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Ukrainians began to use eSIM more often – what is the reason?

    In the first year of a full-scale war, Ukrainians began to buy mobile numbers without a physical SIM card much more often. This has been made possible by the introduction of electronic SIM cards, or eSIMs , which enable communication without the need for a physical SIM card. In particular, users from the occupied territories and families abroad took advantage of this opportunity to stay in touch with their loved ones.

    According to lifecell , the demand for eSIM in 2022 has grown five times compared to the previous year. The peak of demand for digital SIM-cards fell on March, when 25 times more new subscribers joined the lifecell network from March 4 to March 7 than in the same period of the previous year. Also, the traffic from the Kherson region on the lifecell website of the remote order exceeded the usual level by 44 times in early spring, because then lifecell remained the only telecom operator in Kherson and the region. In such circumstances, the possibility of acquiring a Ukrainian number using eSIM has become a real salvation for those who found themselves in the occupation.

    Last year, digital SIM cards became the second most popular channel chosen by new lifecell subscribers after purchasing physical SIM cards at offline points of sale. Every tenth subscriber in 2022 connected to the lifecell network using eSIM. During large-scale power outages, there was also an increase in demand for electronic SIM cards. In particular, in November and December last year, the demand for digital SIM cards was twice as high as in other months of 2022.

    In 2022, the Ukrainian telecom operator lifecell recorded an increase in demand for eSIM from abroad. This is due to the opportunity to purchase a Ukrainian number and use the services of a Ukrainian operator for many Ukrainians who were forced to leave their homes and go abroad because of the war.

    Compared to 2021, the share of digital SIMs sold abroad doubled in 2022 and amounted to 22%. The geography of sales has also changed significantly: most of the su

    The demand for digital SIM cards is growing every year, as such services allow users to forget about searching for offline points of sale and complicated procedures for replacing SIM cards. The war further exacerbates this trend as eSIMs provide many benefits, including:

    • ease and speed of acquiring an eSIM or replacing a SIM with an eSIM;
    • protection from physical damage;
    • security in case of loss of a smartphone, since an attacker will not be able to use a digital SIM;
    • the ability to use multiple eSIMs on one device.

    All these advantages make digital SIMs very convenient and safe for users in any environment, including war.


    bscribers who purchased eSIM from lifecell are registered in Turkey, Poland and Germany.