NTT DoCoMo announced that it has collaborated with Gemalto to develop what it reckons is the world’s first multi-profile SIM for use via multi-carrier collaborations.
The multi-profile SIM allows users to switch between profiles (which include data such as contract information and telephone numbers) on their smartphone or tablet in different countries.
The SIM enables customers planning to stay overseas long term, such as expatriates and students, to not only access DoCoMo’s network while in Japan, but also voice and data communications services provided directly by affiliated carriers in their respective service areas overseas – eliminating the need to buy a local SIM or use a rental device.
Customers will be able to arrange to receive service from an affiliated carrier so that once they arrive overseas they can make calls and access the Internet from the moment they touch down.
DoCoMo said it will launch the multi-profile SIM service commercially sometime next year, but added a few caveats, starting with the fact that it won’t work overseas with locked devices. Also, the cellco said it hasn’t yet worked out which countries and regions the service will work, subscription structure or conditions of use, although it did say it will be limited to carriers affiliated with DoCoMo.
That likely means members of the Conexus Mobile Alliance – DoCoMo and Gemalto have been verifying the feasibility of the multi-profile SIM in joint tests with Conexus carriers since 2016. The newest tests will be conducted with TrueMove H in Thailand and VNPT in Vietnam from December to next March. Corporate customers traveling between Japan and those countries will use the data services provide by the multi-profile SIM, and a quality evaluation will be made based on their experiences.