eSIM standardisation halted by US operator probe

The GSMA industrial agency has halted the development of a global standard for a SIM card integrated into an ongoing investigation in the USA. UU

eSIM technology would eliminate the need for a physical SIM card, making it significantly easier to change networks and select new services.

This means that mobile users could adopt a more flexible approach, choose short-term data plans and register with a foreign operator when they are abroad.

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And because it is software-based, these changes can be made remotely, which makes the technology ideal for the Internet of Things (IoT). Making physical changes to IoT devices would increase the cost and limit the scale of implementation.

Embedded SIMs are used in certain Apple devices, such as the iPad and Apple Watch 3. However, this is driven by the Apple SIM standard and is dependent on operator support.

However, the US Department of Justice UU (DoJ) is determining if there has been a collusion between AT & T and Verizon to make it difficult for customers to change networks with eSIM. The telephone manufacturers had complained to the DoJ about the alleged practices, which led to the investigation.

"This standard [latest] contains a wide range of functions, including the option to block the eSIM," the GSMA said. "In the United States, consumers would have this option, however, they would have to give their explicit consent to this under specific trade agreements with their mobile operator, for example when purchasing a subsidized device.

" The development The latest version of the specification is on hold while an investigation by the United States Department of Justice is completed. The GSMA is cooperating fully with the Department of Justice in this matter. "

Both Verizon and AT & T told Reuters they were aware of the investigation and cooperated.