Singtel in tie-up to allow wireless eSIM changes between China and S'pore

Enterprise users will not need to manually configure SIM cards to switch networks

Singtel is collaborating with China Unicom and the Bridge Alliance group of mobile operators to let enterprise customers make changes to their embedded SIM cards wirelessly.

This means users will not have to manually configure cards to change networks in China or Singapore.

Bridge Alliance is a mobile grouping covering 34 countries in the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.

Unlike traditional SIM cards, embedded SIMs, or eSIMs, cannot be removed from the device and the information on them is rewritable.

Under the collaboration, devices equipped with China Unicom e-SIMs will automatically switch their profiles to Singtel when they are brought into Singapore.

The circuit card in these devices will also download and activate Singtel's profiles, the three parties said yesterday.

The collaboration leverages Bridge Alliance's Internet of Things (IoT) partnership with China Unicom and "paves the way for Singtel to play a key role in facilitating IoT connectivity across China and Singapore", the parties said.

With more IoT devices being built with eSIMs and more cross-border eSIM swop collaborations being arranged, switching cellular networks abroad becomes easier, they added.

This enables enterprises operating across the Asia-Pacific to enjoy local data SIM rates rather than being charged roaming rates, in turn making it more cost-effective to roll out IoT across the region.

Mr Dennis Wong, Singtel's group enterprise vice-president of enterprise mobility product and platform, said IoT deployments are growing rapidly as enterprises digitalise processes to become more agile and efficient.

The collaboration with Bridge Alliance would drive more seamless connectivity and broader IoT adoption, and augment Singtel's IoT partner ecosystem, he added.

This would, in turn, enhance the telco's ability to support China Unicom and other Chinese enterprises' roll-out of IoT devices in Singapore and the region.

The collaboration leverages Bridge Alliance's Internet of Things (IoT) partnership with China Unicom and "paves the way for Singtel to play a key role in facilitating IoT connectivity across China and Singapore", the parties said.

With more IoT devices being built with eSIMs and more cross-border eSIM swop collaborations being arranged, switching cellular networks abroad becomes easier.

 
 

Bridge Alliance chief executive Ong Geok Chwee said the new collaboration means mobile customers "can extend their reach with the premier member operators across the Asia-Pacific region while being enabled with multi-domestic connectivity, economies of scale and logistical efficiency".

"Together, we can help Chinese companies accelerate IoT deployment in South-east Asia (and) simplify business negotiations through Bridge Alliance's framework agreement to bring market advantages so Chinese companies can land across the region," she added.

Singtel shares closed up 0.8 per cent at $2.52 yesterday.

THE BUSINESS TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 15, 2020, with the headline 'Singtel in tie-up to allow wireless eSIM changes between China and S'pore'. Print Edition | Subscribe