Home Networking company Visible from Verizon uses eSIM for free network test

Visible from Verizon uses eSIM for free network test


Verizon’s Visible brand announced Thursday that it will use eSIM technology to allow potential customers to test its service for free for two weeks.

The company said potential customers with eSIM-enabled phones like the iPhone 13 can visit visible.com/free-trial to sign up for the offer. They will be given a new phone number that they can use for the trial. Participants will be able to keep their current number active during the trial. At the end of the trial, they can choose to switch to Visible by signing up with either their new number or their existing number.

“We have heard from many potential consumers that Visible sounds too good to be true. So we ask consumers to test us,” the company said in a statement. “Now users can see how Visible’s service works face to face with their current operator. This decision also indicates our continued commitment to eSIM. ”

Visible has supported eSIM technology for over a year for customer activations. Visible confirmed to Light Reading that more than 20% of its customers’ gross net additions already use eSIM technology and that the company plans to increase that figure to 100% “over time.”

Visible offers a detailed explanation of eSIM on its website.
(Source: Visible)

“As a digital-only operator, we’re looking at a technology that makes change easier, and something digital natives will embrace quickly – and that’s eSIM,” the company wrote in response to questions from Light Reading. “For us, the free trial is the next evolution of eSIM.”

A new strategy from Verizon

Visible’s offering represents an important advance in the eSIM market as Verizon is the parent company of Visible. About five years ago, Verizon’s management team decided to enter the prepaid device market with a new stealth brand that didn’t carry the attributes inherited from Verizon’s big red logo. Indeed, company officials were so eager to point out the differences between Visible and Verizon that they based Visible in Denver, away from Verizon’s headquarters in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.

In launching its new brand, Verizon management also decided to use cutting-edge cloud-based networking technologies. The result, according to company officials, is a “digital native” app-based business that has no physical retail operations and squarely targets millennials and millennials.

According to Verizon’s new Chief Consumer Officer, Manon Brouillette, Visible will be alongside Verizon’s other new prepaid brands such as TracFone and Straight Talk.

So, Visible’s new eSIM offering essentially represents a further dip of the toe in water by Verizon in eSIM technology. And this is remarkable given that the Department of Justice around 2017 launched an investigation into Verizon and other U.S. carriers for potentially blocking the use of eSIM technology in the U.S. market.

According to the DoJ’s investigation, AT&T and Verizon have moved within the GSMA trade association to block the implementation of eSIM in the US market “for the benefit of incumbent members by reducing their competitive pressures”. The DoJ closed its investigation in 2019 following new rules within the GSMA designed to prevent operators from blocking technologies like eSIM.

Visible from Verizon isn’t the only company currently testing new eSIM services. US Mobile, an MVNO that straddles the T-Mobile and Verizon networks, recently announced the commercial availability of eSIM technology for its service. And T-Mobile launched a similar iOS “drive test” app last year using eSIM that lets customers use its network for free for 30 days. A T-Mobile representative earlier this year described the offer as a “pilot program” and provided no further details. T-Mobile’s app, however, is still available in the Apple App Store and was updated about two months ago “with bug fixes and performance improvements.”

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?? Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G and Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano