e-SIM in India Why are telecoms at battle with smartphone manufacturers?

e-SIM in India Why are telecoms at battle with smartphone manufacturers?

Telecom service providers and smartphone manufacturers are apparently at odds over electronic SIM cards, or e-SIMs. According to the Economic Times (ET), while telecom providers want to make e-SIM in India mandatory in phones, smartphone manufacturers are opposed.

The conflict has pitted the opposing industry bodies, COAI and ICEA, against one another. Both trade groups have written to their respective ministries. The COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India) represents Reliance Jio, Airtel, and VI.

The Indian Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) is the industry’s governing organization, representing manufacturers, brand owners, and technology suppliers. Here’s an explanation of e-SIM in India, compatible phones, and this new struggle in the telecom business.

What exactly is e-sim?

An E-SIM is a SIM card that is incorporated into a smartphone. It eliminates the requirement for a real SIM card while remaining functional. It is also critical that your service provider provides e-SIM services. Airtel and Jio was the first telecom firm to offer an e-SIM in India.

Read also: Difference between eSIM and SIM

Why don’t smartphone manufacturers want e-SIM in India to be mandated?

The smartphone manufacturer argues that making e-SIM in India essential will raise the production costs of mid-range handsets (Rs 10,000-20,000), which account for over half of the volume. They believe that e-SIM in mobiles necessitates modifications in product design and raises costs.

Read also: Is e-SIM useful for Indians?

Why do telecom companies interested in e-sim in India?

Telecom companies want e-SIM in India to be required in all gadgets costing Rs 10,000 or more. Telecom operators have contacted the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to request that phone makers use e-SIMs. He noted a 4-5-fold spike in SIM card prices due to semiconductor shortages and stockpiling by some players.

What do smartphone brands have to say about the concerns of telecom companies?

Smartphone manufacturers have called telecom demand “exaggerated,” claiming that the semiconductor business is recovering and that normality can be expected in the next six to nine months.

In a letter obtained by ET, ICEA informed the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) that the cost of a SIM is low and that even if the cost of a SIM increases fivefold, the cost of integrating it into mobile phones stays constant. In terms of execution and design, the e-SIM feature will be enormous. According to the letter, the e-SIM function offers advantages and disadvantages that may be appropriately modified at the discretion of the mobile device manufacturing sector.

Telecom companies’ letter to DoT

Telecom businesses have also written to the Department of Telecom about this. We feel that the deployment of eSIM in this price range of handsets would result in a large number of physical SIM cards being terminated in India and that all telecom carriers will profit, “the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) wrote to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). A statement in the letter reads, “The e-SIM in India would also decrease SIM wastage due to MNP (Mobile Number Portability) without relinquishing the flexibility of MNP, which will continue with the end consumer.”

In India, Airtel, Vodafone, and Reliance Jio provide service e-SIM in India. However, MTNL and BSNL, on the other hand, do not support e-SIM services.

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