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eSIM capable device shipments to two billion units by 2025: Counterpoint

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Global shipments of eSIM capable devices, including vehicles, grew 63 per cent year-on-year (YoY) in 2018 to 364 million units and are estimated to reach close to two billion units in shipments by 2025, a new report by Counterpoint Research said.

According to Counterpoint’s “ETO (Emerging Technology Opportunities) Service”, the eSIM adoption is poised to grow across several connected devices over the next decade leading to the expansion and growth of eSIM value chain.

“The traditional SIM card vendors have maintained the lead when it comes to eSIM enablement. Gemalto and G+D are leading the pack due to their diverse partnerships across the value chain, GSMA certifications, and end-to-end eSIM solutions. They are followed by other SIM vendors such as IDEMIA, VALID and Workz Group in fourth, fifth, and seventh positions respectively,” Peter Richardson, Research Director at Counterpoint Research, noted.

Companies such as Gemalto, G+D (Giesecke and Devrient), IDEMIA, VALID, and Workz are the top hardware-based eSIM providers with the MFF2 form factor.

Whereas, ST Micro and NXP are the leading suppliers of WLCSP form factor. Infineon is offering an innovative miniaturized leadless package form factor.

Companies such as Truphone, ARM, Qualcomm, RedteaMobile, Telna, GigSky, roam2free, and others, are partnering with OEMs, operators, and chipset vendors to drive software-based eUICC adoption either in TEE or integrated into the SoC.

“There is a rise of eSIM enablement companies offering a variety of eSIM solutions. This includes broadly three categories: firstly, software-based eUICC in TEE (Trusted Execution Environment); secondly, eUICC embedded in a hardware-based MFF2 or Wafer Level Chip Scale Packaging (WLCSP), miniaturised leadless package form factors soldered into the PCBs,” Satyajit Sinha, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research, said in a statement.

“Thirdly, the newer category of integrated eSIMs, also called iSIM or iUICC, where the eUICC is integrated into a secure enclave within the System-on-Chip (SoC) itself. So far, only the hardware-based MFF2 and WLCSP form factor is GSMA compliant and meets the security standards outlined in GSMA”s SGP.01/02/21/22 specs.”

Semiconductor players such as ST Micro, NXP, and Infineon have also seen healthy adoption of their eSIM solutions which are shipping in good volumes, especially in smartphones and automotives.

These players, unlike SIM card vendors, lack the end-to-end eSIM offering (eSIM enablement and management) as well as direct operator partnerships.


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