Press Release
eSIM Aggregators Reshape Traditional Roaming, Propelling the Travel SIM Market to $10 billion by 2028

TRAVEL eSIM RETAIL SPEND PREDICTED TO RISE 500% BETWEEN 2023 AND 2028, AS LEISURE AND BUSINESS TRAVELLERS EMBRACE CHEAPER eSIM TRAVEL PLANS OUTSIDE CORE RLAH MARKETS. 

2nd August, London, UK: New research from Kaleido Intelligence, a leading roaming and connectivity market intelligence and consulting firm, has found that travel eSIM providers, including eSIM aggregators, MNOs and MVNOs, will see retail spending on such services soar 500% over the next 5 years.

Kaleido’s new Travel eSIM Outlook 2023: Market Adoption & Roaming Impact research forecasts that the global travel eSIM market will be worth close to $10 billion in 2028, accounting for over 80% of total travel SIM spend by then.

The research found that this will drive retail spend on travel connectivity services, including roaming packages and travel SIMs, to be worth over $30 billion by 2028.

View the report

eSIM Plans to Erode Physical SIM Travel Market Share

The research found that the combined migration towards ‘eSIM-first’ smartphones and the ability to offer a more seamless journey to travel SIM purchasing is likely to help accelerate travel SIM adoption and erode the existing physical travel SIM market.

Nitin Bhas, Chief of Strategy & Insights at Kaleido commented: “High roaming costs, growing traveller awareness of eSIM, and the future ratification of GSMA eSIM specifications for smartphones in China will further drive this adoption surge for alternative eSIM solutions. Nevertheless, the market landscape presents mobile operators with the opportunity to reshape their traditional roaming strategies, attract new customers through similar travel eSIM services and to drive usage amongst existing customers with compelling roaming deals.”

New Consumer & Business Travel & Roaming 2023 Survey Findings

Kaleido’s new travel and roaming survey found that the travel SIM market is experiencing a shift towards digital SIMs or eSIMs, which offer convenience and flexibility for travellers by allowing them to switch between mobile operators without physically swapping SIM cards.

Key travel eSIM findings from the survey include:

  • Roaming remains popular for cellular connectivity across the 20 surveyed markets, alongside travel SIMs, Wi-Fi usage, and non-usage.
  • Leisure travellers often use both travel SIMs and roaming services, averaging over 1 method per traveller.
  • Business travellers rely heavily on roaming and roaming add-ons as their default connectivity method, with over 50% utilising standard roaming or roaming packages from their typical providers.
  • Lower cost is the main driver for choosing travel SIM alternatives to roaming, with a significant proportion of respondents in various countries, such as China (71%), India (72%), and the UAE (65%), expressing intent to continue using travel SIMs, eSIM plans, or other roaming alternatives in the future.

Kaleido conducted its annual travel and roaming survey targeting leisure and business travellers across 20 global markets in June 2023, covering: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Korea, Rep., Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, UAE, UK and the US.

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About Kaleido Intelligence

Kaleido Intelligence is a specialist consulting and market research firm with a proven track record delivering telecom research at the highest level. Kaleido Intelligence is the only research company addressing mobile roaming in its entirety, covering industry-leading market insights, data forecasts, historical viewpoints, competitive intelligence and operator market surveys.

Research is led by expert analysts, each with significant experience delivering telco research and insights that matter.

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