Tele2, an alternative mobile operator, sums up the development of eSIM technology, which the company was the first to introduce in Russian telecommunications. In 2021, the number of virtual card activations in Russia increased by 5.5 times year on year. New connections accounted for over half of eSIM activations at 57%. russia esim use
In 2021, customers activated eSIM in the Tele2 network 5.5 times more often than a year earlier. Most of the card activations based on this technology – 57% – are for new connections. These are customers who do not just change their current plastic SIM card, but connect to the Tele2 network with a new eSIM-based number. Their share is growing – for example, at the end of 2020, the number of new connections with eSIM was 9 p.p. less (48%).
Tele2 is increasing eSIM connections through digital channels, although you can also get a QR code in retail. In January 2022, their share increased by 15 p.p. year-on-year. Users of technology-enabled devices can activate eSIM through the My Tele2 application, and the operator was also the first in the Russian market to offer customers to connect eSIM based on the Unified Biometric System.
The potential of the technology is demonstrated by the dynamics of the penetration of eSIM-enabled devices in the Tele2 network. At the end of 2021, their number more than doubled: the share of eSIM-enabled devices among the operator’s customers increased from 3 to 6%. According to Tele2 forecasts, by 2024 devices with this module will occupy 25% of the market. The leading regions in terms of activations were Moscow and St. Petersburg. The top regions where technology is willingly connected are the Republic of Tatarstan, the Krasnodar Territory and the Republic of Adygea, the Irkutsk Region.
The leaders among eSIM-enabled devices registered in the Tele2 network are iPhone 11/12/13, Samsung S20/S21/S22, Huawei P40, Motorola RAZR and Galaxy Watch4. So far, the Galaxy Watch4 is the only smart watch that can be connected to an eSIM in Russia. Most gadgets with eSIM in the Tele2 network are Apple products – 90%. Samsung devices account for 6%, and only 1% for Huawei smartphones.
Tele2 was the first in the market to launch a pilot project to introduce eSIM on its network in April 2019. Subscribers of Tele2 and other operators could become the first test users of the technology by receiving a QR code in Tele2 stores. Legislative changes made it possible to make eSIM connection remote, which, along with the penetration of technology-enabled devices, contributed to an increase in activations. Tele2 has a GSMA certificate for independent generation of profiles for eSIM.
eSIM (Embedded SIM) is an electronic SIM card embedded in the device. It performs the functions of a regular plastic SIM card, but it cannot be broken or lost. eSIM allows you to connect a second number in devices where there is only one slot for a plastic SIM card. russia esim use
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