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How to Bypass Carriers Apple-Style

Last month, GigaOM posted the news that Apple is working with SIM card manufacturer Gemalto to cut out the carriers. A new embedded SIM card from Gemalto would allow the loading of the operator-specific data onto the SIM after the phone was purchase. This week, there was news of the GSMA working to allow this type of SIM and of a potential war between Apple and European carriers over this. I’ve researched this type of SIM for the equivalent of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission in The Netherlands as a solution to overcome business problems of large-scale, Machine-to-Machine (M2M) users. In itself, M2M is worth an article, but this one focuses on what Apple could do.

via gigaom.com

If what Apple and the GSMA are proposing ever comes to be, mobile operators as we know it become pipe and delivery men. Imagine if you can use a Google Voice like service to simply point all your phone numbers to whichever country specific number you have.

This is many ways is like client Truphone's Local Anywhere service currently up and running in the UK and USA which is likely where Apple got the idea from.


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Fazal Majid

I fail to see how virtualized SIMs fundamentally change the equation. Users already can and do swap SIMs. This just makes it easier for Apple to provision phones without having to physically swap SIMs. Operators get their market power through things like SIM-lock and plain old oligopoly in the US, and a cartel-like refusal to offer data services on a prepaid basis. That's not likely to change soon.

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