By Emma Okonji
Ericsson, a networking company has stressed the importance of eSIM to the telecoms industry, especially to telecoms service providers.
Head of Solution Area OSS, Core and Cloud at Ericsson Middle East and Africa, Said Zantout, who highlighted the importance of eSIM, said: “eSIM has become a hot topic among device manufacturers and its increasing role in the industry is clear – as device manufacturers benefit from lower costs and more space on the processing board. Moreover, eSIM helps service providers to generate new revenue streams, and a future of billions of Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices
According to him, in 2019, two major smartphone manufacturers announced that several of their models were now equipped with eSIM functionality. In 2020, many more are following suit. By 2025, GSMA estimates that more than two billion eSIM devices will be shipped. This is a strong incentive for the industry to go for eSIM.
He further highlighted the importance of eSIM to telecoms consumers, adding that Ericsson ConsumerLab had ran a market research study, revealing key insights which means customers are ready to take the next step and pay for eSIM services.
Zantout cited Ericsson’s report, which explained that cellular connectivity for additional devices, remained the top application of eSIM that consumers are interested in. The report said 6 in 10 want to connect their laptops to cellular connectivity, yet very few do it today. Every SIM card is problematic, main issue being related to the ever decreasing size of SIM cards. For consumers, eSIM represents peace of mind, for example 45 per cent mention having access to multiple operators in the same smartphone for emergencies. 6 in 10 smartphones users are interested in eSIM.
The report further said 40 per cent of them have locked smartphones, while73 per cent have post-paid plans with a contract; 4. 29 per cent of smartphone users would consider buying a smartwatch with cellular connectivity if the process of enrollment with the operator was seamless.
According to the report, there are four main eSIM benefits for consumers. Firstly, it excels in connectivity. Consumers say that the need to switch between operators depends on the connectivity performance at various times and places. If the connectivity is great, one operator is enough.
Highlighting the relevance of switching between operators, Zantout said the results, which took them by surprise, showed that 75 per cent would activate a reasonably priced plan on top of their existing one to ensure access to connectivity.
eSIM is not about swapping back and forth between operators for the sake of just saving a couple of dollars a month. eSIM is about peace of mind. Even smartphone users whose expectations regarding network quality are met, want to be able to shuffle between operators.