The landscape of global communication is undergoing a significant transformation – at a particularly rapid pace. Just as we’re starting to reap the real benefits of 5G… 6G appears to be just around the corner.
This transformation is supported by a range of technological advancements – including the growing prevalence of IoT, and increasingly advanced eSIM (embedded Subscriber Identity Module) implementations. These advancements are set to redefine connectivity, offering faster speeds with lower latency, greater capacity – and incredible flexibility.
eSIM: the game changer in connectivity
eSIM technology has been in development since the early 2010s, and has now gained substantial popularity. Unlike traditional SIM cards, eSIMs are embedded into devices and can be programmed remotely, eliminating the need for physical SIM card swaps when switching carriers.
This technology is particularly beneficial for IoT devices, where in many cases hundreds or thousands of devices need to be configured to a network. The global installed base of eSIMs is estimated to reach 3.4 billion by 2025.
What’s more, the global eSIM market size is projected to rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.8 percent from 2020 to 2027, up from a value of $8.03 billion in 2019. Industries such as mobility fleets, smart agriculture, communications, and healthcare particularly benefit from the adoption of eSIM technologies.
The combination of 5G and eSIM technologies is expected to enable new applications and services, making it easier for organizations to maintain connectivity and compete within their industries.
Capacity thanks to 5G
The kick-off for global communication evolving significantly is in large part due to the advent of 5G technology. This fifth-generation technology standard for cellular networks is transforming the way we connect, communicate, and interact with the digital world.
5G networks offer unprecedented speeds, with a peak speed of 10 gigabits per second (Gbit/s), which is up to 100 times faster than 4G. This speed enhancement allows for faster data transfer, reducing the time it takes to download high-resolution movies from minutes to seconds.
Furthermore, 5G networks can support a larger number of connected devices, improving the quality of connectivity. The low latency of 5G enhances real-time communication and interaction, which is crucial for applications such as video conferencing, online gaming, and autonomous driving.
It’s also worth noting that 5G networks ensure reliable connectivity even in densely populated areas, reducing network congestion and providing uninterrupted access to critical services. This is particularly beneficial for industries such as transportation, manufacturing, and healthcare, where reliable and fast communication is paramount.
All-in-all, the performance and capacity qualities of 5G networks can support a large number of connected devices, making it a perfect match for the Internet of Things (IoT). This could lead to new applications and use cases in various sectors, including cities, factories, farms, schools, and homes.
Clearly, 5G is not just about faster speeds; it's about creating a more connected world. As 5G networks continue to be deployed globally, we can expect to see further evolution in global communication, with significant impacts on various industries and everyday life.
Challenges and opportunities
Despite the promising future of eSIM and 5G technologies, there are challenges to overcome. Security risks associated with eSIM include software attacks like eSIM swapping, memory exhaustion, and memory attacks. However, no major technical vulnerability has been detected so far in eSIM technology.
On the other hand, the evolution of eSIM and 5G presents significant opportunities. The flexibility and cost-effectiveness of these technologies are driving a major shift towards more agile connectivity solutions. Many enterprises are expected to adopt eSIM and associated iSIM technology over the next two years.
Combined, the evolution of eSIM and 5G technologies is set to revolutionize global communication, offering unprecedented connectivity options for both consumers and businesses. As these technologies continue to evolve and become more widely adopted, they will play a crucial role in shaping the future of connectivity.
What about 6G?
6G, or sixth-generation wireless, is the successor to 5G technology, representing the next major phase of mobile telecommunications standards beyond the current 5G networks. While 6G is still in the early stages of development and not yet commercially available, it promises significant advancements over 5G.
The generation after 5G, 6G is expected to offer significantly higher data rates, potentially in the range of terabits per second, which would enable even faster download and upload speeds. It aims to reduce latency further, enhancing the responsiveness of wireless networks, which is crucial for applications like virtual reality, augmented reality, and autonomous vehicles.
What’s more, 6G might integrate satellite networks for truly global coverage, including remote and rural areas. But despite the future promise of 6G, 5G already offers numerous advantages and is widely available.
As it stands 5G can drive economic growth by enabling new services and industries and supports advancements in critical areas like healthcare, education, and transportation.
5G is already deployed and available in many areas, unlike 6G, which is still in the research phase. Significant investments have been made in 5G infrastructure, and organizations can leverage this existing technology without waiting for the next generation.
For most current applications and services, 5G provides more than enough speed, capacity, and connectivity.
How should connectivity providers respond?
In summary, while 6G promises further advancements and new capabilities, 5G already provides a robust, high-speed, and low-latency network environment that can meet current demands and drive innovation across various sectors. Organizations should focus on maximizing the benefits of 5G while keeping an eye on the future developments of 6G.
eSIM, in turn, is perfectly positioned to help organisation make the most out of 5G – introducing carrier flexibility, and reducing the effort required around remote device onboarding – and managing devices in the field.
For both CSPs and MNOs, Telna offers a range of services to help communications providers make the most out of the opportunities offered by eSIM and 5G. Telna provides extensive eSIM services that empower IoT and other roaming devices to harness powerful 5G connectivity wherever the device is.
But that’s not all – communications providers can also rely on Telna for connectivity services management tools including a global billing platform, worldwide connectivity through a single agreement, and API-driven capabilities for ultimate flexibility. Indeed, Telna provides a complete solution for connectivity service providers that would like the most of the future on offer by eSIM and 5G.