Sunday, November 28

Easier to terminate contracts: has the SIM card come to an end?

In a few weeks the go-ahead will be given for the new version of the Telecommunications Act. This means that mobile customers can enjoy times of previously unknown freedom, thanks to short notice periods, for example. But the TKG amendment could have completely different consequences and cost us the classic SIM card.

Hand on heart, who has ever seriously dealt with eSIM? The waste-free and flexible alternative to the classic SIM card has actually been available for years. The three large German mobile phone providers Telekom, o2 and Vodafone each have their own offers, and apart from that there are already a few choices.

TKG amendment: eSIM shortly before the breakthrough at Telekom, CO2 and Co.?

Still lead purely digital mobile phone contracts have been a shadowy existence so far. But this could soon change with the provisions of the new Telecommunications Act (TKG). They give consumers more rights when they terminate their contract, for example, and it becomes easier to switch to other tariffs or to other providers. That, in turn, goes particularly well with an eSIM, argues the Wirtschaftswoche.

The idea is quite simple: Anyone who has previously signed a mobile phone contract will usually receive the SIM card in the mail days later. An activation code is also sent separately by letter, usually on the following day. With the eSIM chip already installed in some devices, handle the hassle. Conclude the contract once online or add or debit new options and everything is done with a scanned QR code. Instead of days to weeks, it takes minutes at most.

Anyone who, as a consumer, has already thought for a long time about which provider or tariff is the right one and has come dangerously close to the end of the deadline, will appreciate this option. It all sounds very flexible – and it is. So it actually fits well with the new regulations.

The eSIM is not yet finding its way into cheap smartphones. Until that changes, you will find in the Video our bargain recommendations:

But what is still standing in the way of this flexibility? the rigid contract structures Thanks to the amendment to the TKG, o2 is already going further than the law requires.

Other obstacles are more difficult to overcome. On the one hand, there are so far relatively few devices in which eSIM chips are installed. iPhones are at the forefront and you can also find the practical chips in other ways rather in high-end devices – in addition to smartphones also in tablets, laptops, IoT devices and already now especially in fitness trackers and smartwatches. In the cell phone market, however, “eSIM-ready” is still the exception.

Thirdly – we have to be self-critical at times – contradictingly stands for the triumphant advance of the eSIM Convenience from us customers opposite to. Habits usually prevail for some time over technically possible innovations.

The SIM card is not (yet) a discontinued model

From December onwards, things could change little by little. The more consumers learn to appreciate the new legal flexibility, the more attractive the eSIM is likely to become sooner or later. Nice side effect: With the SIM card removed, millions of tons of plastic waste would be avoided. Until then, we think it will be but still take some time especially since the handling of the eSIM experience from the editorial office is still expandable.

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