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Make it Clear present eSIM research at Mobile World Congress

Account Director

The surge of eSIM-enabled devices and the transition toward eSIM-only smartphones are fundamentally reshaping the landscape of mobile connectivity. According to GSMA Intelligence, eSIM smartphone connections are poised to hit the 1 billion mark by 2025, with over half of all smartphone connections anticipated to utilise eSIM technology by 2028. As of December 2023, more than 200 eSIM-enabled devices have been commercially launched, including over 120 smartphones. Notably, Apple took a significant step by introducing its iPhone 15 series with eSIM-only compatibility in the US last year.

Embedded SIM technology, or eSIM, represents a paradigm shift in how cellular services are provisioned and managed. Unlike traditional SIM cards, eSIMs are digital and integrated directly into devices such as smartphones, tablets, IoT devices, and wearables. This innovation empowers users to activate cellular service and switch between different mobile network operators (MNOs) seamlessly, without the need for physical SIM card swaps. The result is increased flexibility, convenience, and scalability for manufacturers, MNOs, and end-users alike.

However, despite the promise of eSIM technology, there are challenges to confront for MNOs looking to drive customer adoption. Issues such as awareness, device compatibility, and the user experience for finding, purchasing, and activating an eSIM pose hurdles to widespread adoption.

 

Against this backdrop, the eSIM Summit at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, sponsored by IDEMIA, brought together industry experts to present the latest trends and future innovations in the industry. MWC Barcelona is the leading, annual trade show dedicated to the mobile communications industry. IDEMIA commissioned Make it Clear to conduct a comprehensive UX study, examining real-world implementations of eSIM user experiences across 15 MNOs spanning the UK, US, and Japan. At the summit, Make it Clear shared key findings from this study with executives from around the globe.

Watch our conversation with Mikkel Escartin, VP Digital Solutions from IDEMIA Secure Transactions here on GSMA’s YouTube channel.

The study comprised three stages: a marketing review assessing how each MNO positions eSIM technology, a UX review evaluating the search, purchase, and activation journey of eSIMs across various devices, and user observations to delve deeper into the current user experiences offered by select MNOs.

 

Arya from the Make it Clear team presenting at Mobile World Congress

Armed with valuable insights, Make it Clear proposed broad recommendations to enhance the user experience for eSIM purchase and activation, benefiting not only the operators researched but also others seeking to optimise their eSIM offerings.

 

Arya from the Make it Clear team presenting at Mobile World Congress

In front of a full house, it was a pleasure to share a handful of highlights from Make it Clear’s report titled “eSIM User Experience: Insights, Challenges, and Best Practices.”

To discuss how a UX audit or study could benefit your organisation, please get in touch.


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