It’s CES 2019, and the hype about eSIM revolution keeps giving. Long since the introduction of AI and other digital transformation technologies, eSIM has always been a topic. However, the recent introduction of eSIM to Apple’s latest iPhones flagship might as well see the eSIM functionality bring change to the telecommunication industry as we know it.
eSIM technology is currently enabled on Apple’s 2018 iPhone flagship, and Google’s Pixel 3 lineup. Nonetheless, since the announcement of the functionality at Apple’s launch event, we predict most manufacturers are going to take interest and include the technology in their next new flagship-tier. Moreover, mobile carriers have also been paying attention to the new SIM tech. US mobile carrier, Verizon, is already carrying eSIM for users of the latest equipped phones. T-Mobile is also not lacking behind, considering they recently unveiled a beta version of an eSIM activation application.
We understand the complete deployment of eSIM technology will take time – as both manufacturers and carriers adjust to support the functionality. A discouraging fact was also discovered by the Wall Street Journal; who reported that a good percentage of US citizens tend to stay with their smartphones for an approximate 2.83 years; before they plan to purchase a new one.
Possible death of SIM – the rise of eSIM
With the current internet age, carriers rely on a SIM to keep up with their consumers. If today, you needed to upgrade or change to a new SIM, then you will have to walk to a carrier’s store to register one. But with the gradual introduction of eSIM, we might as well see the new functionality eradicate the physical SIM – physical stores along with them.
The evolution will likely take time, but it also remains unknown how fast eSIM could overtake the physical SIM cards. And while time could prompt potential consumers to go for contracts and budget devices, CSS Insight now predicts that only contracts will grow by a whopping 54% by the year-end 2021.
To fight the war, more and more original manufacturers are now producing premium devices, but selling cheaply; a strategy to encourage users to upgrade. For instance, companies like OnePlus and XIAOMI, are currently unveiling high-end, budget phones to lure users out of long-term contracts. Therefore further developments will usher new a new era, where consumers don’t have to physically contact operator’s stores saving on commission fees paid when consulting an agent. Carriers will also benefit with the closure of physical stores – meaning they only offer support over remotely.
New Year, new provider?
All major US carriers are all on different stages of digital transformation, and you can be sure they’re worried about digitally transformed services like; Netflix, Spotify, and other streaming outlets. This is because these streaming services pose a threat to becoming successful new electronic carriers. The introduction and constant evolution of eSIM might as well exert increased pressure on the original operators.
Possibility of a Global carrier?
Digital transformation in the telco industry is taking root by the day. And while companies like Netflix and YouTube hold a global reach of more than 200 countries globally; there’s nothing to stop them from becoming potential global carriers. What’s more, if such companies have that capacity of global reach; then it’s possible for other telco firms to take up the challenge, only time will tell!