It’s either good news for consumers as the mobile networks’ throttlehold is broken, or bad news if consumers’ choice of network operators is restricted.
Apple announced this week that its new iPad Air will contain a “soft sim” which allows the user to choose their preferred mobile operator based on service and price, and indeed to change from one provider to another at will.
According to UK tech site The Register, “It’s a huge step, and if successful, the transition of the mobile industry will be complete. We’ll have gone from a world where operators choose what devices run on their networks, to a world where device manufacturers choose what network you can use on their devices – from a world where mobile networks were gatekeepers, to one in which Apple and (in all likelihood) Google and Samsung are the gatekeepers.“
Currently only UK and US residents will be able to benefit from the innovation, which currently applies only to data and not voice traffic.
Sunrise, the Swiss telecom operator told Le News that to its knowledge, an introduction in Switzerland is not planned. Company spokesperson Markus Werner added: “Generally speaking, we think it should be watched critically if a device manufacturer with a high market share can determine which telecom operators are available on his devices and which not. For competitive reasons and from a customer’s point of view, the customer should have an unlimited choice.”