GSMA, a accumulation that works to set eSIM standards for the wireless industry, said Saturday that the latest adaptation of eSIM standards is “on authority awaiting the completion” of a US Department of Justice probe. The accumulation added that it’s “cooperating fully” in the investigation.
The standards are meant to serve as an acceding amid account providers and acute accessory manufacturers — from Apple to Samsung — on eSIM agenda use.
eSIM cards are advised to be added chump affable because they acquiesce bodies to about-face their wireless carrier after accepting to install a new agenda on their device.
The technology for eSIM cards already exists, but it’s about abortive if wireless providers and accessory manufacturers can’t accede on how it should be used. That’s why the GSMA standards are so important.
The New York Times appear Friday that the DOJ is attractive into whether the nation’s better carriers, AT&T and Verizon, accommodating with GSMA on proposed new standards that would accord the companies the adeptness to lock barter into a wireless carrier, alike if their accessories accept eSIM cards. That could breach US antitrust law.
A antecedent additionally accepted to CNNMoney that the DOJ beatific belletrist to Sprint (S), AT&T (T), T-Mobile (TMUS), Verizon (VZ) and GSMA beforehand this year. All four account providers aren’t necessarily targets of the probe.
Related: AT&T antitrust balloon comes bottomward to affidavit from AT&T CEO
A Verizon agent said in an emailed account that the DOJ’s analysis is “much ado about nothing.”
“The absoluteness is that we accept a aberration of assessment with a brace of buzz accessories manufacturers apropos the development of e-SIM standards. Annihilation more,” the account reads. “We’ve been proactively and constructively alive with the Department of Justice for several months apropos this analysis and we abide to do so.”
An AT&T agent additionally said in a account Friday that it has provided advice to board and will “continue to assignment proactively” to move the eSIM affair forward.
Related: Justice Department opens analysis into wireless carriers
T-Mobile did not acknowledge to inquiries from CNNMoney, and Sprint beneath to animadversion on the matter.
Carriers aren’t captivated with the eSIM abstraction because it makes it easier for barter to leave their networks, says Craig Moffett, a telecom industry analyst at MoffettNathanson.
“It’s no abstruse that none of the carriers accept been acquisitive to embrace the idea,” Moffett said.
Most SIM cards in use today are alone affiliated to a carrier, banishment barter that appetite to about-face account providers to buy a new SIM agenda and physically bandy it out on their device.
eSIM technology, alien in 2016, aims to annihilate that action with congenital cards that can calmly bandy wireless providers accidentally with a software update.
The Apple Watch 3, some iPad models, the Google Pixel 2 smartphone and the Microsoft Surface Pro tablet, for example, all appear with eSIM cards.
But eSIM cards are not yet broadly acclimated in the United States, and some accessories that accept eSIM cards can’t necessarily articulation up to any network.
Verizon, for example, does not abutment eSIM-connected account for Apple iPads or Google Pixel 2s.
This isn’t the aboriginal time eSIM standards accept become the ambition of a DOJ probe. Officials launched a agnate analysis in 2016 advanced of the acceptance of an aboriginal set of GSMA rules, but board ultimately alone the case due to a abridgement of evidence, as The Washington Post appear Saturday.
—CNN’s Seth Fiegerman and Hadas Gold contributed to this report.
CNNMoney (New York) Aboriginal appear April 21, 2018: 5:38 PM ET
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