The standard SIM card has been ubiquitous in the past three decades—the only major change is in the development of varying sizes made to fit smaller and smaller spaces inside mobile devices. In the last few years, however, the embedded universal integrated circuit card (embedded SIM – eSIM) was introduced and has been gradually disrupting the telecommunication industry.
What Is an eSIM?
An embedded-SIM is a programmable SIM card that is embedded directly into a device. It is used in wearable devices, smart appliances, and other Internet of Things (IoT) applications. As devices get smaller, they still need built-in network connectivity. This is where the eSIM comes in.
Reprogrammable SIMs are embedded right into a device, and through Remote SIM Provisioning (RSP) platforms an eSIM profile can be downloaded directly onto the device. This also allows owners to activate and select services directly from the device using QR codes. The eSIM’s increasing role in telecommunications offers many opportunities for companies to generate new revenue streams through IoT or cellular data offering.
There is an emerging business opportunity in new smartphones, wearable gadgets, smartwatches, and similar devices that require the use of eSIMs. Given its digital properties (as QR code or activation code) eSIM distribution is likely to outgrow that of traditional physical SIM cards within 2-3 years.
How eSIM Will Bring Change in 2021 and Beyond
The convenience brought by the development of eSIMs has disrupted the world of telecommunications as we know it. In fact, it’s only expected to become even bigger from here—especially this year, with the world facing a huge change brought by the continuing pandemic. Here’s how eSIM will change the connectivity world as we know it:
1. Mobile Network Selection
Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) can use eSIMs to simplify the onboarding process for new users. If you want to transfer from one carrier to another, you don’t have to switch out a physical card just to make the change. Through eSIMs, consumers can switch operators remotely. You won’t have to visit a physical store or lose any data even as you make the switch.
eSIM can enable users to have more than one network active while allowing automatic cellular data switching. It provides users with the best network performance available in every location; such eSIM feature – already available in Apple iPhones – will allow your device to connect to whichever network has the best telecommunication service.
2. New Revenue Opportunities
In the last few years, mobile network operators have been dealing with declining revenues from their traditional call and text services. Many end-users communicate exclusively online and don’t find it necessary to pay for plans that only include SMS and calls.
eSIMs allow subscribers to connect their devices to their chosen mobile operator, so data plans and packages can expand and evolve to include these other devices. Plan expansions can be a new revenue opportunity for online businesses and apps who can easily bundle eSIM with other products and services. Now being an Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) is much easier than before given that eSIM can make the service fully digital.
3. Roaming Services
Reprogrammable eSIMs can be used to pave the way to make roaming services more practical and affordable. With a few clicks, world travelers will be able to choose a local network once they touch down or even before they travel.
After using physical SIM cards since the inception of mobile devices, eSIMs have arrived to disrupt the telecommunications industry. Embedded SIMs in wearable devices and smart appliances will provide end-users and providers with more flexibility in creating new services and products powered by digital connectivity.
Are you looking for a cellular data platform for your eSIM API? Celitech is the world’s first digital-only connectivity platform that enables web and mobile apps to add cellular data eSIMs in just a few days. Through this technology, businesses can better engage with mobile customers locally and globally. Contact us today to learn more!