Global SIM card shipments to exceed 5.8bn in 2020, fuelled by Asian growth
According to figures from ABI Research, global SIM card shipments rose by 3.9% year-on-year in 2016 to reach over 5.4bn units, with this number expected to hit over 5.8bn in 2020.
Future revenue growth will be primarily driven by platforms and services as opposed to the hardware centric revenue base which has brought the market to where it is today.
This moderate growth rate was driven by continued advancement of Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks in China, Indonesia and India, with the latter having fully recovered from the impact of the introduction of SIM ID registration which hit the market heavily in 2013.
With more countries expected to implement ID registration in the near future, this could have a negative impact on the market.
The recent wave of terrorist attacks in France, Belgium and Turkey have accelerated the implementation of laws and rules that enforce the registration of pre-paid SIM cards, especially in Europe.
India's ID registration is a prime example of how ID registration can adversely affect the market. The time lag between ID registration and SIM deployment resulted in a major reduction in SIM issuance, drastically affecting the localised market where shipment levels dropped nearly 10% year-on-year.
With Asia powering growth, the region could be considered a market highlight, with its success partially offsetting disappointing and stagnant results in the Americas and Western Europe, driven by the closure of Softcard – directly impacting the issuance of single wire protocol (SWP) SIMs – and high saturation levels respectively.
“SIM ecosystem players should remain positive despite continued high saturation levels and the possible future impact from planned SIM ID registration implementation,” commented Jonathan O'Flaherty, Research Analyst at ABI Research.
“The presented growth opportunity of rising SIM use cases in M2M applications and the emerging IoT may be enough to counterbalance any negative impact on the traditional SIM card market.
“Overall the mixture of the saturated and established nature of the traditional handset SIM card market, paired with growing M2M and IoT use cases, will create a market capable of future low level annual growth rates in the 2-4% range."
Thanks to their respective Trusted Service Manager (TSM) platforms, leading SIM card vendors including Gemalto, OT-Morpho, G&D and Valid are well prepared for the road ahead.
How AWS helps NASCAR delight its fans
AWS needs no introduction to readers of Technology Magazine but we rarely get an opportunity to look closely at how it serves the sports sector. All major sports draw in a huge supporter base that they want to nurture and support. Technology is the key to every major sports organization and enabling this is the driving force for AWS, says Matt Hurst, Head of Global Sports Marketing and Communications for AWS. “In sports, as in every industry, machine learning and artificial intelligence and high performance computing are helping to usher in the next wave of technical sports innovation.”
AWS approaches sports in three principal areas. “The first is unlocking data’s potential: leagues and teams hold vast amounts of data and AWS is enabling them to analyze that data at scale and make better, more informed decisions. The second is engaging and delighting fans: with AWS fans are getting deeper insights through visually compelling on-screen graphics and interactive Second Screen experiences. And the third is rapidly improving sports performance: leagues and teams are using AWS to innovate like never before.”
Among the many global brands that partner with AWS are Germany's Bundesliga, the NFL, F1, the NHL, the PGA Tour and of course NASCAR. NASCAR has worked with AWS on its digital transformation (migrating it's 18 petabyte video archive containing 70 years of historical footage to AWS), to optimize its cloud data center operations and to enable its global brand expansion. AWS Media Services powers the NASCAR Drive mobile app, delivering broadcast-quality content for more than 80 million fans worldwide. The platform, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaStore, helps NASCAR provide fans instant access to the driver’s view of the race track during races, augmented by audio and a continually updated leaderboard. “And NASCAR will use our flagship machine learning service Amazon SageMaker to train deep learning models to enhance metadata and video analytics.”
Using AWS artificial intelligence and machine learning, NASCAR aims to deliver even more fan experiences that they'd never have anticipated. “Just imagine a race between Dale Earnhardt Sr and Dale Jr at Talladega! There's a bright future, and we're looking forward to working with NASCAR, helping them tap into AWS technology to continue to digitally transform, innovate and create even more fan experiences.”
Just as AWS is helping NASCAR bridge that historical gap between the legacy architecture and new technology, more customers are using AWS for machine learning than any other provider. As an example, who would have thought five years ago that NFL would be using ML to predict and prevent injury to its players? Since 2017, the league has utilized AWS as its official cloud and ML provider for the NFL Next Gen Stats (NGS) platform, which provides real-time location data, speed, and acceleration for every player during every play on every inch of the field. “One of the most potentially revolutionary components of the NFL-AWS partnership,” says Matt Hurst, “is the development of the 'Digital Athlete,' a computer simulation model that can be used to replicate infinite scenarios within the game environment—including variations by position and environmental factors, emphasizing the league's commitment to player safety.”