T-Mobile-Sprint merge needs to support eSIM

By | February 1, 2020

T-Mobile-Sprint merge needs to support eSIM:

T-Mobile’s SIM card, so far T-Mobile and Sprint do not support eSIM technology. (T-Mobile)

Popularity: 158 [Size] Updated: 2019-07-28 6:23 AM    Tags : T-Mobile , Sprint , eSIM , SIM card , virtual SIM[The Epoch Times, July 28, 2019] (The Epoch Times reporter Linda reported) The US Department of Justice approved a US$26 billion merger between T-Mobile and Sprint on Friday (July 26). The premise is that the two companies agreed to sell some of their assets to Dish Network Corp. to create a new wireless network company, and also asked Dish and the new T-Mobile to support eSIM technology.

Mobile phone networked SIM cards have been shrinking since they were used in 1991, but they are still a big problem. Many mobile phone manufacturers are eager to get rid of physical SIM cards. In the past four years, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has done more work to cancel mobile-networked SIM cards than the top four technology companies (Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple).

Although one of the conditions for the merger is to support eSIM technology, it may take several years to eventually change the way the phone is manufactured, but it may have a greater impact on US wireless service operators.

Virtual SIM (eSIM) is a technology that allows wireless devices to boot over the network via software. In theory, switching wireless service operators easier, because of the need to replace the physical SIM card sheet, and simply click a few buttons application.

The Justice Department’s statement stated: “Requires new T-Mobile and new Dish services to support eSIM, electronic SIM technology, enabling consumers to easily switch between wireless providers. This requirement will make Dish more attractive New users will help expand competition in this market and will provide a platform for new innovation options.”

The Justice Department also stressed that “sorry, in the United States, eSIM has not been widely adopted by wireless service operators like Europe and other countries. This is another part of the merger we are seeking, and hopefully, it will make all Operators use eSIM because they will benefit once consumers have it.”

But in reality, it’s not that simple. The Justice Department is unlikely to force these new wireless carriers to pre-configure phones that support eSIM. More likely, if the phone uses eSIM, these operators must support it.

The iPhone XS phone released in 2018 began to support eSIM technology. (Apple)

For mobile phone manufacturers, the elimination of physical SIM cards is also welcome. The physical SIM card is one of the most important parts of the design of the mobile phone because it requires some kind of slot or drawer to place the SIM card, which not only takes up space but also is a weak point where water or dirt is easy to invade. Getting rid of physical SIM cards means designing smaller, thinner, more waterproof, and more durable phones.
No matter whether it is a wireless carrier or a mobile phone manufacturer in the United States, it is not very active in adopting eSIM. The most important mobile phone manufacturer, Apple, did not use the eSIM and physical SIM coexistence until the iPhone XS series was released in 2018. Some wireless carriers in the United States did not offer eSIM services until this year.

The Justice Department hopes that market dynamics will put some pressure on wireless operators to force them to adopt eSIM, but the market dynamics will take a long time. Even if this happens, there is no guarantee that switching to an eSIM-enabled phone will be easy.

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