Tuesday, 16 October 2018 06:11

eSIMs: telcos fear losing users, claims Boost founder

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eSIMs: telcos fear losing users, claims Boost founder Pixabay

Mobile virtual network operator Boost Mobile claims telecommunications carriers in Australia are holding back on supporting eSIMs as they may well end up losing customers.

The company's founder, Peter Adderton, was quoted by News Limited as saying carriers did not support eSIMs because it gave users the power to switch at will. Boost resells Telstra's mobile service.

Not a single major Australian carrier has yet announced support for eSIMs which came into prominence after the recent Apple launch of its XS and XR models.

As iTWire editor Stan Beer pointed out in an op-ed last month, the eSIM capability would be a significant advantage to Australians who travel overseas frequently.

"An eSIM is an embedded chip in the phone that is software writable, so in future users could switch mobile operators without changing a physical SIM," Beer wrote.

The News Limited report quoted an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission spokesman as saying it was watching the movement of telcos to support the new technology.

Adderton told News Limited: "The carriers do not support eSIM because that puts the power into consumers’ hands and the consumers can leave without having do to a SIM swap.

“Subscribers should be able to move, if you do the best job and offer the best plan and the best network and give good customer service you should keep that customer.

“Carriers will have lost the ability to be able to lock you in to their network, because you will be able to take your same phone and switch to another network seamlessly.”

Telstra has 43% of mobile subscribers in Australia, Optus 28% and Vodafone 18%, with smaller companies catering to the remaining 11%.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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