China Unicom and Singtel collaborate on eSIM swap

Photo by Sabel Blanco from Pexels

China Unicom and Singtel have inked an agreement to collaborate on embedded SIM (eSIM) swap. This move will allow enterprise customers of both telcos to perform eSIM changes over-the-air (OTA) without having to manually configure their devices’ SIM cards to change networks in either China or Singapore.

Under the collaboration, devices with China Unicom eSIMs will automatically switch their profiles to Singtel’s when they are brought into Singapore. The devices’ embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card will also download and activate Singtel’s profiles through a GSMA-compliant subscription manager platform.

A trial was held in April when China Unicom managed to swap its eSIM profiles to Singtel’s using Bridge Alliance’s technical and commercial capabilities.

“We are excited that under the new collaboration, 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,” said Ong Geok Chwee, CEO of Bridge Alliance, of which the two partners are members.

“Together, we can help Chinese companies accelerate Internet of Things (IoT) deployment in Southeast Asia, simplify business negotiations through Bridge Alliance’s framework agreement, to bring market advantages so Chinese companies can land across the region,” she added.

The collaboration leverages Bridge Alliance’s current strategic IoT partnership with China Unicom and paves the way for Singtel to play a key role in facilitating cross-border IoT connectivity across China and Singapore.

“IoT deployments are rapidly growing across industries and markets as enterprises digitalise processes to become more agile and efficient. By leveraging our extensive, secure IoT connectivity services, enterprises can have greater control over mission-critical operations in real-time and increase business productivity,” said Dennis Wong, Vice President of Enterprise Mobility Product & Platform at Singtel Group Enterprise.

With more IoT devices sporting eSIMs and cross-border eSIM swap collaborations arranged, switching cellular networks abroad becomes easier.

Enterprises can operate across the Asia-Pacific region to enjoy local data SIM rates rather than pay for expensive roaming rates.

“China Unicom will develop overseas markets with our partners such as Bridge Alliance and Singtel and provide top level services to our customers,” said He Fei, Assistant General Manager of China Unicom IoT Company.