Multiple SIM ownership in emerging and mature markets

I have been recently invited to attend to a short, focused conference called the Mobile Pricing Symposium, based at Cambridge University in July. The conference will be held from the 22nd of July and I will present on the rise of multiple SIM ownership in emerging markets.

Nice subject, right? As written heavily before in this blog, multiple SIM management is one of the top hot topics in both mature and emerging markets. I can’t remember one single CEO to whom I spoke in the last year without this topic in his agenda, and it seems that my friends at Cambridge seem to be aware of this, considering the audience and number of chief executives that will be present at my hopefully not boring speech.

For that reason, I have prepared a short presentation where we explain the reason-why of the existence of the multiple SIM phenomenons, the key factors that drive it, and the facts underlying the problem. After no less than five assignments of this kind, I’ve been repeatedly asked how can did we reach this situation. In our opinion, considering that it’s now too late to discuss on the “why”, and focusing on the “how to solve”, there are three key facts to consider:

  • Fact 1: Market share of SIMs has lost its traditional meaning. What matters today is the trade off between SIM penetration and share of telecom spend. Operators have to decide how would they like to put the skin in the game. This will differ if they are present in mature markets where the “share of revenues” is king, or if they belong to emerging markets where the market penetration still has room for improvement.
  • Fact 2: Multi SIM both creates and erodes value for all players; Operator have to decide whether the want to play the value creation or value erosion role.
  • Fact 3: The market leaders risk more revenue erosion. The impact of the multiple SIM phenomenon is not one-directional, however it will typically erode and redistribute revenues from dominant players towards followers and new entrants. The sooner they accept that the effect will not disappear and define the right marketing policies, the better for them.

Once faced the facts, each operator has to define its strategy towards multiple SIM ownership. Different solutions apply to the same issue depending on our business objectives and market positioning. I have decided to publish this presentation in advance so that I can get your feedback. Please feel free to comment on it and share your thoughts with me. Enjoy the reading and comment (if you dare).

Best regards, CVA.

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