Briefing: China Unicom to expand eSIM pilot nationwide

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联通eSIM全国开通 我们离扔掉实体SIM卡还有多远? – Ofweek

What happened: Chinese state-owned telecoms operator China Unicom announced Friday that it would extend its eSIM business nationwide after a year-long trial in seven cities. The telecom giant said it has built an eSIM management system using its own, self-developed technology. The company also announced that it has integrated its eSIM technology with more than 20 intelligent devices, including the Huawei Watch series and Apple Watch 4.

Why it’s important: eSIM adoption is widely seen as a critical factor to develop the market for the internet of things (IoT). All three Chinese telecom operators—China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom—have launched their respective eSIM solutions. Hardware manufacturers like Huawei and Apple are willing to promote the adoption of eSIM because it has potential space-saving advantages. However, the new technology allows wireless carriers to be relegated to mere service providers for eSIM devices, since users will be able to easily switch between carriers. As the most smallest of the three state-owned telecom companies, China Unicom’s early-to-market strategy is a bid for strategic advantage in the promising IoT market.