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Operators’ eSIM strategies must take regulators into account

"Operators need to be proactive in responding to the implications of eSIMs, given regulators’ willingness to step in where necessary."

Operators are expecting eSIMs to replace traditional SIM cards during the next decade, especially given the support of the technology from Apple and Google. Indeed, Orange has predicted that all smartphones will have an eSIM by 2030. A total of 90 companies, including more than 50 operators, support the GSMA’s Remote Provisioning Solution for eSIMs, which enables programmable connectivity across smartphones, smartwatches, laptops, notebooks and tablets.

Many regulators have chosen to observe eSIM developments rather than be proactive in designing regulations, though others have been exploring the potential effects that remote service provisioning will have on consumers. Regulators may intervene in the eSIM market (as they did to promote mobile number portability) in order to promote competition. Operators will need to consider regulatory responses to their eSIM strategies.