You’ve just booked your flight; your dates are sorted and already it feels like you’re already on vacation.
The excitement of being ‘somewhere else’ and out of your daily routine, gives you something to look forward to - and the pandemic - seems like history.
And then you book the Airbnb, the car, travel insurance and just before starting to pack your suitcase, you're reminded of another package you need to take care of… your roaming package.
For many, the natural choice is to call your service provider and purchase a roaming package for the duration of your trip. Others prefer to buy a local SIM card at their destination and enjoy local tariffs. But there’s another option that’s gaining huge traction across the world: the electronic SIM (eSIM).
Since Apple started incorporating the technology into its smartphones several years ago, followed by Google, Samsung and others, for owners of these phones, changing providers means simply downloading a virtual SIM, no matter where you are in the world – just like any other app.
No need to go to the store or wait for the delivery guy, no need to look for the old plastic SIM from your previous travels, or to look for that tiny pin that used to open the SIM tray. An all- digital experience is waiting for all of you just at the tip of your fingers.
And if you’re planning a trip (let’s say in 6 months from now), you can download multiple eSIMs now and use them when the time comes. Many over-the-top providers such as Airalo, SIM local and others are already offering a variety of different eSIM roaming packages for multiple countries, for much lower cost and immediate use availability.
For example, on our recent family trip to Paris, we used eSIM for roaming on all four of our smartphones. It was simple, cheap and hassle-free, and upon return, we recommended it to all our friends and families for their upcoming vacations.
So where does this leave communication service providers? While eSIM brings multiple benefits to consumers (and other segments), for traditional operators the technology seems like a potential threat to their lucrative roaming revenues, particularly if consumers start buying those eSIM packages directly from OTTs on a mass scale.
But the good news is that eSIM also offers significant new business opportunities, allowing CSPs to provide a much better customer experience while maintaining their existing revenues and even driving growth. Just a few examples include employee roaming, enterprise permanent roaming, incoming roamers, and new digital channels.
So by embracing the new, digital world, there are plenty of business opportunities to enjoy both customer loyalty and new revenue flows.
As for me, I’ve already booked my next business travel to Europe and ordered a one-week eSIM roaming package from my service provider. What’s your next travel destination?