Ministry of Transport and Communications aims to ensure the functioning of eSIM and enable remote activation of mobile services

Date

2019 08 13

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Taking into account the progress of mobile communication technologies and modern trends, the Ministry of Transport and Communications aims to ensure the possibility to use the embedded mobile subscriber identity modules eSIM in Lithuania, that would replace standard SIM cards. The new technology would enable remote activation of mobile services and replacement of a mobile service provider without changing the SIM card.

‘The innovative eSIM technology is important for anyone who uses or is planning to use mobile-based devices because the users will not need to change their SIM cards and will be able to activate their mobile services remotely. The new technology will make it possible to give up conventional SIM cards, making it easier for end users to switch mobile networks or service providers. The positive outlook for this technology is also indicated by the European Union directives which encourage its introduction in EU countries,’ says Vice-Minister of Transport and Communications Paulius Martinkus.

Currently, mobile services are provided to Lithuanian users through SIM cards. The service provider gives the user a physical SIM card that must be installed on the device in order to use mobile services. Meanwhile, the latest mobile devices – cell phones, smartwatches, IoT and M2M devices such as smart metering devices, sensors or controllers – have a pre-installed microchip instead of a regular physical SIM card and require remote activation of mobile services to be able to operate. Enabling the use of embedded subscriber identity modules eSIM in Lithuania would allow the users to remotely activate their mobile services and replace their mobile service provider without replacing their SIM card.

eSIM is already available in such European Union countries as Austria, Estonia, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, France, Finland, Sweden, Germany, etc.

According to the data of the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA), the number of active SIM cards in the world already exceeds the global population. In Lithuania, the situation is the same. According to the data of the Communications Regulatory Authority, in the first half of this year there were almost 4.5 million SIM cards in Lithuania. Discarding conventional physical SIM cards would make it possible to save the resources needed for their production and disposal, reduce the administrative burden on consumers and businesses, and increase the competition between mobile service providers.

To ensure the functioning of eSIM and the remote activation of mobile services in Lithuania, the Ministry of Transport and Communications is consulting the interested institutions and business entities.