New research from roaming and connectivity experts Kaleido Intelligence has forecast that total active xUICC (eSIM and iSIM) connections will reach close to 4.5 billion in 2028, representing growth of 63% CAGR between 2023 and 2028.
Ongoing headwinds from COVID-19, chipset supply chain issues in addition to the Ukrainian conflict meant that anticipated releases of mid-range smartphones supporting eSIM were delayed, reducing the potential market size of eSIM-enabled devices. Nevertheless, strong traction was witnessed in eSIM activation rates in both the consumer and IoT domains, with a majority of operators now supporting eSIM onboarding.
Kaleido’s latest Mobile Connectivity Data Hub H1 2023 research found that the forthcoming enablement of eSIM in mid-range smartphones, in addition to the upcoming publication of the SGP.32 specification for IoT eSIMs will help catalyse the market for eSIM activation rates going forward.
Kaleido’s latest Connectivity Data Hub provides the latest historical and forecast projections for 5G, IoT verticals, eSIM, Satellite, LPWAN, Mobile Security & Fraud and Mobile Private LTE/5G Networks.
Dramatic Simplification of eSIM for IoT Devices in 2023
The research found that the SGP.32 specification for IoT devices, which borrows elements of the existing specification for consumer devices, will significantly impact some of the pain points currently associated with eSIMs using the M2M specification. Further, this will expand the ecosystem of available profiles, while reducing the technical integration pain points that have plagued the market for IoT devices using the M2M specification thus far.
Kaleido’s Research Lead Steffen Sorrell commented: “2023 is expected to represent a tipping point for realising the original vision and value for eSIM, particularly in the IoT domain. In essence, eSIM as a long-term bet for IoT will become much more valuable, while the onboarding of eSIM in mid-range smartphones will dramatically increase the installed base for handsets, while encouraging operators to refine their eSIM onboarding processes and eSIM connectivity strategies.”
LPWAN Connections to Reach 2.7 Billion in 2028
Kaleido found that a ‘perfect storm’ of SGP.32, the emergence of iSIM (a GSMA-compliant integrated eSIM form factor with an extremely low footprint and bill-of-materials) in addition to a surge in commercial direct-to-satellite connectivity availability will help catalyse the market for LPWAN devices, with connections predicted to reach 2.7 billion in 2028.
Overall, these elements will aid in lowering initial Capex involved with multinational LPWAN deployments, while offering long-term flexibility in terms of connectivity availability and optimisation.
About Kaleido Intelligence
Kaleido Intelligence is a specialist consulting and market research firm with a proven track record of delivering telecom research at the highest level. Kaleido Intelligence provides the following services, based on leading research processes:
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Research is led by expert analysts, each with significant experience delivering telco research and insights that matter.