Global IoT connections via eSIM to hit 195 million by 2026

14 March 2023

A new study from Juniper Research has found that the global number of IoT connections using eSIM technology will reach 195 million by 2026, from just 22 million in 2023. It identified the growing adoption of the variant ‘eIM’ (eSIM IoT Manager) amongst the eSIM platforms that will drive growth over the next three years.

eIM is a standardised eSIM provisioning tool allowing large-scale deployment and management of eSIM-enabled IoT devices. eIM is defined in SGP.31 by the GSMA and standardises the process for the mass deployment of eSIM-enabled IoT devices.

The report found that incumbent eSIM provisioning solutions such as SMSR (Subscription Management Secure Routing) have hindered the growth of eSIMs in the IoT market by limiting the number of devices that can be provisioned and managed via a single user interface. However, eIM solutions will reduce the cost of deployments by enabling multiple connections to be deployed at the same time; increasing the value proposition of eSIM use cases requiring mass deployments.

Only 2% of all eSIMs in use will be attributable to the IoT sector in 2023, according to the report. However, with the increased adoption of eIM tools, it predicts the growth of eSIM IoT connections will outpace the consumer sector which includes smartphones, over the next three years. By 2026, 6% of global eSIMs will be attributable to the IoT sector.

The report anticipates that eSIM-enabled IoT devices in service will grow 780% globally over the next three years. It identified two key sectors that will benefit from eIM: logistics and oil & gas extraction. By 2026, it forecasts that these two markets will account for 75% of eSIMs in use globally; owing to their reliance on LPWA (Low-power, Wide-area) business models that necessitate the use of mass deployment processes.