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The eSIM is the new travel SIM: Why the end of the physical SIM card is great news for enterprises and international travelers

From mobile telephony to cellular M2M and the Internet of Things (IoT), eSIM (or virtual SIM) technology adoption is growing fast. According to Straits Research[1], the eSIM market size is projected to reach USD 17.5 Billion by 2030 (vs. USD 7.3 billion in 2021) with an expected compound annual growth rate of 11.5% and 10.1% in the United States and Europe, respectively.

Apple recently announced that the eSIM will replace the traditional physical SIM card in its latest iPhone 14 in the US. This is creating both excitement and concern amongst consumers. International travelers, in particular, are worried that they will remain locked in with their national carrier when travelling abroad. This is instead of being able to replace their SIM with local SIM cards to avoid high roaming costs.

“People are yet to realize that the eSIM is giving the consumer the freedom of choice. It will allow them to switch carriers instantly or use different local data plans on a single mobile device,”argues Jacques Bonifay, CEO of Transatel and Ubigi, a company featured by Apple in its list of global cellular data service providers that already support the eSIM standard[2].

Unlike a physical SIM, the eSIM offers significant convenience and flexibility to consumers and enterprises by allowing users to digitally add and activate mobile data plans from multiple network operators without changing the SIM. This innovation has already proven to be extremely useful to early adopter travelers who no longer need to deal with the hassle of buying local SIM cards when arriving in a new country or relying on using unsecured public Wi-Fi connections abroad.

“With a worldwide eSIM pre-paid data plan, travelers can securely connect to the internet on their mobile phone, tablet or PC and use all of their apps as soon as they land while avoiding prohibitive roaming charges. As the pioneers of eSIM technology, we are excited to see this standard becoming the new norm and look forward to continuing to develop innovative eSIM-based applications for consumers, as well as enterprises, distributed workforces and to enable the use of IoT,” adds Bonifay, who was one of the very first service providers to introduce the eSIM to the market in 2017.

According to Ubigi’s 2022 travel trends study[3], which looks at its international subscriber’s mobile data consumption, Americans have ranked ahead of other markets on eSIM adoption for the second year in a row. The USA is Ubigi’s primary market having the company’s highest number of customers and volume of data, both at home and abroad.

About Ubigi

Launched by global mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) enabler Transatel (a subsidiary of NTT Ltd.), Ubigi offers worldwide eSIM ready connectivity services in more than 190 destinations. With a broad range of prepaid mobile data plans at near-to-local rates, consumers and professionals can securely and cost effectively connect their smartphones, PCs, tablets, and even their cars to 4G or 5G. Already chosen by Jaguar Land-Rover, Stellantis, JAL and Air France-KLM as well as device manufacturers like Fujitsu, Ubigi services are also available to OEM’s, distributors, and resellers through its partnership program. Visit www.ubigi.com for more information.

About Transatel (a subsidiary of NTT Ltd.)

Transatel is a global cellular connectivity services provider and a leading MVNO enabler. Transatel’s worldwide 3G, 4G, 5G, LTE-M and NB-IoT connectivity platform is leveraged by SMEs, as well as international enterprises such as Airbus, Stellantis, Worldline, and Jaguar Land-Rover. From always-connected PCs and tablets, to connected vehicles, aircraft, and industrial M2M applications, Transatel’s smart SIM securely connects millions of consumer and enterprise devices across the world. For more information about Transatel, visit https://www.transatel.com/.

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