eSIM in the COVID-19 era

COVID has made organizations large and small rethink what it means to be “at work.”


In the space of a few weeks, we’ve seen major tech companies transition from a mainly in-the-office environment to a remote work model and now some – including major companies like Twitter and Facebook – have offered most employees the ability to work from home full time. Policies that were a pipe dream in 2019 have become a reality in a span of just a few months.

The impact of this major change will be felt throughout the organization from the facilities teams who need to rethink how much office space is needed to the HR departments figuring out how to onboard new employees who may never set foot in the main HQ office. Digitization of corporate workflows will need to be ramped up to meet the needs of the widely distributed workforce. eSIM has a role to play in smoothing those transitions. Rather than having to mail a plastic SIM to a new employee, a company can now deliver an eSIM QR code via email along with the other new employee paperwork. One scan of the QR code will download the eSIM onto the employee’s device and they’ll immediately have a corporate mobile line active.

In 2019, the GSMA estimated that, by 2024, 40% of all consumer mobile devices will be eSIM enabled. This was based on their view of Apple’s broad eSIM rollout pushing Android OEMs to launch eSIM; initially on the flagship devices and moving down the value chain over the next four years. The hesitancy of Android OEMs to launch eSIM was driven by mobile operators’ broad opposition to the capability. Mobile operators have slowly come around to the fact that eSIM is here to stay, but they haven’t exactly embraced the new tech.

In the US, most end users were unaware that the eSIM was even available in their iPhones, so the end user demand was quite limited. The push for eSIM mainly came from Apple and a few MVNOs who saw the potential of eSIM to change how end users purchase mobile service. In the new reality of the distributed workforce, I believe that the 40% number will be hit by 2022 in the US/Europe thanks to demand from enterprises to outfit their employees with eSIM capable phones.

Beyond enabling digital on-boarding of new employees, the eSIM enables companies to easily install international roaming eSIMs that can save 80-90% vs standard operator plans adding to the demand side for eSIM devices. iSimplexity offers eSIM-enabled US domestic and international mobile plans with included telecom expense management software. We’ve seen the eSIM future and stand ready to help companies take advantage of this new technology.

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