SIM card market to reach 5.8 bn as India recovers from SIM ID registration

A staff member poses with a mock oversized Vodafone Secure SIM card at the Vodafone booth at the CeBit computer fair in Hanover, March, 5, 2012. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/Files
ABI Research’s report on SIM Card shipments said SIM card market will grow to 5.8 billion in 2020 from 5.4 billion (+3.9 percent) in 2016 — driven by advancement of LTE networks in China, Indonesia, and India.

India telecom market has recovered from the impact of the introduction of SIM ID registration which hit the market heavily in 2013. The time lag between ID registration and SIM deployment resulted in a reduction in SIM issuance, affecting the localized market where shipments levels dropped near 10 percent.

There is uncertainty in the SIM market, fueled by the introduction of pre-paid SIM ID registration in Poland, Hungary and the Middle East.

Telecom markets in Asia could be considered a market highlight, with its success offsetting stagnant results in the Americas and Western Europe, driven by the closure of Softcard, directly impacting the issuance of single wire protocol (SWP) SIMs, and high saturation levels respectively.

Security risks in many regions have already accelerated the implementation of SIM ID registration for pre-paid SIM cards. The move by more countries to implement ID registration in the near future will have a negative impact on the SIM card market.

“SIM ecosystem players should remain positive despite continued high saturation levels and a possible future impact from planned SIM ID registration implementation,” said Jonathan O’Flaherty, research analyst at ABI Research.

ABI Research said the mixture of the saturated and established nature of the traditional handset SIM card market, paired with growing M2M and IoT use cases, will create a market capable of future low level annual growth rates in the 2 – 4 percent range.