Advisory Notification to Mobile Network Operators of Global Silicon Supply Pressures in 2021-22

Recent public reports have highlighted that an increase in the demand for silicon over the past year has led to supply pressures which are currently impacting many industries globally. The evolution of 5G technology and the global pandemic have been named publicly as drivers of digital transformation and the corresponding continued higher chip demand.

Looking ahead to the next eighteen months, silicon manufacturers will likely need to manage the challenge of limited foundry capacities. If this is the case, the global silicon industry, including the SIM sector, will continue to be affected throughout the remainder of this year and 2022.  

The Trusted Connectivity Alliance (TCA) membership seeks to raise awareness of this important issue among the global MNO community. In line with best practice, MNOs are encouraged to anticipate and consider these potential silicon supply pressures and take a long-term view when forecasting volume requirements for the period ahead. SIM suppliers are usually able to operate on a reactive basis, supporting a timeframe of several weeks from chip manufacture to delivery of a complete SIM product. In the current global climate however, the ability of SIM suppliers to react as quickly may be restricted, so longer-range planning by MNOs is advised to support seamless business operations.

TCA wishes to reassure MNOs globally that the SIM manufacturers it represents will make every effort, as far as is possible, to ensure that demand for SIM products continues to be met. The industry’s trusted and well-established supply chains are cognisant that the SIM sector enables essential connectivity at all times – a fact which has only been reinforced by the global pandemic, and the remote living / working experiences faced by people globally as a result.

On behalf of the TCA Board