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Transition to Advanced Mobile Technologies Drives the Global Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Market
Mobile telephony has transformed the world over the past few years, ushering in possibilities that were previously unheard of. Aided by huge investments in mobile communication infrastructures and social responsibility measures taken to ensure availability and affordability of mobile communication services to underprivileged classes of society, mobile telephony has proliferated rapidly over the years, especially in developing countries, thereby fostering robust growth of the SIM card market. With over 80% of new mobile phone subscribers forecast to stem from developing markets, low capacity, conventional SIM cards are forecast to witness sturdy growth. Rapid proliferation of Ultra Low Cost (ULC) phones and ULC 3G phones, as a result of increasing consumer demand for multi-featured phones with high-speed Internet access at affordable price, bodes well for the market.
Driven by volume gains, the low capacity SIM market is fast reaching commoditization in developing markets. Average price of a SIM card in the mass market segment where consumers demand just simple communication functions, is therefore forecast to decline in the upcoming years. In contrast, in the developed markets and in the higher value consumer segments, the average price is forecast to remain fairly stable given the widening scope for product differentiation in areas such as memory sizes (diverse memory capacities from kilobytes to megabytes), innovation in the types of cryptography algorithms on the card, and card functions, such as, basic SIMs, 3G SIMs, SIMs with mobile television decoding capabilities, SIMs for mobile payments, among others. The market in these countries is poised to witness rejuvenation with embedded UICC and USIM cards emerging as the next frontiers for growth.
The growing popularity of mobile broadband SIM cards used in USB Data Cards, USB dongles and data only SIMs, are driving opportunities for increased volume shipments of SIM cards. The exploding growth for mobile broadband services triggered by increased use of smartphones and tablet PCs, therefore bodes well for the market. Deployment of mobile WiMAX or Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineer’s (IEEE) 802.16e-2005 as a technology offering high bandwidth and the one capable of taking broadband to remote areas without expensive infrastructure, is poised to indirectly benefit the mobile broadband SIM card market. Hailed as a 4G technology standard, mobile WiMAX 802.16m will re-energize the number of new connections and demand for SIM cards, by enabling service providers to offer bundled services i.e., voice, data and video services over high-speed wireless mobile broadband network at affordable prices.
Furthermore, the introduction of new generation communication networks is helping spur opportunities in the SIM card market. Migration to 3G and 3.5G networks in developing countries and migration to advanced LTE and 4G networks in developed countries is creating increased demand for next generation SIM cards called UICC (Universal Integrated Circuit Card) and USIM (Universal Subscriber Identity Module) cards designed for deployment in mobile terminals for GSM and UMTS/3G/4G networks.
Given the logical operator migratory path from GSM to UMTS (W-CDMA), USIM cards are especially finding increased adoption. This is primarily because use of USIM card offers several advantages over the traditional SIM card, such as, ability to handle numerous mini applications, provides support to handle video calls over a 3G network, and provides enhanced security and encrypted calls and data exchanges. Other advantages include larger phonebook memory, and superior mobile service experience. As use of 3G (UMTS) handsets equipped with a USIM card becomes more common, its opportunities galore for the SIM cards market.
As stated by the new market research report on Subscriber Identity Module (SIM), Asia-Pacific represents the fastest growing regional market, with annual shipments from the region waxing at a CAGR of about 10.2% over the analysis period. Emerging markets such as India and China with their huge population base are poised to drive growth in the region. Increasing adoption of dual and multiple SIM phones and relatively lower subscription and call rates induced by intense competition is set to drive the telecom market which in turn would foster growth of SIM cards market.
Major players in the global marketplace include Datang Microelectronics Technology Co., Ltd., Eastcompeace Smart Card Co., Ltd., Etisalat, Ebtikar Card Systems, Gemalto NV, Giesecke & Devrient, KEBTechnology, Morpho, Oberthur Technologies, Solacia, Watchdata Systems Co., Ltd., TianYu Inc., among others.
The research report titled “Subscriber Identity Module (SIM): A Global Strategic Business Report” provides a comprehensive review of market trends, issues, drivers, company profiles, mergers, acquisitions and other strategic industry activities. The report provides market estimates and projections by annual shipments (in Million units) for major geographic markets including US, Canada, Japan, Europe (France, Germany, Italy, UK, Spain, Russia and Rest of Europe), Asia-Pacific (China, India and Rest of Asia-Pacific), Latin America and Rest of World.
Details of the new report, table of contents and ordering information can be found on Electronics.ca Publications' website. View the report: Subscriber Identity Module (SIM): A Global Strategic Business Report.