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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