SIM shipments hit 5.6 billion units in 2017, driven by M2M and the roll-out of LTE networks

Data reported by SIMalliance shows that the collective SIM shipments of its members in 2017, which represented approximately 88% of the global SIM market, equaled 4.9 billion units. The SIMalliance confirms that over the same period, the estimated total available global market for SIM cards has grown by 2.75%, with units rising from 5.45 billion to 5.6 billion.

  • Significant demand for Triple SIM products continued in 2017, with volumes now representing over three-quarters of all global shipments.
  • Global shipments of cards that can be used in LTE networks rose by 21.5% to 1.7 billion units as migration to 4G networks continued throughout 2017.
  • While all regions reported growth, there was no change from 2016 in the rank order of the four largest markets. China remained the largest LTE SIM card market in 2017 with 395 million units. India retained its position as the second largest market with 390 million units. South America, including Brazil, was again the third largest market (286 million units), followed by North America (149 million units).
  • A 106% annual increase in shipment volumes of soldered SIMs (eSIMS) designed specifically for M2M applications (M2M MFF2 including some remote subscription provisioning capable products) reflects an acceleration in the growth rate of the global M2M market driven by demand in deployments like connected cars.

Technology advances and continued LTE migration continue to be the key growth drivers globally, contributing to the largest total available SIM market ever reported last year. We can also see that an increasing number of M2M deployments is generating new demand in some key markets, such as China and North America. 

Remy Cricco, SIMalliance Chairman

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