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Vietnam to develop eSIM technology

A large mobile network operator will develop eSIM, the nascent technology which is expected to change the world in the near future.

eSIM is used in Apple's latest two flagships
eSIM is used in Apple’s latest two flagships

eSIM for the first time was used in Samsung Gear S2 smart watch marketed in 2016. eSIM is used in Apple’s latest two flagships – iPhone XS and XS Max.

At present, only 10 countries offer eSIM support, including the US, UK, Austria, Canada, Croatia, Czech, Germany, Hungary, India and Spain. There is no mobile network operator offering eSIM support in Vietnam.

This means that all the iPhones imported to Vietnam, including genuine products to be distributed by authorized resellers which bear VN/A code, won’t be able to use 2 sims because Vietnamese mobile operators still don’t support e-sims.

Tri Thuc Tre quoted its sources as reporting that a large telco in Vietnam has taken the first step to develop eSIM.

Analysts commented that it is promising for telcos which are pioneers in the field, because ‘the early bird will catch the worm’.

They said the eSIM market will be large. The first eSIM supporter will attract all iPhone users in Vietnam. Other big manufacturers, including Samsung, Oppo and Huawei, are planning to integrate the technology into their upcoming smartphone models. If so, the number of clients will be huge.

A representative of a large mobile network said that eSIM is definitely the trend that all firms in the telecommunications industry must follow.

“Mobile network operators will, sooner or later, have to support eSIM, because hardware developers and telecommunication services will follow the trend,” he said.

The senior executive said the story for now is not whether to follow eSIM technology or not, but how and when to develop the technology.

“It’s not easy to develop a new product, which is non-traditional and relates to both software and hardware,” he said.

Sebastian Barros from Axiata in Ericsson cited an Ovum report as saying that the eSim market is expected to increase from 4.4 million devices in 2016 to 234 million by 2021.

Tablets and wearable devices such as iPad Pro and Samsung Galaxy Gear were bestsellers among eSIM devices sold in 2016.

However, the situation will be different as the first eSIM smartphones have been marketed. It is expected that 66 percent of devices using eSIM by 2021 will be smartphones.

However, physical simcards will still exist in the market for the next several years.