The telco market may be booming in the U.S. and other parts of the world, but for Russia – a country in which the telecom market segment remains quite isolated from global operators – it’s a different story.
When it comes to adopting next-generation mobile networks like that of 3G and 4G (LTE (News - Alert)), Russia seems to be evolving at a slower, but developing pace. According to a new market research report from Reportlinker.com, entitled “Russia Smart Card,” Russia’s major mobile network operators are amidst the development of 3G and intend on deploying LTE by 2014.
A part of this study was a reflection of the country’s SIM card market, which is currently displaying an extremely high penetration level. For instance, the majority of Moscow’s wireless users currently utilize two or more SIM cards, bringing the penetration level to 200 percent there. Meanwhile, Russia as a whole boasts a penetration level of over 150 percent.
The survey attributes these strong levels to a tendency for prepaid plans, as users hop from operator to operator to discover the most affordable offers within the market. This high churn level, as well as a wider adoption of 3G and eventually 4G, according to the study, will eventually give way to a profound consumption of SIM cards through 2016. Meanwhile, Smart Insights – an agency specializing in the tracking of smart card industry patterns -- predicts SIM card shipments will surpass the 240 million mark in a matter of four years.
Machine-to-machine (M2M) applications were also at the focus of the study, as SIMs help to collect and distribute the data communicated between devices. From 2010 to 2016, these M2M applications will also experience rapid growth, with the fastest growing sub-segment in the M2M market being the SIM cards dedicated to 2G, 3G and 4G modems. Moreover, fleet management and smart meters will also make up 20 percent of the entire NFC shipments.
One company in the know of SIM cards and their impact on M2M is iQsim, a leader in virtual SIM and SIM server technology that provides its partners with tools for delivering call termination services to the wholesale market. iQsim revealed to TMCnet recently that it plans on entering two new markets this year, one centered around GSM/3G and LTE networks, and the second honing in on M2M and other vertical segments.
For more information on iQsim, click here.
Tammy Wolf is a TMCnet web editor. She covers a wide range of topics, including IP communications and information technology. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell