the customer experience. Even so, many players in the mobile industry protect this model, seeking to lock customers into networks, higher prices and complex supply chains. He predicts that the SIM slot will disappear. Inside devices, space is at a premium and needed for new features and better batteries, driving the development of eSIM-only devices. Consumers will engage with network service providers predominantly through digital channels, leveraging the ability for eSIM to be activated instantly, whilst the 30,000 tons of plastic used every year in SIM cards is dramatically reduced. Integrated eSIMs will allow the decision on which connectivity service to use to be deferred to when the device is actually deployed. Most 5G-capable devices will require new SIM cards to fully realize the benefits of 5G technology. Many of the 5G activations will simply jump straight to eSIM with 5G support built-in and ready to use. 5G is on track to account for 15 per cent of global mobile connections by 2025 (1.4 billion connections), according to GSMA Intelligence.

Author: Tim Cole
Image Credit: Truphone

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