Thales, G+D, IDEMIA Pacesetters in 2023 eSIM Provisioning Rankings

  • Oasis Smart SIM, 1Global, Workz, Valid, Kigen and RedTea Mobile are recognized as ‘Leaders’.
  • Eastcompeace, 10T Tech, Nordic, Nokia, Teal, Invigo and 1oT have emerged as ‘Challengers’.
  • The eSIM provisioning ecosystem continued to grow in 2023 and eSIM support is now available in over 100 countries.

Seoul, Beijing, Boston, Buenos Aires, Fort Collins, Hong Kong, London, New Delhi – February 24, 2024

Thales, G+D and IDEMIA have emerged as ‘Pacesetters’ in Counterpoint Research’s Global eSIM Provisioning CORE (COmpetitive, Ranking, and Evaluation) study, according to the 2023 edition of Global eSIM Landscape report.

Commenting on the eSIM provisioning rankings and competitive landscape, Senior Research Analyst Ankit Malhotra said, “eSIM has grown tremendously in 2023 with higher operator uptake. Now, eSIM support is available in over 100 countries, with exponential growth seen in eSIM transactions despite Apple not launching an eSIM-only model in Europe. As a result, new players continue to enter the market to meet the growing demand for eSIM provisioning. The consumer eSIM market showed significant buoyancy in 2023 though the IoT market remained subdued. With the introduction of new GSMA specifications for IoT eSIM (SGP.31/32), the IoT market is expected to grow as some of the customers are waiting for standardized products based on the new specifications.”

Global eSIM Enablement Landscape, 2023

Malhotra added, “We have analyzed and evaluated key companies in the eSIM value chain using our proprietary CORE framework, which maps active players according to their capabilities and success in the ecosystem. In this dynamic market environment, our evaluation criteria have also changed. We have added multiple new criteria, such as platform reliability and SGP.31/32 readiness. The capabilities cover topics such as platform features, compliance, deployment model, time to market and profile customization abilities. The ecosystem part covers criteria such as geographical reach, partnerships, platform deployments and transactions.”

Commenting on the research findings, Associate Director Mohit Agarwal said, “Thales, G+D and IDEMIA emerged as pacesetters in Counterpoint’s rankings for eSIM provisioning. These three companies stand out from the rest of the market and demonstrate excellence in both capability and ecosystem parameters. On the capability side, Thales emerged as the best player with a very comprehensive all-round platform, which is why it was able to deploy the maximum number of eSIM platforms worldwide. On the ecosystem side, G+D emerged as the best player due to a higher number of transactions.”

Oasis, WORKZ, 1Global, Valid, Kigen and RedTea Mobile have emerged as the eSIM provisioning market ‘Leaders’. All these players made great strides in 2023 to further their reach in the ecosystem. VALID, Oasis Smart SIM and WORKZ showed the highest growth in terms of overall platform deployments. Kigen showed the highest overall growth in the ecosystem parameters. RedTea Mobile stood out, showing maximum improvement overall in this year’s evaluation.

Eastcompeace, 10T Tech, Nordic, Nokia, Teal, Invigo and 1oT have emerged as ‘Challengers’ with very capable platforms but still do not have the required market presence. In this quadrant, Eastcompeace and 10T Tech stand out. TEAL and 1oT, one of the newer entrants, showed good promise with their focused IoT approach. Agarwal said, “Over time, players in the Challenger category are likely to move up to the Leaders quadrant.”

A number of players made it to the ‘Niche’ category due to their business models, which are different from other players in terms of either catering to a niche segment or due to limited geographical presence. For example, achelos and HPE have different business models where they do not provide provisioning services themselves but enable the services for other players.

Counterpoint Research’s Global eSIM Landscape report is the most comprehensive report involving all the leading players in the eSIM ecosystem with multiple interviews and research spanning more than three months.

The comprehensive and in-depth ‘Global eSIM Landscape Report, 2023 is available for subscribing clients. Please contact Counterpoint Research to gain access to the report. 


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects, and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

G+D, Thales, Idemia Pacesetters in 2023 eSIM Enablement Rankings

  • Close to half a billion eSIM-capable devices were shipped in 2023, making it the best year for the ecosystem.
  • G+D, Thales and IDEMIA emerged as ‘Pacesetters’ in eSIM enablement, excelling in ability and execution.
  • Kigen, VALID and RedTea Mobile were recognized as ‘Leaders’, while Eastcompeace, WORKZ and Oasis Smart SIM were seen as ‘Challengers’.

Seoul, Beijing, Boston, Buenos Aires, Fort Collins, Hong Kong, London, New Delhi – February 22, 2024

G+D, Thales and Idemia have emerged as ‘Pacesetters’ in Counterpoint Research’s Global eSIM Enablement CORE (COmpetitive Ranking and Evaluation) report for 2023.

Senior Research Analyst Ankit Malhotra said, “The global eSIM landscape continued to expand rapidly in 2023, after reaching an inflection point in 2022. Close to half a billion eSIM-capable devices were shipped in 2023. Operator support for eSIM also continued to grow and now more than 350 operators globally support eSIM. Consumer eSIM devices showed maximum growth while the number of IoT-M2M devices (including automotive) with eSIM support remained stable as the industry awaits implementation of SGP.31/32 standards.”

A chart showing the Global eSIM Enablement Landscape in 2023

Malhotra added, “We have analyzed and evaluated key companies in the eSIM value chain using our proprietary CORE framework, which maps active players according to their capabilities and success in execution. The ‘capability’ parameter covers criteria such as firmware, compliance, interoperability and supply chain prowess, while the ‘ecosystem’ parameter covers geographical reach, partnerships and market share.”

Commenting on the research findings, Associate Director Mohit Agarwal said, “G+D, Thales and Idemia have emerged as pacesetters in our eSIM enablement rankings. The pacesetters have better all-round capabilities and lead in terms of execution, helping them achieve significant market share compared to others. G+D led the way in terms of consumer shipments, with its solution seen in Apple’s iPhones, including the eSIM-only iPhone 14 and 15. Thales led the shipments in the automotive space while no significant difference was seen among the pacesetters in the IoT/M2M space.”

Kigen, VALID and RedTea Mobile have been named as ‘Leaders’ as, along with great platform capabilities, they have managed to pull ahead of others in terms of execution in the marketplace. Kigen, one of the fastest-growing leaders, stood out for its iSIM solution and expertise in the IoT market. It is now augmenting its portfolio with consumer solutions as well. VALID, one of the incumbents, is also moving quickly and growing fast in consumer and automotive categories.

Eastcompeace, WORKZ and Oasis Smart SIM emerged as ‘Challengers’. Eastcompeace and WORKZ were the most improved players in 2023. Oasis Smart SIM is well-positioned with a strong platform and is expected to move strongly after the acquisition by TATA Communications. These players have excellent features and capabilities and as they grow their market presence, they are likely to graduate to ‘Leaders’ of tomorrow as the market for eSIM devices continues to grow.

Counterpoint Research’s Global eSIM Landscape report is the most comprehensive report on the topic and covers all the leading players in the ecosystem with multiple interviews and research spanning more than three months.

The comprehensive and in-depth ‘Global eSIM Landscape Report, 2023 is available for subscribing clients. Please contact Counterpoint Research to gain access to the report. 


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects, and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

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2.2 Billion IoT Connections Expected to be on eSIM by 2030

  • IoT eSIM connections are expected to grow 43% annually between 2023 and 2030.
  • New GSMA standards for IoT eSIM are expected to accelerate the adoption of eSIM in IoT as constrained devices benefit from new standards.
  • China lags in eSIM adoption despite being the largest IoT market in terms of connections.

Seoul, Beijing, Boston, Buenos Aires, Fort Collins, Hong Kong, London, New Delhi – Feb 20, 2024

IoT connections on eSIM are expected to grow at a rapid pace of 43% annually to reach 2.2 billion by 2030, according to a recent report released by Counterpoint Research on the IoT connectivity landscape. By 2030, almost a third of the IoT connections will be on eSIM or iSIM.

Commenting on the current state of IoT eSIM connections, Associate Director Mohit Agrawal said, “eSIM growth in IoT has lagged behind that in consumer space due to the restrictive M2M eSIM specifications. As a result, at the end of 2023, there were a little less than 200 million eSIM connections in the IoT space despite the excellent product-market fit.”

Agrawal added, “China, the world’s largest IoT market, has low single-digit eSIM penetration due to restrictive regulations around eSIM in the past and the high proportion of LPWA devices which currently do not support eSIM. The eSIM penetration in the rest of the world is much higher than in China but the large IoT base in China brings the overall global eSIM penetration to less than 10%.”

Commenting on the eSIM forecast, Senior Research Analyst Ankit Malhotra said, “The new GSMA standards for IoT eSIM (SGD.31/32) are expected to bring the eSIM to constrained devices, which is likely to massively push the growth in eSIM and later iSIM. eSIM vendors and IoT connectivity providers have multiple proof of concepts on the new IoT eSIM standards and the big push is likely to happen next year after the test specifications are released by GSMA later this year. The early adopters of eSIM in IoT have been mostly automotive customers as the enterprises have not really been able to change the connectivity provider at will”

The comprehensive and in-depth IoT Connectivity Landscapereport and the ‘Connectivity Management Platform Rankings’ report are now available. Please contact Counterpoint Research to gain access to the reports. 


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects, and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.


Podcast #73: Thales – Driving Digital Security, Identity Innovations in a Connected World

Continuing our eSIM podcast series, this time we talk to Thales, one of the eSIM provisioning landscape leaders according to Counterpoint’s CORE report. Being in the industry for over 30 years, Thales has played a foundational role in organizations like Trusted Connectivity Alliance (TCA). Thales also deployed the world’s first GSMA-certified eSIM activation solution on Google Cloud.

Thales adopts a hybrid architecture, combining the benefits of public cloud and private cloud for operational excellence and security. It also offers a wide range of activation methods for the consumer market, thus enhancing the end-user journey through various channels. Thales’ strategic focus is on providing eSIM services with a comprehensive portfolio, addressing both consumer and IoT markets, eSIM discovery service, real-time profile adaptation and supply chain optimization.

In the latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Ankit Malhotra is joined by Pascal Di Girolamo, Marketing Director at Thales, to talk about eSIM innovations, digital security and more that Thales is working on. The conversation dives into the challenges faced by the eSIM industry, including the need for enhanced customer awareness and a seamless transition from M2M to IoT. Pascal also emphasizes the importance of certification and collaboration with partners like Qualcomm, and much more.

Click the play button to listen to the podcast

You can read the podcast transcript here.

Podcast Chapter Markers

00:58: Pascal on Thales’ reaction after learning that it had emerged as a leader in the eSIM provisioning landscape in the CORE report.

01:56: Pascal gives a brief introduction of what Thales does and its journey in becoming one of the industry leaders.

09:38: Pascal talks about some of the major trends we have seen in the eSIM industry over the past few years.

13:51: Pascal on eSIM-only smartphones, and how the 2022 iPhone 14 launch was an inflection point.

15:51: In 2023, eSIM-only iPhone 15 was expected in more regions, but that did not happen. Pascal talks about possible reasons behind it.

18:18: Switching gears to IoT, Pascal talks about the new SGP.32 standard.

20:17: Pascal highlights some of the challenges faced by the industry currently.

24:00: Pascal talks about the differences between eSIM and iSIM.

26:24: Pascal concludes the podcast with his thoughts on the commercial availability of iSIM, industry trends, and expectations for 2024.

Also available for listening/download on:


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Podcast #72: G+D – Growth + Disruption in Connectivity, Security and Beyond

The launch of the eSIM-only iPhone 14 in the US in 2022 was a landmark moment in eSIM growth and adoption. In our previous podcast series, we talked to experts about eSIM testing, interoperability, and how component shortages were leading to migration from physical SIM to eSIM. Continuing with the eSIM theme, we talked to Giesecke+Devrient (G+D), one of the leaders in Counterpoint’s Global eSIM Scorecard.

G+D has a long 170-year history going from banknote security to becoming a leading eSIM technology innovator. We discuss G+D’s pioneering role in delivering the world’s first commercial SIM card and its subsequent leadership in eSIM solutions. The conversation also highlights eSIM complexities, emphasis on education, industry collaborations for streamlined adoption, and future trends, including IoT advancements with SGP.32.

In this latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Mohit Agrawal is joined by Sören Haubold, Head of Market Intelligence and Analyst Relations at G+D to discuss G+D’s journey, the early days of eSIM introduction, subscription management, and testing. They also touch upon the inflection point of the eSIM-only iPhone 14, and more.

Click the play button to listen to the podcast

You can read the podcast transcript here.

Podcast Chapter Markers

 01:42 – Sören talks about G+D’s history, background in the industry, and digital transformation.

04:53 – Sören talks about G+D’s 32-year journey from SIM cards to eSIM.

06:15 – Sören talks about what puts G+D ahead of the competition and makes it a leader in this field.

07:20 – G+D was one of the first eSIM players. Sören talks about how it all happened, from subscription management to testing with telecom operators and more.

10:15 – Sören talks about the eSIM inflection point and factors leading to its growth.

13:51 – The eSIM-only iPhone in 2022 was a landmark moment for eSIMs, but what exactly changed leading to so many transactions, Sören explains.

20:23 – Sören on what the industry should be doing to increase eSIM awareness.

 24:36 – Sören talks about the exciting eSIM trends for IoT and the overall industry to look for in 2024.

Also available for listening/download on:


White Paper: Rise of ‘Off-the-shelf’ GSMA-compliant eSIM RSP Software

Rise of "Off the Shelf" GSMA-Compliant eSIM RSP Software


PDF | 8 pages
Published date: October 2023

The adoption of eSIM (embedded SIM) across consumer and IoT applications will soon reach an inflection point. This offers new opportunities for MNOs, infrastructure providers, system integrators and other potential stakeholders to operate their own eSIM RSP (Remote SIM Provisioning) platforms and exercise full control over eSIM RSP management and services. 

With growing geopolitical shifts and newer applications such as Private 5G Networks, having full data sovereignty and control is becoming imperative for the eSIM RSP platform users. Further, having a certain degree of autonomy can help the eSIM RSP platform owners shape business and pricing models and differentiate even more compared to the eSIM-as-a-Service solutions out there. 

This whitepaper deep dives into different forms of eSIM Management solutions and documents the rise of “off-the-shelf” eSIM RSP Software and the emergence of key players like achelos GmbH who are well positioned to adapt to changing market requirements. 



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‘Off-the-Shelf’ eSIM Provisioning Software Gaining Momentum

eSIM has been a revolutionary technology driving the digital transformation of acquiring, accessing and consuming connectivity. OEMs are offering eSIM capability at the device level, while eSIM management solution vendors are offering software and services to mobile operators to connect these eSIM-capable devices to eSIM platforms securely.

The benefits of eSIM technology lie in enabling secure and seamless connectivity from chip to cloud, leading to an array of new business models for a broad range of stakeholders. This includes transforming mobile operators, making connected enterprises “fully digital”, thereby reducing overheads, customer acquisition costs and complexities, boosting customer experience, and driving newer business models connecting people and things at scale.

Demand for eSIM management solutions growing across different stakeholders

esim technology

eSIM adoption is growing swiftly across different device categories and stakeholders. Mobile operators, enterprises, service providers and even platform players are sourcing innovative eSIM solutions to go digital, expand their service offering, maintain redundancy, plan hybrid deployments to comply with local regulations, or address specific subscriber or device segments. For example, players such as Uber are climbing on the eSIM bandwagon to drive newer business models and remove customer pain points by offering uninterrupted connectivity. Private networks are adopting eSIM to offer dedicated connectivity to their employees and remotely manage the connected IoT assets within the enterprise premises.

Different flavors of eSIM management solutions

The incumbent SIM vendors have been delivering eSIM management solutions in the form of ‘eSIM-Management-as-a-Service’ as an extension of their existing SIM business model, with the storage and processing of the subscriber data usually managed by the vendors at their own sites or now in collaboration with third-party cloud platforms such as Azure, AWS and Google Cloud. However, in such traditional deployments, the customers, especially other Service and Solution Providers have very limited commercial and technical control over the eSIM-based subscription management and customer data.

While this has been the established method of eSIM management solution delivery during the early years, which saw very limited eSIM usage, the competitive, geopolitical and regulatory landscape is changing. As eSIM technology has matured with a clear path ahead to replace the SIM card, operators as well as service and solution providers are increasingly either considering developing their own eSIM management software or licensing it “off the shelf” and building a service on top of it.

Developing software and service “in-house” demands significant resources and domain knowledge, from software to standards to security. This makes the exercise incrementally expensive amid changing technologies and regulations. Therefore, using an off-the-shelf eSIM management software is emerging as a popular solution, offering the best of both worlds, i.e. in-house and as-a-service eSIM management solutions.

achelos GmbH, an important player in the eSIM value chain, is positioned to satisfy the abovementioned needs. The company offers a suite of off-the-shelf GSMA-compliant eSIM RSP software solutions with bespoke features and extensions that perfectly align with the different requirements of a broad range of players, whether MNO, private network operator, service provider or system integrator. They fill a gap in the booming eSIM RSP market, helping democratize the technology by offering eSIM solutions to potential stakeholders looking for eSIM provisioning capabilities integrated directly into their existing platforms or infrastructure at the software level rather than the traditional as-a-service solution.

eSIM technology management solutions: eSIM Provisioning Software
Source: Counterpoint Research Global eSIM Management Deployment Tracker

In our discussions with multiple operators and stakeholders, the key needs and challenges mentioned are related to having more control, independence over costs, technology, integration, and data to manage the number of connected devices and connectivity on their networks. This is where off-the-shelf eSIM management software solutions are looking to help eliminate the significant cost, risks, resource requirements and compliance requirements. However, with the growing trend of sourcing multiple eSIM management and orchestration solutions, we believe the off-the-shelf software is a nice complement to the traditional as-a-service eSIM solutions, allowing these key stakeholders to strike the right balance between control and flexibility.

Firms such as achelos started as niche players, with a highly focussed “software-only” approach offering flexible, customizable off-the-shelf GSMA SAS-SM-compliant eSIM remote SIM provisioning and orchestration software solutions. These complement or offer an alternative to traditional as-a-service solutions by promising proof points across the following key criteria:

  • Reliable: Redundancy, up-time, backup, recovery, security, resilience, etc.
  • Scalable: With growing traffic across locations, device types, features, etc.
  • Compliant: GSMA standards, specs, interoperability, etc.
  • Comprehensive: Support different implementations – SM-DP, DP+, DS, etc.
  • Efficient: Costs, resources, implementation, time-to-market, etc.
  • Seamless: Architecture, orchestration, openness, cloud, BSS/OSS integrations
  • Customizable: Features, services, deployments, UI, analytics to help differentiate

Furthermore, having access to an end-to-end suite of eSIM RSP and orchestration software and capabilities helps potential stakeholders co-develop distinctive features and services on top of the standards efficiently, with full control over security, scalability, and costs.

The key to success with this approach is in having a software partner which embraces open, lightweight, and advanced tools, frameworks and processes. This makes it seamless for the stakeholder’s IT team to co-create unique solutions built on industry standard-compliant and interoperable foundations.

Wrapping up

As the eSIM adoption rises across key stakeholders beyond mobile operators, there are significant opportunities for the vendors providing eSIM solutions in different forms. Different stakeholders have different needs, influenced by their digital transformation journeys, regulations, and need for redundancy or control over the solution and services attached to it.

As a result, we are seeing growing need for off-the-shelf eSIM solutions where some stakeholders want greater control, commercial independence, and sovereignty of the platform alongside the traditional ‘eSIM-Management-as-a-Service’ solutions. Players such as achelos are well positioned to complement and expand the eSIM solution provider ecosystem for the different key stakeholders in their eSIM transformation journey.

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Podcast #58 – Component Shortage: Will it drive the eSIM migration?

The COVID-19-led semiconductor shortage disrupted the supply chains of several industries. The shortage also accelerated lead times for key components such as chipsets, DDIs & PMICs that power all electronics around us. While the auto sector was heavily affected, telecom operators were also struck due to the lack of physical SIM cards as SIM plants shifted their production to higher-value technologies.

With no significant CapEx investment in mature nodes, SIM shortage means telcos cannot activate new subscriptions, potentially losing customers and market share. And while mobile network operators have been resistant to moving to eSIM, the eSIM is still gathering pace. Premium flagship smartphones from Samsung and Apple come with one physical SIM slot and one eSIM. Even the latest iPhone 14 series in the US ditches the physical SIM slot altogether and comes with eSIM-only capabilities.

With component shortages expected to continue until 2023, how do the mobile network operators reorganize their supply chain and forecast SIM needs in advance? We discuss all this and more in the podcast.

In the latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Peter Richardson is joined by Counterpoint’s Senior Analyst William Li, and Olivier Leroux, President and Founder of Oasis Smart-SIM to talk about how the telecom industry is dealing with disruptions due to semiconductor shortage. We also discuss the real impact of SIM shortage and the development of eSIM to mitigate some of these issues.

The podcast discussion is based on a recent joint white paper that Counterpoint Research wrote together with Oasis Smart SIM. You can download it from here.

Hit the Play Button to Listen to the Podcast

You can read the podcast transcript here.

Podcast Chapter Markers

01:33 – Olivier on Oasis Smart-SIM’s history and what the company does.

02:33 – William talks about chip shortages and how it has been affecting different sectors and industries.

05:37 – Olivier on how chip shortages continue to impact the telecom provider situation.

08:53 – Olivier talks about how SIM cards being made on mature nodes instead of leading nodes is forcing the SIM industry to re-adjust

11:54 – Olivier further discusses the real impact of SIM shortage on telecom operators.

13:29 – Olivier on whether components shortage is accelerating the move to eSIM?

15:57 – William on how geopolitical tensions have been impacting the chip shortage further.

18:32 – William talks about CapEx investment in legacy nodes vs matured nodes.

21:27 – Olivier on supply of physical SIM and development of eSIM market to mitigate some of the issues.

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eSIM iPhone 14 is an Inflection Point for eSIM Adoption

An eSIM iPhone, finally!

eSIM in Smartphones has been around since 2017, however, the adoption has grown slowly. Google started it all when it launched the Pixel 2 with eSIM Support as part of “Project Fi”. However, it has been Apple that has led the popularisation of eSIM in the industry. It introduced the eSIM technology with iPhone XS and since then all iPhones launched have been compatible with eSIM. Now Apple has introduced eSIM only SKUs in US with iPhone 14.

Following in Apple’s footsteps, other OEMs such as Samsung, Huawei, and Motorola have launched smartphones with eSIM capability, mostly in the premium segment. So far, 14 OEMs have launched eSIM-capable devices.

eSIM only iPhone has been coming


So why is an eSIM iPhone significant?

Apple quite simply sets the de facto standard in the industry. We’ve seen this happen multiple times over the last few years. Sure, other OEMs may be able to launch something faster than Apple, but the technology sees faster adoption once Apple uses that to sell iPhones. It happened with dual cameras, portrait cameras, the display notch with FaceID.

The same phenomenon will repeat with eSIM. Google may have been the first one to launch an eSIM capable smartphone, and Motorola may have launched the world’s first eSIM-only Phone three years before Apple but with this launch, we’ll see an exponential increase in the launch of eSIM in smartphones.

We believe the launch of eSIM is an inflection point for the industry, to help transition from the physical SIM card to eSIMs. An eSIM-only iPhone will not only embed eSIM to the mind many consumers around the world, but it will also push other OEMs to switch to eSIM in the future.


eSIM-capable Smartphone Shipments

Why is Apple choosing eSIM?

The eSIM excels across multiple attributes compared to a traditional SIM card, including provisioning, size, flexibility, security, customer experience, and, above all, cost.

From a device design standpoint, features like thinner, smaller, and more power-sensitive device form-factors, often themselves embedded in a larger machine, are also driving eSIM solutions

Self-provisioning is the biggest advantage for service providers, which drives a superior and stickier customer experience. The eSIM re-programmability extends the SIM lifecycle, bringing durability and convenience for customers.

From a consumer perspective, eSIM offers the potential for greater flexibility in how to access services seamlessly and securely. At the same time, it offers time and cost savings associated with some of the current in-store provisioning or activation processes.

There have been rumors that Apple is looking to bring a portless iPhone. Removing physical SIMs would have to be an essential part of that. I believe the introduction of dual eSIMs in iPhone 13 and now the eSIM-only iPhone 14 is the first indication that a portless iPhone is in the works. The next step would ideally be moving to iSIM by adding functionality baked directly into the “Apple Silicon” which will further save board space and give Apple even greater control over the SIM.

Are operators ready?

MNOs have been gradually adopting eSIM capabilities as many face challenges either in terms of faith in the technology, a fixed mindset or cost constraints. As the eSIM-capable device ecosystem is entering the mainstream bringing rising consumer awareness, many MNOs have integrated eSIM technology into their networks.

A further push toward eSIM has been the semiconductor shortage that has impacted availability of physical SIMs. And while many aspects of the semiconductor shortage have ameliorated, this is not fully the case for SIMs.

More than 200 leading mobile network operators in over 75 countries are already supporting eSIM provisioning and management however some MNOs have gone above and beyond when it comes to eSIM are considered L.E.A.D.E.R s in the industry. They support an average of 20 or more devices, including smartphones, smartwatches, laptops, and tablets.  Most of the operators who support eSIM devices are already supporting older Apple devices like the iPhone 13. With the launch of eSIM-only iPhone in the US, it is a signal to MNOs around the world to get ready, the eSIM is here to stay!

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