By Michael Moorfield, Director of Product at Truphone
PARTNER CONTENT: Whilst forecasts of a huge leap in the number of connected consumer and IoT devices make headlines on a regular basis, how these devices will get connected is often overlooked.
Since 1991 we’ve been using physical SIM cards in our phones and connected devices. Every now and again they get a bit smaller but, even today, we still use them – 6 billion new ones a year!
But 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.
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.
At a time when openness and interoperability are crucial to grow revenue, particularly for the Internet of Things, it is unfortunate that key players in the industry have responded by building their walls higher, instead of knocking them down.
This is understandable. For many organisations in the mobile ecosystem, their nervous system is wired to protecting what they already have.
To many, eSIM presents a threat—after all, it is new. It enables flexibility, choice, simplicity and openness. But eSIM poses a classic prisoners’ dilemma: if industry players choose to limit the positive effects of this new innovation, they will all suffer.
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. As eSIM is adopted across the entire connectivity supply chain, it will deliver unprecedented freedom and flexibility to customers.
At Truphone, we forecast that, by 2024, seven billion eSIMs will have been activated in consumer and IoT devices around the world.
As we enter 2020, this forecast may seem crazy. Most commentators only talk about new smartphones supporting eSIM and shipments reaching the lofty heights of hundreds of millions in years to come.
We see things differently. The path to seven billion eSIM activations by 2024 is clear:
As these six themes compound, we will see the number of eSIM activations rise dramatically year-on-year.
Fundamentally eSIM is a technology that will keep up with the world around us—far into the future. Billions of eSIM-enabled devices will secure our connectivity and data; billions of new IoT devices will leverage the wide availability of mobile networks; and billions more 5G consumer devices will support advances in mobile computing, entertainment, health and AI. As we enter 2020, we are on the cusp of a major shift in the way devices connect to mobile networks.
At Truphone, we are firmly committed to a future centred on simpler mobile connectivity. We continue to keep inventing—finding new ways to solve new problems and embracing the benefits that eSIM brings to the entire mobile ecosystem.
Truphone will be at MWC 2020 showcasing how we are making eSIM work for you. We’ll be in stand 6H21 in Hall 6 for the duration of the event. Make sure you drop by and say hello.
Download our free eSIM Buyer’s Guide here.
By Michael Moorfield, director of Product at Truphone
 GSMA IntelligenceSubscribe to our daily newsletter Back