While the eSIM has been seeing a sluggish uptake in the communications sector around the world, founder and CEO of telco software provider Mobilise, Hamish White, explains why we're already in the eSIM era.

Up until now, embedded SIM cards are still far from receiving the mainstream support and rollout it deserves, despite these devices playing increasingly important roles in the development of the Internet of Things. One of the main reasons for the upheaval is the lack of support from telco providers themselves, which White explains as inevitable given the removal of the traditional SIM and embedding eSIM technology into mobile devices removes the conventional processes of changing service providers. This makes it easier for consumers to switch between service providers.

Mobilise
(Photo : Mobilise)

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No Need for New SIM Cards

With eSIM, users no longer need to purchase conventional plastic SIM cards whenever they travel to new countries. The embedded SIM have remote provisions and all users have to do to enjoy the best network and service available is to find access to an eSIM-ready device, install the required app on their phone, select a network plan, and pay for it. Usually, eSIM services send a QR code users will scan to activate their service. Even better, other providers include an in-app provision that streamlines the entire process.

Another advantage of embedded SIM cards is that multiple plans can be stored on a single device, allowing users to switch between them as needed. Although it is mainly convenient for the users, it also offers benefits for the providers themselves. This system allows telco providers to offer flexible plans and options without the need to purchase and switch between SIM cards. White argues that eSIM does not hinder the competitive edge for telecommunications companies, instead, it helps them maintain it.

The Freedom of Choice in the New Tech

Various manufacturers are now developing devices compatible with eSIM shortly after it entered the mainstream consciousness when Apple first unveiled the technology for its iPhone XS in 2019. Now, mid-range devices like the latest generation of the iPhone SE and iPhone 12 Mini also sport the same eSIM capabilities. Even Android phones are now capable, such as Samsung Galaxy S20 and S21 and the latest generations of the Google Pixel smartphone.

The Mobilise founder and CEO recognizes that while the latest in mobile technology is ideal for adopting the eSIM, its widespread use still relies on whether decision makers see its value for the long term.

White enumerated some of the advantages on the side of the service providers, divided into cost savings and revenue growth. For cost savings, the first advantage is in doing away with the plastic SIM cards, and this shift is expected to streamline the process and reduce costs in logistics, operations, and encourage the use of all-digital channels. As for the second benefit, the eSIM shift presents an opportunity to improve the customer purchasing process with simpler onboarding and in-app provisioning capabilities.

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