In recent times, Apple has started including eSIMs into their products, such as their iPads. What this means is that users who want cellular connectivity on their iPads simply have to activate the SIM with a carrier as opposed to using a physical SIM which can be troublesome, especially if you’re looking to switch carriers.
However according to a report from The New York Times, carriers AT&T and Verizon have been accused of colluding over eSIMs where together with mobile industry standards group, GSMA, they have allegedly worked to block eSIM tech to prevention adoption and progress. The reason? To prevent customers from leaving their services and switching to another carrier, in which eSIM tech makes it easier for them to do so.
It is unclear as to who might have made the complaint to the US Department of Justice, but tweets from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and Eric Newcomer have revealed that Apple could have been the one behind it. However as 9to5Mac points out, Google and Microsoft both offer devices that use eSIM tech, suggesting that they might also have a good reason to possibly file a complaint as well.
*MULTIPLE DEVICE MAKERS SAID TO HAVE COMPLAINED TO DOJ
*DEVICE MAKERS SAID TO HAVE COMPLAINED ABOUT SWITCHING ISSUE
*APPLE SAID TO HAVE COMPLAINED TO DOJ ABOUT SWITCHING ISSUES https://t.co/ktDvIkrYZQ
— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) April 20, 2018
*APPLE SAID TO BE BEHIND U.S. MOBILE CARRIER COLLUSION PROBE* https://t.co/8qZrPSm0v3
— Eric Newcomer (@EricNewcomer) April 20, 2018
Verizon has since issued a statement over the investigations, saying that they have been working with the US DoJ on the inquiry because of “a difference of opinion with a couple of phone equipment manufacturers regarding the development of eSIM standards.”
AT&T has also issued a statement that reads, “We are aware of the investigation into GSMA’s process for developing eSIM standards that provide a better experience for consumers. Along with other GSMA members, we have provided information to the government in response to their requests and will continue to work proactively within GSMA, including with those who might disagree with the proposed standards, to move this issue forward.”