DOJ requiring eSIM support as condition of Sprint & T-Mobile merger, including Dish

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in iPhone
A small but significant condition of the Justice Department approving Sprint and T-Mobile's merger is that the combined entity -- and Dish, which is being turned into a fourth national carrier -- must support eSIM technology.

T-Mobile eSIM


"This requirement will make it easier for Dish to attract new subscribers, help extend the competition in this market, and will provide a platform for new innovative options," the Department said according to The Verge. "Sadly in the United States, eSIM has not been widely adopted in mobile wireless like it is in Europe and others. And that's an area separate of this merger we have looked to. This will revolutionize the use eSIMs in hopefully all carriers, because once consumers have it, they'll benefit from it."

eSIMs let phone owners switch carriers on the fly instead of having to physically swap cards. While carriers have been relatively slow to adopt the technology -- T-Mobile has, but Sprint hasn't -- it's frequently appealing to both the public and phone makers like Apple, which are continually trying to cut costs and optimize the space in their designs.

Apple was an early backer of the eSIM concept in the form of the Apple SIM, first included with the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. Work on true eSIMs began in 2015, and now the technology is incorporated in the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR.

The Sprint and T-Mobile merger can't be finalized until the conclusion of a lawsuit from 13 state attorneys general and the District of Columbia. A trial date is set for Oct. 7, though that date could be pushed as late as Dec. 9. It's also possible that the case could be settled out of court, since it revolves around a lack of competition in the national wireless space -- with Dish being propped up as a replacement for Sprint, there may not be reason to continue.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    > "slow to adopt the technology — T-Mobile has". Well, sort of. T Mobile only supports pre-paid plans via eSIM, not regular ongoing post-paid customers. They won't support my iPhone XR with an eSIM. I've been a customer for years. Employees seem flummoxed as to the why this limitation, distinction.
    libertyforall
  • Reply 2 of 11
    curtis hannahcurtis hannah Posts: 1,769member
    Well it is clear that ports on devices are fading quickly, so moving onto the future with you selecting your phone plan and activate right from the device, is only the future moving forward.
  • Reply 3 of 11
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,331member
    I feel like John Legere is laughing while saying, "don't twist my arm too much, DOJ."
    chasm
  • Reply 4 of 11
    alexkalexk Posts: 2member
    passerbye said:
    > "slow to adopt the technology — T-Mobile has". Well, sort of. T Mobile only supports pre-paid plans via eSIM, not regular ongoing post-paid customers. They won't support my iPhone XR with an eSIM. I've been a customer for years. Employees seem flummoxed as to the why this limitation, distinction.
    I have eSIM support for my T-Mobile regular monthly plan (not pre-paid). I turned it on as soon as the my iPhone XS Max was available last year. There is info online on what magic words to say to the reps to have it enabled (have forgotten the words now).
    GeorgeBMaccornchip
  • Reply 5 of 11
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,262member
    alexk said:
    passerbye said:
    > "slow to adopt the technology — T-Mobile has". Well, sort of. T Mobile only supports pre-paid plans via eSIM, not regular ongoing post-paid customers. They won't support my iPhone XR with an eSIM. I've been a customer for years. Employees seem flummoxed as to the why this limitation, distinction.
    I have eSIM support for my T-Mobile regular monthly plan (not pre-paid). I turned it on as soon as the my iPhone XS Max was available last year. There is info online on what magic words to say to the reps to have it enabled (have forgotten the words now).
    "Speak, friend, and enter" -- any Hobbit knows that -- wizards not so much....
  • Reply 6 of 11
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,262member
    It's not eSIM, but I got a picture of the dramatic differences between Sprint and T-Mobile when me and my grandson pulled off a complicated transaction at the Apple Store:
    I had an iPhone 6+ on T-Mobile he had an iPhone 7 on Sprint -- both "SIMless", carrier free phones.   We wanted to trade in my iPhone 6+ for an Xr for him while I would get his iPhone 7.

    The Apple rep simply took my SIM out of my iPhone 6+ stuck it in his iPhone 7 (that had been running Sprint) and presto -- my "new" iPhone was fully activated and functional. on T-Mobile.

    His new Xr was a whole different story -- Apple couldn't activate it because the "authorized user" (his father) wasn't there.   So, we took it home, inserted his old SIM into the Xr and tried to activate it online.   When it wouldn't, we called Sprint who eventually figured out that his SIM from his iPhone 7 wouldn't work in an Xr -- so we were told to go to Spint to get a SIM that would work.   When we did, they told us:  "Sorry, we don't have the right SIM -- go back to the Apple Store and they always have them". -- which we did then returned to Sprint where they finally activated it!

    T-Mobile:  Smooth & easy
    Sprint;   Nightmare

    But, in any case, eSIM likely would have eliminated 90% of the hassles.

    But through it all the Apple reps were FANTASTIC!   Knowledgeable, courteous, respectful and professional.
    chasmpbruttocornchip
  • Reply 7 of 11
    seanismorrisseanismorris Posts: 1,105member
    alexk said:
    passerbye said:
    > "slow to adopt the technology — T-Mobile has". Well, sort of. T Mobile only supports pre-paid plans via eSIM, not regular ongoing post-paid customers. They won't support my iPhone XR with an eSIM. I've been a customer for years. Employees seem flummoxed as to the why this limitation, distinction.
    I have eSIM support for my T-Mobile regular monthly plan (not pre-paid). I turned it on as soon as the my iPhone XS Max was available last year. There is info online on what magic words to say to the reps to have it enabled (have forgotten the words now).
    I have T-Mobile for both my iPhone & iPad Pro, after have intermittent issues (no service, poor connection) I switch from eSIM to T-Mobile SIMs  (at their recommendation) and it fixed most of the problems.  eSIM might be “supported” it they’re not recommended...

    To clarify, this isn’t on Apple but half-ass support for eSIMs by US wireless providers.  Making it convenient isn’t their priority...
    edited July 26 GeorgeBMaccornchip
  • Reply 8 of 11
    caladaniancaladanian Posts: 121member
    I just found out that’s Apple Watch 4 does not support roaming - it’s totally depending on your iPhone abroad and only able to connect to 4G in your home country. Wtf. :neutral: 
    libertyforall
  • Reply 9 of 11
    libertyforalllibertyforall Posts: 1,308member
    How dumb Apple did not put it in the iPhone X!  FAIL.
  • Reply 10 of 11
    passerbye said:
    > "slow to adopt the technology — T-Mobile has". Well, sort of. T Mobile only supports pre-paid plans via eSIM, not regular ongoing post-paid customers. They won't support my iPhone XR with an eSIM. I've been a customer for years. Employees seem flummoxed as to the why this limitation, distinction.
    I suspect it might be just to satisfy the SIM swapping international travelers out there. If you are regular post paid, they probably want you sticking around. Personally I still haven't figured out how to even set up my eSIM with T-Mobile when I'm back in the US so I just pop mine out and physically swap.
  • Reply 11 of 11
    alexk said:
    passerbye said:
    > "slow to adopt the technology — T-Mobile has". Well, sort of. T Mobile only supports pre-paid plans via eSIM, not regular ongoing post-paid customers. They won't support my iPhone XR with an eSIM. I've been a customer for years. Employees seem flummoxed as to the why this limitation, distinction.
    I have eSIM support for my T-Mobile regular monthly plan (not pre-paid). I turned it on as soon as the my iPhone XS Max was available last year. There is info online on what magic words to say to the reps to have it enabled (have forgotten the words now).
    "Speak, friend, and enter" -- any Hobbit knows that -- wizards not so much....
    No its “Would you kindly?” ala Bioshock. 
    edited July 28
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