Verizon today said it will allow potential subscribers to test the Verizon network before they sign up. If they have an unlocked eSIM smartphone, they can trial Verizon’s network for free, over a 30-day period, without any contractual obligations.
Verizon is following in the footsteps of T-Mobile, which announced a testing deal via eSIM in late August. And AT&T has made a similar move with its Cricket prepaid service.
Carriers are jumping on the eSIM bandwagon at the same time Apple has made its new iPhone 14 eSIM-only.
Embedded subscriber identity module (eSIM) is already built into many smartphones, and it’s the only SIM for the iPhone 14. eSIM makes it unnecessary to switch out physical SIM cards. When customers want to change service providers, they can use software to make the switch via eSIM. They no longer have to visit a store or try to do it themselves with the pointy end of a paper clip.
For its part, Verizon is calling its offer Verizon Test Drive.
It says potential subscribers can scan a QR code with their mobile phone to download the My Verizon app. Then, they just need to follow a few steps to sign up for the program and activate an unlocked, eSIM-capable smartphone.
During their 30-day trial there won’t be any disruptions to their existing service, so they can go back to that if they want.
During the test with Verizon, they’ll receive Unlimited domestic talk and text and up to 100 GB of 4G/5G data.
In a jab to its competitors, Verizon said customers must check to make sure their phones are unlocked. “Some carriers make it hard to try other networks for fear you’ll never come back,” said Verizon in its announcement today.
AT&T Assistant VP for device architecture Jason Sikes recently told Fierce, “This year was a huge, huge step with the iPhone 14 being eSIM only. It is now without question front and center, and so that has driven a lot of effort both on the technology side and the business side.”
Analysts will be watching the eSIM trend closely to see if it affects churn among the wireless carriers.
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