The GSM standard, the near-universal (cough Verizon cough) standard for cellular networking, isn't exactly the smartest at the moment. It can handle calls and texts and transmit a web connection but it offers very little in the way of embedded smart networking features that would help make connecting and integrating seamlessly with other network forms seamless and simple. And where there have been attempts to integrate wireless network technology in a Frankenstein manner, such as with VoLTE or WiFi calling, the certification that requires individual OEMs and carriers to collaborate is clunky, slow and inconsistent. And it seems the GSMA has finally taken note of this, as they are now working with carriers and OEMs to create a new, open standard for network technology and carrier feature integration.
Given the status quo, there is no guarantee that advanced network features like the ones mentioned above will work on your device if you just pop in a SIM card for any given network; features like this require a certain set of system embedded files and configuration presets, so if you don't have those, you won't get to take full advantage of what your carrier has to offer. The GSMA, after hearing users, carriers and OEMs complain about this for years, have sought to fix the issue. They are seeking to create a "Centralised Device Settings Database", an online repository maintained by them. This repository would allow carriers to upload universal device settings that will work across the board, solving testing and compatibility issues. When you insert a SIM card in a phone with support for this system, it would grab the necessary settings from the database (probably going through the OEM) to enable video calling, VoLTE, WiFi calling, and other advanced networking features.
All things considered, this is great news for the end user. This would mean that you don't have to worry about losing out on advanced networking features that may be essential to your day-to-day smartphone usage when moving from one manufacturer to another. The open standard should also be cheaper for both carriers and OEMs, as carriers wouldn't have to test each and every phone, and OEMs wouldn't have to integrate multiple carrier files into the ROM. Everyone wins!
So far, quite a few device manufacturers and carriers have gotten on board, including some of the worlds biggest and brightest. The list includes AT&T, Verizon, Three, Vodafone, Samsung, LG, and more. While this initiative is still in the planning phases, it has a lot of potential in the future, so we're excited to see this come to fruition.
What do you guys think? Are you happy to see a more seamless and open network standard take off in the near future? Let us know in the comments, or post over in the forums with your thoughts.