MNOs are at a critical juncture. With the telecom industry showing some signs of slowing growth and the impact of the pandemic, operators must look in new directions and reconsider existing strategies. The technology advances of dual SIM with eSIM devices present operators with exciting opportunities, but also new challenges and shifting paradigms.

eSIMs and dual SIMs are rapidly gaining in popularity. By 2027, the global estimate for the eSIM market is USD$25 billion, a CAGR of 16%. The market for dual SIM phones is expected to have similar explosive growth, with a CAGR of 14% and 2 billion units by 2027.

2021 – A Watershed Year for Dual SIMs

Users worldwide are increasingly experiencing the benefits of dual-SIM phones, and there is no sign of a slowdown despite the pandemic. Dual SIM devices are no longer just relevant to countries with inconsistent coverage. Dual SIMs natural combination with eSIMs is driving increased interest and usage.

Dual SIM phones, with an eSIM and SIM card, are attractive to consumers because they provide increased flexibility, cost savings, and convenience. Consumers are beginning to move to an arrangement that has their core provider as the default subscription, and varying subscriptions with other providers utilised on an as-needed basis as a secondary subscription.

Changing market dynamics and disruptive shifts brought on by the pandemic are driving the need for consumers to seek adaptable and robust solutions.

  1. The pandemic has abruptly shifted the work environment, increasing the need for employees to separate their work and personal computing and communications.
  2. In the growing gig economy, freelancers want to have different phone numbers for their customers while avoiding multiple phones.
  3. Travellers are seeking easier connectivity solutions when they are out of their home country.
  4. Significant growth in online buying has resulted in consumers seeking faster speeds, better coverage, and a more immersive mobile experience.
  5. The desire by consumers for 24/7 connectivity, including coverage for in-country travel to areas with known dead zones from their primary subscription.

The coming prevalence of 5G networks and the extra value, functionality, and reliability it brings further boosts the popularity of dual SIM and eSIMs. Combining eSIM with 5G offers consumers increased flexibility and a richer digital experience.

To meet this growing demand, major global providers are beefing up their line-up of dual SIM with eSIM phones:

  • Apple has led the way on dual SIM with eSIM and a physical SIM available on multiple models.
  • Google likewise has eSIM and a physical SIM for their dual SIM phones and utilise DSDS functionality in some regions.
  • Samsung has several phones with dual SIM and eSIM capability.

In addition to phones, dual SIMs with eSIMS are starting to become popular in wearables, (https://www.oasis-smartsim.com/connecting-wearable-devices-with-esim/) tablets, hotspots, and autos.

Challenges & Opportunities for Operators

The burgeoning dual SIM with eSIM capability provides new revenue opportunities for MNOs. Harnessing consumer interest in dual SIMs can provide operators with competitive advantages and new channels. But challenges and long-held paradigms must be addressed.

Dual SIM Challenges

The biggest obstacle for MNOs is adjusting to a new norm of customers having an additional subscription readily available on their phone. This mindset against “sharing” subscriptions is deeply ingrained and must evolve to focusing on developing consumer solutions that take advantage of this capability.

Another paradigm that must end is the reluctance to give up some roaming revenue. Reduced roaming revenue is a trade-off for new channels that will be developed.

Operationally preparing for eSIM and dual SIM also means changes to the OSS / BSS, marketing, provisioning, and other functions. MNOs must resist focusing on trying to hold on to old business models, and instead put their focus and energy on building new business models.

McKinsey believes that telecoms need to reinvent their consumer business by taking an end-to-end device lifecycle management approach.  Companies need to deploy new levers, better utilise existing levers, and create synergies across the levers to drive new revenue streams and increased profits.

Dual SIM Opportunities

The dual SIM with eSIM opportunity opens new possibilities for retaining existing customers, attracting new customers, and siphoning competitors’ customers. For operators, getting ahead of these evolving trends with creative solutions will reap financial benefits, including:

  1. Selling additional subscriptions to current clients as a supporting subscription. For example, selling a short-term subscription for travellers with a partner provider in another country.
  2. Creating unique packages for customers seeking increased speed and greater coverage available through the combined power of dual SIM with eSIM and 5G.
  3. Employing creative marketing tactics to target competitor’s customers with offers of specialised plans as a secondary subscription.
  4. In combination with 5G build-out, developing inventive connectivity packages centred around wearables and other devices.
  5. Developing new add-on services, such as insurance, re-commerce portal, and all-inclusive subscriptions.

With economic, consumer, and technology forces driving adoption, 2021 is shaping up as the year that dual SIMs with eSIMs become a force in the market.

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Dual SIMs

Oasis Smart SIM delivers Smart Dual SIM solutions

To conquer the growing number of Dual-sim phone users, Mobile Network Operators and Mobile Virtual Network Operators need to enable seamless generation, management and hosting of operator profiles in line with the GSMA remote SIM provisioning specifications. Getting started with Sim Remote Provisioning can be complicated, your company needs an experienced partner with a history of innovation and proven delivery capabilities to ensure a smooth onboarding and the quickest time-to-market. Oasis Smart SIM has a proven record of successful RSP implementation for high-class customers, a unique know-how in personalization and dedicated support and is one of the few companies in the world to operate a certified GSMA Data Center for Remote eSIM Activation.

Connect with one of our experts to learn how we can help your organisation deploy innovative eSIM solutions.

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