Research and Markets has announced the addition of the “eUICC, a Disruption in the SIM Market” report to their offering.
The mobile telecommunications industry undergoes permanent dynamic development and evolution. Speeds are increasing, value-added services expand revenue sources, prime costs are being reduced, and many other aspects are being optimized.
The SIM card, one of the core features of mobile telecommunications industry is also subject to the optimization process. Evolving from bank card size, to plug-in, micro- and nano-SIM cards, the subscriber identity module is expected to be reduced even more changing from a removable physical form factor to an embedded one.
Performances of secure transactions industry players allow further miniaturization of SIM cards, while ensuring the best level of security. Embedding SIM card into mobile communication device completely coincides with current trends of smooth look and enhanced functionality of high profile mobile handsets.
Not only mobile embedded SIM (or eUICC) is expected to free valuable space in popular communication devices, it will also ensure more flexible control and handling of key communication and additional services. Remote management of secure identity module bids fair to bring more business opportunities to the whole value chain.
Indeed, machine-to-machine (M2M) market, which has already adopted embedded M2M form factor (MFF2), clearly shows the advantages that soldered subscriber identity module brings to the ecosystem stakeholders. In the M2M ecosystem, the MFF2 benefits all affected parties, including the supply chain, mobile network operators and companies that opt for M2M technology.
However, mobile eUICC adoption is not going to pass easily as it is set to reshape the current removable SIM ecosystem. While being a lot similar to the actual SIM in terms of functions, the eUICC will change the structure and the way SIM card vendors and mobile telecommunication industry players, third parties and, finally, end users interact with each other. Moreover, such a reshape prescribes the introduction of new roles and the arrival of new entrants as well.
The new embedded form factor also raises diverse technical and legal questions, with security and ownership rights issues being among them. Depending on how these issues will be tackled, there will be different operating modes of eUICC ecosystem with new roles and new players to gamble their material wellbeing on the matter.
Undoubtedly, controversy on new business models that will rely on eUICC hurdles straightforward standardization and implementation of the technology. Taking into account the strengths and weaknesses of major players, Smart Insights has defined four scenarios that the industry may undergo. The probability of each scenario described in the report depends on key business advantages that each stakeholder anticipates from the eUICC adoption. In addition, the same stakeholders, fearing the shift of power coming with the eUICC adoption, may be tempted to build upon their current situation to hinder the implementation of the technology.
MNOs are believed to resist the transition from removable SIM to an embedded module, which eventually may negatively impact their core business. However, our field research found that some MNOs do believe in business opportunities that come with eUICC adoption and thus come out for its implementation. Handset makers alike other third parties are also expected to take advantage of the eUICC opportunity.
Nonetheless, Smart Insights forecasts that adjusted removable SIM card shipments will continue to grow at a CAGR of 6%-12% depending on different eUICC adoption scenarios analyzed in the report. The wide adoption of eUICC is not foreseen in the scope of the covered period, but rather in the long-term future. The report provides forecasts on eUICC shipments and adjusted removable SIM card shipments in volume.
The analysis was conducted based on primary and secondary research, the technical and business expertise of semiconductor and SIM card manufacturers, mobile network operators and handset makers, as well as industry associations and standardization bodies that were interviewed anonymously for the purpose of this report.
Smart Insights Report eUICC: a disruption in the SIM market provides a comprehensive analysis of embedded UICC (eUICC) solution, its probable future adoption scenarios and impact on the SIM card market.
The eUICC (embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card) concept consists in replacing the detachable SIM by a chip soldered on the handset motherboard performing the same functions. Such a technology evolution may trigger changes in the whole mobile communication ecosystem, as the customer relationship management may shift from the mobile network operator to the handset vendor.
The Smart Insights Report eUICC, a disruption in the SIM market includes a series of adoption scenarios for eUICC, depending on which entity in the ecosystem is the most active in supporting the new technology.
According to these scenarios, the adoption of eUICC as a replacement for the detachable SIM will not have a significant impact on the SIM market over the forecast period (2013 – 2018). Even with the fastest adoption scenario, Smart Insights forecasts adjusted removable SIM card shipments will continue to grow at a CAGR of 6% to 12%.