Apple’s introduction of the eSIM sent waves across mobile carriers with hope as some think the move will be efficient for users during switching between networks. Mint Mobile, Boost Mobile, and US Mobile are positive about the new technology making it easier for clients to switch networks without much struggle.
The move will see Apple abolish the SIM card slot of the iPhone 14 for US models only and indulge in the virtual Sim. The new technology at first instilled worry in some mobile service providers about switching between carriers.
“Mint has always believed in digital technologies that enhance and ease wireless services. Mint has been supporting eSIM for almost two years because we knew, even back then, this innovation would allow users to switch faster and easier.” Mint Mobile’s chief marketing officer, Aron North, said in a statement to CNET.
The founder and CEO of US Mobile, Ahmed Khattak, a mobile virtual network operator that offers service on Verizon and T-Mobile’s respective networks was supportive of the new innovation saying;
“I think it’s transformational. I think the fact that it even happened … I’m shaking my head … because it really democratizes connectivity. I didn’t expect that they [would] just go cold turkey on physical SIM cards. The fact that they just got rid of it like headphone jacks is surprising,” he added.
Boost Mobile which uses a combination of AT&T, T-Mobile and parent Dish’s wireless networks thinks the technology makes it “way easier to switch” providers as articulated by their CEO Stephen Stokols.
Activating the eSIM
The activation of the eSIM can take place the same moment after purchase.
“It looks a lot like software… It’s literally ‘you sign up online and you activate.’ No different than [when] you sign up for Netflix.” Stokols says.
Khattak has nearly 250,000 subscribers for his US Mobile service, with a third of his customers using eSIMs today.
“It’s easier for you to move in, it’s easy for you to move out,” he says. “I think the reason why people think it’s not that easy is because most carriers have made it very difficult” to switch in the past. “But I think if you try it out… you realize it’s so easy.”
Khattak says the process can take “less than a minute to get your device provisioned with us.” If you wanted to leave, that could similarly take “less than a minute to cancel your phone number” and bring it to someone else, which is known as “porting.”
He notes that the process is faster because you don’t need to wait for a physical SIM card to show up.
Unforeseen future occurrences
Even though smaller wireless providers are hopeful about the future, some do envision a few potential issues with the change. at the moment there is no way of getting information about carriers who are working with eSIM aside from the ones listed on the Apple website. The list only includes 39 networks and leaves out some MVNOs such as US Mobile.
“In the short term, there are going to be a lot of growing pains as carriers streamline the process of converting from physical SIMs. Things go wrong,” Avi Greengart, an analyst for research firm Techsponential, tells CNET. He also noted that there are challenges with MVNOs that don’t currently support the eSIM, as well as with the process of transferring from an eSIM to a physical SIM card if you needed to go back to an older device.
“I think in the short term, there’s going to be some pain, and in the long term, I think it’ll actually be OK.” He added.