The Netherlands is known for a few strange things, like their Red Light District, tolerance of marijuana and their high percentage of cyclists, but now they have done something that holds the potential to change the entire mobile industry. The Netherlands has made it possible for any company to provide customers with its own SIM cards, which are not tied to any specific carrier, but can be configured to work with any desired network.
The move is likely to draw some ire from carriers there, but it spells a sense of freedom for those who rely on network providers daily — in other words, all of us. As unprecedented as it is, it just might be the move that changes how this industry actually works. Supposedly, customers would be able to switch between carriers a lot easier than the current set up. This would turn the mobile industry on its head, and take away the power from the carriers, something that they seem to have too much of in the U.S.
Besides the OEMs, the carrier agnostic-SIM (interchangeable) opens the doors for a new level of connectivity. It’s not that we don’t have other gadgets connected to the internet today, but such a precedence makes it easier for smartwatches, tablets or cars to switch carriers at will. As Van der Berg, member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) puts it, device makers may be able to offer services with multiple carriers, thereby enabling customers to seamlessly transition from one carrier to a more suitable one as needs be. These SIMs technically remove the fears of carrier lock-in to some degree while opening up new passage ways for connected devices and the types of ‘contractual agreements’ that are set in place.
Traditional carriers will understandably oppose such a move via any means necessary, but as a consumer, it’s a step in the right direction. All the technicalities have not been sorted out as yet, but the will is there, and it will be done eventually. With each new day is an opportunity for change. Some changes are adopted while others are not, but change always gives us an opportunity to rethink, and reconsider what we have accepted as the norm. Tell us readers, would you like to have a system like the recently implemented one in The Netherlands, or would you rather things stay as is?