Kaleido Intelligence: eSIMs for smartphones and IoT at 21% CAGR from 2023-2028

A new report from Kaleido Intelligence predicts that 1.4 billion eSIMs will be shipped in 2028, while CAGR will rise 21% between now and then. The market research firm forecasts a robust average growth of 77%  in smartphone eSIM activations between 2023 and 2028.

Market disruption will come in the form of ‘travel eSIM’ as well as increased ability to transfer an eSIM from one device to another, ‘forcing the market to take new shape.’

However, the most profound transformation is anticipated in the IoT space.  An IoT specification for eSIMs will see ‘commercialization as pre-compliant solutions’ in 2024, and will lower the technical and investment burden of setting up IoT systems.

The press release also states: “Although many MNOs may not have a concrete strategy for IoT connectivity at retail, support for eSIM via the new specification will offer considerable opportunities at the wholesale level. With well over half of active IoT eSIMs using the new specification by 2028, demand for connectivity profiles will be greater than ever before.”

Kaleido’s research found that the combined migration towards ‘ijo,hudfwe4’ smartphones and the ability to offer a more seamless journey to travel SIM purchasing is likely to help accelerate travel SIM adoption and erode the existing physical travel SIM market.

Nitin Bhas, Chief of Strategy & Insights at Kaleido commented

“High roaming costs, growing traveller awareness of eSIM, and the future ratification of GSMA eSIM specifications for smartphones in China will further drive this adoption surge for alternative eSIM solutions. Nevertheless, the market landscape presents mobile operators with the opportunity to reshape their traditional roaming strategies, attract new customers through similar travel eSIM services and to drive usage amongst existing customers with compelling roaming deals.”

500% Growth in Spend:

Travel eSIM retail spend predicted to rise 500% between 2023 and 2028, as leisure and business travellers embrace cheaper esim travel plans outside core rlah markets.

$10 billion in Retail Spend:

The global travel eSIM market will be worth close to $10 billion in 2028, accounting for over 80% of total travel SIM spend by then. ‘

$30 billion Travel Market:

Retail spend on travel connectivity services, including roaming packages and travel SIMs, to be worth over $30 billion by 2028.

“The eSIM market has seen several developments recently that smooth the path to adoption, and address many lingering ecosystem challenges,” said Steffen Sorrell, Chief of Research at Kaleido. “The effect of this will mean eSIM or iSIM form factors will gradually become a de facto requirement by 2028 for most cellular devices.”

A recent survey by Omdia would seem to back up this projection of growth for the IoT and eSIM sector – of the hundreds of enterprise professionals polled over 70% of said they are planning to use 5G connectivity for IoT, while, eSIM/iSIM technology has already been or will be adopted by nearly 90% over the next two years.  95% of them expected to see measurable benefits from IoT within two years of deployment, and 90% said existing IoT projects have met or exceeded their expectations.


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