With more than fifteen years’ experience in the smart card ecosystem, Cyril Proye is currently IoT Marketing Director at Linxens, in charge of marketing for Linxens’ solutions for both the IoT and Telecom markets.
According to a report published in July 2021 by analysts Statistica, there are currently more than six billion smartphone subscriptions worldwide. While this figure is forecast to grow to over 7.5 billion by 2026, we are at the beginning of a trend for virtualised SIM cards. The global deployment of 5G will also accelerate the demand for new handsets and all these handsets will require next generation SIM cards.
Looking to the future, while consumer loyalty to operators will be challenged by the future virtualisation of SIM cards, the deployment of 5G architectures and the Internet of Things open a whole new realm of opportunities to telecoms providers – the business sector. Read on for an overview of the major drivers accelerating the telecoms revolution:
The virtualisation of SIM cards will disrupt telecom providers’ business models
Linxens is continually developing new solutions to accompany the telecoms market through each stage of SIM card transformation. Following the migration of most SIM cards to the much smaller Nano 4FF format, many technologically advanced countries are moving towards the e-SIM, where an electronic component embedded in the handset replaces the SIM card. The e-SIM represents the transitional period paving the way for the arrival of the i-SIM, where the SIM component is totally virtualised.
This marks a massive game change in the relationship between telecoms providers and end users, as customers will begin to shift their loyalty to handset manufacturers rather than operators.
Nevertheless, we are talking about a market where over 5 billion SIM cards are produced annually. There is still a massive volume and many years to go until we see the disappearance of the physical SIM card worldwide, particularly for the one-time-use pre-paid SIM card. The market for physical SIMs in 2025 will be more than 2 billion units.
“20 to 25% of future IoT connectivity needs will be supported by the telecom network. Leveraging on our experience in the telecoms industry, Linxens is ready to support the evolution of the SIM card market to provide customised connectivity solutions for all its clients.”
The future of IoT in the Telecoms industry
By 2025, 5G networks will cover 65% of the world’s population, according to research from Samsung. The deployment of 5G will open a world of opportunities for new revenue driving services and applications, leveraging the potential of IoT to connect users with billions of objects. In fact, the telecom industry is one of the leading users of IoT technologies, driven by the possibilities offered by 5G. The potential for new applications is almost limitless, connecting our world as never before. This will impact the way consumers interact with every aspect of their lives, including healthcare, goods and services, retail, transport, domotics, smart cities or entertainment services.
Berg Insight, a dedicated IoT analyst company, predicts there will be 4.15 billion IoT devices connected to cellular networks globally by 2024, which means vast opportunities for telecom operators. Above all, this capacity for greater connectivity unlocks exciting new opportunities for operators as they will be able to move towards a business-to-business model. Operators’ 5G architectures will be used by industrials for connecting an almost unlimited range of objects. Linxens will support operators in this business transformation by developing products for connected objects in all aspects of industry and services, from manufacturing and transportation to further improve the customer experience.
Smart meters are just one example of the evolution in the market; today these meters contain a SIM card which enable the service provider, such as an electric or water company, to gather all consumption levels at a distance, using the local telecom or private connectivity networks. We believe that this is an area of huge potential for Linxens and building on our vast experience in electronic components, we are accompanying the evolution of the SIM card through offering customised solutions to our clients.
In preparation for 5G, Linxens has been working closely with SIM card manufacturers, mobile network operators (MNOs) and connectivity providers. Along with our partners, we also have a crucial role to play in ensuring reliable, secured connections that will smooth the transition as we take the next steps to a fully connected world.