As we approach the end of the year, it is a good time to reflect on what we’ve learnt and provide some insight into 2022.
Some of the key drivers for the eSIM market are business travel and tourism, however, these seem far from recovering. Despite this, we have seen over 100% growth across all our customers with many domestic subscribers buying more than one eSIM subscription to address different needs e.g. work and personal, or to avail their preferred pricing e.g. one for local calls and one for international calls etc. Therefore, we see eSIM not as cannibalising the subscriber base but as offering a more flexible, value-added service; something that subscribers will look towards the competition if not offered by their current service provider.
Speed to market
In 2021, Workz continued to develop its value proposition and has emerged as the leader in cloud-based eSIM, having been the first to offer a fully GSMA-SAS certified solution for consumer devices in Europe and the US. Together with our data centre in Dubai, we now offer eSIM platform services from three key global hubs.
Although cloud implementations are reasonably quick to deploy, profile development, testing and management have often been a bottleneck. To combat this, we have developed an automated, online profile development system that cuts this time to a fraction and provides a more secure, user-friendly process. As the number of channels and channel partners grow, we see this offering a real competitive advantage.
At Workz, we believe in creating systems that are built for the future and looking at the eSIM ecosystem, we envisage that the long-term will need to cater for multiple sales channels, multiple platforms, sites and vendors with a plug-and-play philosophy. For that reason, we’ve launched an overlay system, Multi eSIM Hub (MeSH) which will drastically reduce the time spent on adding components and managing the eSIM ecosystem.
Overcoming market challenges
Without a doubt, the global chip shortage has caught the headlines in 2021. As much as the eSIM market continues to grow, albeit, at a slower rate than projected, many of our customers still need physical SIMs and will do so for many years ahead. With Samsung and others abandoning their lower-end chipsets and compounded by supply chain disruptions, we have seen SIM demand outstrip supply. Consequently, we have been advising customers to migrate to different module types and change specs to minimise the impact. We do not envisage the shortage or price increases to ease until at least H2 2022. As a result, we would recommend you be flexible with product specifications as many have not been questioned since the dawn of smart apps, meaning many functionalities have not been used for several years and are unlikely to be used again. We can happily provide technical guidance on optimisation possibilities for your SIM.
So what’s does 2022 look like? Here are our predictions:
- More eSIM-only devices to be launched
- Mature/larger networks to have three or more eSIM providers
- eSIM Consumer and M2M standards to converge
- More user-friendly activation with universal QR codes and discovery services to be widely available
- Some regulators will drop the requirement for in-country data and allow remote cloud hosting
- eSIM penetration to average two or more subscriptions per device
- Physical SIM prices to increase by 20-25%
We also expect business travel to come back in 2022 so, hopefully, we can see you at MWC Barcelona in February. If you are going, please inform your account manager and they can arrange for us to meet at the show.
Finally, I’d like to thank you for your continued support and I am positive that the new year will be filled with further valuable developments we can offer you. I would welcome further discussion with any thoughts or comments that you may have so please feel free to share with me or your account manager.
Here’s wishing you a great 2022.
Tor Malmros, CEO