The adoption of eSIMs in IoT scenarios

eSIM adoption evolution, 2018 to 2023

For the next three years, the eSIM adoption will be shaped by the following factors.

  • A decisive rise of the use of eSIMs in smartphones will balance the attention on eSIM between consumer segments and the enterprise IoT segment.
  • In the enterprise IoT segment, cars will remain the key adopter of eSIMs.
  • The key driver of eSIMs outside of connected cars will be in commercial vehicle tracking and asset monitoring.
  • Smart meters will not grow rapidly due to regulation, fragmentation and long lifecycles and deployment times for technology in this sector. It will remain an important segment, but will not boost the adoption of IoT eSIM. Any acceleration will be driven by the less fragmented smart energy and gas market, while the smart water metering segment will be much more difficult because of market fragmentation and regulation.
  • eSIM in the IoT context will largely remain a matter of adoption for large enterprises, i.e. organisations with more than 250 employees and, in many cases, with international operations.

Based on those assumptions, the chart shows STL Partners’ expected breakdown of the eSIM market by segment in 2023.

See how STL can help you grow your enterprise revenues

Our Growing enterprise solution covers how operators can adopt B2B2X business models to address changing enterprise needs in 5G, private networks, IoT, analytics and more.

Book a demo

We expect the eSIM market to grow rapidly between 2020 and 2023, passing from 195.5 million eSIMs in 2020 to 364 million eSIMs installed in 2023, with eSIM for consumers (smartphone, tablets, laptops, consumer wearables) increasing from a 26% market share in 2020 up to 41% by 2023. Aside from uptake in the consumer segment, we do not foresee a dramatic change in pace of adoption of eSIM in enterprise IoT (cars, smart meters, other IoT devices).

See our in-depth research on eSIM:

Amy Cameron


Amy Cameron

Research Director

Amy works with world-leading operators and tech companies to define opportunities and strategies in the B2B and AI fields. She leads STL Partners’ research into application of AI in telecoms, as well as the Growing Enterprise Revenues research stream.

Download this article as a PDF

Read more about growing enterprise revenues

Growing Enterprise Revenues overview pack

Our overview pack explores how the telecoms industry can leverage new business models to meet enterprise customer needs

5G for business: An update on telco pioneers

SK Telecom, Verizon & Telstra have looked to expand their 5G networks & to provide businesses with more opportunities to take advantage of 5G

MNO IoT security roles across the IoT stack

As part of our study IoT security: The foundation for growth beyond connectivity, we looked at the IoT security services of 12 MNOs to see what they are doing to address enterprise IoT security needs beyond that of secure connectivity.

Vonage: What is Ericsson’s end game?

If Ericsson is able to successfully leverage Vonage’s developer ecosystem to drive the use of 4G and 5G APIs, then it could play an interesting role as a strategic partner and channel for operators as a means of accessing developer communities.