When you’re faced with the prospect of switching carriers, it’s not uncommon to stumble upon incompatibilities between your phone and your new service provider. This is especially true of networks that support newer technologies like VoLTE, ViLTE and VoWiFi. As a result, there’s inevitably some confusion over what works and what doesn’t. Thankfully, though, carriers are starting to commit to the GSMA Association’s newly launched centralized Device Settings Database (DSD), which proposes a mechanism to reduce fragmentation between devices and mobile networks.
The GSMA’s goal with the DSD is one-step configuration: Ideally, you’ll stick a SIM card in your phone and get service immediately, regardless of your device’s firmware and APN configuration. There would be a large number of variables and flags carriers could set, which unlocked devices would download automatically when they connect to the network for the first time.
According to GSMA, over 60% of devices are “open market devices”, or phones unlocked and free from any carrier, and not all of them have automatic configuration.
So what’s stopping carriers from rolling out DSD tomorrow? The support of phone manufacturers, mainly. The DSD needs OEMs to implement support natively, and changes would have to be made to Android, too.
Still, it’s a worthwhile mission. The DSD could help deal with device fragmentation and provide a better experience for users. It’s also in the interest of OEMs, as it would decrease the amount of back-and-forth between OEMs and carriers that takes place before every major software update.