Verizon recently announced Gemalto and G&D as their partner for SIM cards and remote provisioning for their LTE rollout. Remote provisioning of SIM cards (e.g. change the list of preferred network operators, network name, etc.) has become pretty much common over the past couple of years but there might be a twist with Verizon and LTE:
Today, remote provisioning of SIM cards is done via SMS. When such special SMS messages are received by the mobile device it automatically forwards them to the SIM card for execution without interaction with the user. What I am not quite sure is how that will work over LTE, because SMS over LTE is not standardized. Of course it would be possible to use the "3GPP CS fallback" feature to 2G GSM or 3G UMTS to receive the SMS messages. However, in Verizon's case that might not be possible for two reasons:
- Their legacy system is based on CDMA, which does not have SIM cards. Hence, the CDMA part of a mobile phone might not have the necessary standardized software to forward those data SMSes to the SIM card.
- The current LTE specs of Verizon say nothing that LTE terminals have to have a CDMA part.
So I am not quite sure how over the air provisioning will work in practice in Verizon's case!? Has there been something standardized in LTE or CDMA for "native" remote provisioning of SIM cards? If you have more info, I'd be happy to hear from you!