China Mobile and NTT DOCOMO (DOCOMO) announced today that on July 2 they will launch an eSIM(1) solution to enable cross-vendor SIM profile switching from DOCOMO to China Mobile.
This solution allows DOCOMO customers from Japan with IoT equipment in China to switch the mobile numbers (profiles) of their IoT equipment from DOCOMO to China Mobile even with different SIM vendors adopted by the two operators, thus eliminating the need to replace physical SIM cards.
Up until now, different mobile operators were required to use the same vendor to overwrite eSIM profiles when switching between their mobile networks. The new GSMA 3.1(2) specifications adopted by this eSIM solution, however, allow the overwriting of eSIM information of operators who use different SIM vendors, making this the world's first multi-vendor eSIM system.
By doing away with the need to replace physical SIM cards, the new system will enable smooth switching between mobile networks when companies send connected automobiles or construction, agriculture or production machinery from Japan for use in China.
DOCOMO commercialized the eSIM solution in 2014 and launched a commercial service with Telefonica Brasil S.A. (Vivo) in 2015. DOCOMO and China Mobile International signed an IoT Service Agreement including eSIM solution in November 2017. DOCOMO has also been pursuing various eSIM projects through partnerships with international mobile operators including IoT World Alliance(3), SCFA(4) and Conexus(5). Gradual expansion to Europe, Asia, Middle East and America is planned. Going forward, DOCOMO will continue to support the global expansion of customers' IoT services leveraging its eSIM solution and global IoT solution "Globiot".
Information about the multi-vendor eSIM solution will be exhibited at China Mobile's booth during Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2018 from June 27 to 29.
(1) eSIM (Embedded Subscriber Identity Module): Solution enabling switching between mobile operators remotely. Traditional solutions require the manual replacement of SIM cards.
(2) GSMA 3.1: The Remote Provisioning Architecture for Embedded UICC Technical (3) Specification Version 3.1 standardized by the GSMA (GSM Association) organization. GSMA is the world's most renowned telecommunications industry group, comprising more than 800 operators, 300 device manufacturers and IT companies.
(3) IoT World Alliance is a global partnership of nine telecommunications providers. The members are DOCOMO, KPN, Rogers, SingTel, Telefonica, Telenor Connexion, Telstra, Veon and DNA. (Est. 2013)
(4) SCFA (Strategic Cooperation Framework Agreement) is a cooperative business initiative of DOCOMO, China Mobile Communications Group and KT Corporation. (Est. 2011)
(5) Conexus (Conexus Mobile Alliance) is one of the largest mobile alliances in the Asia-Pacific region. (Est. 2006).
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