It was announced this week that the U.S Justice Department is investigating carriers Verizon and AT&T, as well as “mobile industry standards-setting group” GSMA for allegations that they colluded to create eSIM standards that would make it harder for customers to switch their wireless carriers. These investigations have reportedly been happening for five months, after Apple, among other companies, filed complaints with the DoJ.
According to Android Authority, “eSIM stands for Embedded SIM and it replaces the need for physical SIM cards. The technology is especially important in wearables and smaller devices where space is at a premium.”
One of the cool things about eSIM tech is that it allows users to switch wireless networks without having to get a new SIM card, and instead the process is done using an app. The possibilities of widespread acceptance of this tech include ease in using wireless services abroad, and taking advantages of deals from different domestic carriers unencumbered.
You can see why this would worry carriers, who have tried and been prevented for years from making it very difficult for a consumer to switch networks with ease. This technology takes a lot of power out of the hands of the providers and gives it to the consumers.
GSMA has confirmed that it “developed an eSIM standard that would allow carriers to lock devices to its network.” Thus destroying the potential benefits to the consumer. This technology is suspended pending investigation.
Source: AT&T, Verizon under investigation over alleged anti-consumer eSIM plans
Published: April 23, 2018