The GSMA, the industry association which represents mobile operators worldwide, is close to announcing an agreement to produce a standardised embedded Sim for consumer devices that would include the smartphone makers.
The electronic SIM card would let users switch carriers or plans instantly. Networks expected to support the technology include AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Whampoa, Orange, Telefónica and Vodafone.
The parties are nearing an agreement for the 'common architecture', according to Anne Bouverot, CEO of GSMA. However, it will take at least a year before the technical specifications are finalized and the e-SIM reaches the market.
The GSMA says, “With the majority of operators on board, the plan is to finalise the technical architecture that will be used in the development of an end-to-end remote SIM solution for consumer devices, with delivery anticipated by 2016.”
Apple recently debuted its own SIM card for use with the iPad but only a few carriers such as T-Mobile, AT&T, and EE, support the card.
The GSMA says it's “continuing to work with Apple to secure their support for the initiative. While we are optimistic, a formal agreement with them is still in progress.”
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