The little SIM cards that assign your phone an identity connected to a particular carrier’s network might soon disappear, but what would happen then?
According to GSMA – the association that represents mobile operators all around the world, it won’t be long until we discover the answer. As The Financial Times has recently reported, the organization is real close to making the SIM cards history and replace them with what’s called an electronic SIM.
But because there are still deals about technical specifications that need closure, the new SIM technology might take more than a year before it reaches the market and arrives into our pockets.
The GSMA is pretty confident that devices supporting e-SIM will be ready to ship by end of 2016, and there’s reason to believe the association can do that. For now, AT&T, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, Orange and several other international carriers seem to be on board with the innovative technology.
So what does this mean for the user in practical terms? For once, it’s obvious that SIM cards will become redundant. And even though it’s yet unclear, switching between carriers on your phone might be a lot easier, as well.
The market is currently filled with phones that are not compatible across all carriers – only unlocked devices haven’t got an issue with working with different SIM cards on different carriers are.
But the latter are expected to increase in number, as the e-SIM might come with multiple bands, too, allowing these phones to get reception from all cell tower frequencies and work in almost every country.
Power of choice will receive a whole new meaning if the switch to electronic SIMs will be dealt with having consumers in mind; buying our phones outright might become the new norm in order to avoid a two-year contract, but that’s how the rest of the world has been dealing with phone subscriptions for a while now.
Being one of the world leaders in technology, it’s no surprise Apple has already started using a similar approach with its Apple SIM, which has become live in iPads last year.
According to recent reports, T-Mobile and Sprint and some of the other smaller carriers are rather thrilled about how easily iPad owners can switch to new providers, because it gives them more chances to lure away competitors’ customers.
Samsung and Apple are reportedly both in talks with GSMA about the implementation of e-SIMs. But one name has been missing out of the scene, and it’s the largest carrier in the U.S. – Verizon Wireless.
Image Source: Telematic News