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Is Indonesia Ready with e-SIM Card Technology?

“A fast growth of technological innovation unwittingly affects users of cell phone operators in the world. In a relatively short time, there has been an evolution of SIM card sizes ranging from mini SIM cards, to micro SIM cards in which causes nano SIM cards today the most frequent uses for the newest smartphones.”

But did you know that e-SIM or electronic SIM is the next generation of Nano SIM card?


E-SIM is a module that is integrated and embedded in a smartphone so that users only need to download their profile or identity without physically implanting a SIM card. E-SIM has been standardized by the GSMA (Global System for Mobile Communications Association), an association that accommodates the interests of telecommunications operators around the world, especially telecommunications operators with a Global System for Mobile focus. This association ensures the e-SIM specifications function globally at any cellular network service provider.


This e-SIM technology has been used in various countries in the world such as America, Austria, Canada, England, Germany, Japan and several other countries. One of the advantages of e-SIM user countries is that it makes it easy for each resident to 'replace' e-SIM when traveling to another country without the need for a new physical card from the cellular operator. This new technology is simple and more environmentally friendly because there is no need to dispose a physical SIM card, but instead replaced with a virtual one.


From the point of view of the Indonesian government, there is no need for regulations governing e-SIM. This is because e-SIM has the same function as an ordinary SIM card, it's just that the e-SIM is already attached to the mobile product and then injected with the user's data.


Based on research conducted by research company AcuityHub on 2,364 cellphone user respondents in 14 major cities in Indonesia, it is revealed that only about 8% of respondents chose to use dual SIM cards because the separation between basic (phone and text message) use Internet-specific SIM card (data).


The majority (92%) of respondents who uses cellular phones only use one SIM card as the primary SIM card. Loyalty to the use of the cellular operator's brand on the main SIM Card is influenced by network coverage, signal stability, and value-for-money.


Seeing from this finding, it is very possible that the majority of Indonesian consumers are fairly ready to penetrate using e-SIM Card technology because as a single SIM card user, it is easy for users to have only a single phone number on one phone.


Cellular operators in Indonesia have not fully offer e-SIM features for all brands of mobile phones, but some users can already try the e-SIM features. Quoted from one of the news portals on July 29, 2019, one cellular phone provider has officially announced the presence of e-SIM technology in Indonesia. But for now, smartphone brands that can use e-SIM facilities are still limited.


Some devices that now supports the use of e-SIM include:

  • iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro & iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • Google Pixels 2,3,3A and 4
  • Samsung Galaxy Fold
  • Motorola Razr.


In addition, the government and cellular operators are still evaluating the impact of using e-SIM in the future, especially to ensure the safety of personal data of e-SIM users.

So, are you ready to throw away your SIM Card?



AcuityHub conducted a survey of respondents of cell phone users about the habit of using SIM cards in major cities of Indonesia, including Jakarta, Bodetabek, Bandung, Semarang, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Medan, Palembang, Pekanbaru, Batam, Denpasar, Balikpapan, Makassar, and Manado. This survey was conducted in September 2019 with a total sample of N = 2,364 respondents. The method of taking samples is done randomly (random sampling).


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