eSIM is (Finally) Going Mainstream

Another technology which will gain momentum is embedded SIM. The eSIM standard has been around for several years, but still hasn’t been adopted by many national operators. Why is that? And why should it change now?

Why eSIM standard hasn’t been implemented on a large scale

The onboarding process of eSIM isn’t often as smooth as in case of traditional SIMs. It has been even more complicated because many telecoms haven’t yet set up all additional processes required to properly handle post-sales customer cases such as changing device or porting with eSIM. In other words, the implementation has yet to catch up with the technology.

But, as the market of traditional SIMs is shrinking, we do expect that CSPs will continue work to improve the embedded SIM experience, prepare for all incoming IoT eSIM-based UC, and finally adopt the technology to the extent that everyone can choose freely between embedded SIM or a traditional SIM card.

Niche players will join (or drive?) the conversation

In 2021, we also expect broader popularization of niche players’ services based solely on eSIM technology. They’re willing to take on traditional roaming services, and that market is growing. So far, few Tier-1 global telecoms have taken the opportunity, probably because they prefer to maintain the status quo and continue with long-established roaming business models.

However, the change, as it often is, will probably be driven by customers - especially the younger ones. With the ease of onboarding, lack of technical barriers (eSIM being widely supported by the latest iPhones and numerous mid-range Android-based phones), customers will be keen to make savings and switch to niche players who offer their services at far lower rates. Even though their offers won’t be that competitive compared to local CSPs’ offers, it most likely will be a few times cheaper than roaming for voice services, and even a hundred times cheaper for data services.

The choice is simple: move forward or get left behind

What is the eSIM future? In the always-connected era, which side you’re on matters: either you stay with your SIM and disable all data-based services (because even roaming data bundles tend to be pretty expensive), or you switch to eSIM-enabled services and pay a rather reasonable price to a potentially unknown niche player offering data bundles and voice services.
Hoping that we’ll be able to travel freely sooner rather than later, we predict that reasonably priced services delivered with the support of intuitive apps and embedded SIM technologies with a very simple onboarding process, clear cost control, and possibilities to modify or cancel subscriptions at any time, will be among the fastest growing telco trends in 2021.

More trends to follow in the upcoming months can be found from our experts in the new ebook – “The Future is Here: Business 4.0, IoT-driven Healthcare, 5G Services & Other Predictions for the Telecom Industry in 2021”.


Dominik Pacewicz

 Learn how telecoms can prepare to deploy network slicing in the first episode of this year’s Comarch campaign, entitled “Telecoms Journey Towards 5G Monetization”.

How can AI-powered maintenance solutions help telecoms in monetizing 5G networks? 

How can communication and digital service providers make the #SmartFactory concept smarter? 

Learn more about developing a successful 5G monetization business strategy, by viewing the latest episode in our campaign.

Please wait