Because eSIMs are incorporated in the phone’s processor, not all mobile handsets have this functionality.
Today, actual SIM cards are available in a variety of sizes and shapes to accommodate devices of all sizes. If your phone is unlocked, switching networks is as easy as removing and replacing the SIM card. However, this is not the only method for consumers to switch networks, as eSIMs are becoming popular. If you’ve been curious about what an eSIM is, you’ve come to the right spot. Here, we will attempt to address any questions you may have about eSIMs.
What is an electronic SIM card?
As its name suggests, an eSIM or embedded SIM is a SIM card that is integrated within the device itself. An eSIM is essentially an electronic and programmable version of a standard SIM card on which a SIM profile must be downloaded from the carrier. Because you may connect to your carrier’s network without a physical SIM card, it is also known as a virtual SIM.
In addition, there is no eSIM card slot on the phone, and you cannot physically remove the card from the handset. It is embedded in the phone’s chipset and cannot be removed. However, similar to a swappable SIM card, the eSIM can be changed to a different network (assuming it is not locked). eSIMs can be rewritten. That means you can switch networks without having to remove your SIM card. However, you must delete the current eSIM profile and activate the new one.
eSIMs offer options for phones that lack a second SIM card slot. The majority of major manufacturers, including Apple, Google, Samsung, etc., have implemented eSIMs in some capacity.
The Difference Between eSIM and Physical SIM
eSIM and physical SIM provide the same functions, however, they differ in several ways:
- The SIM card is detachable. Not the case with eSIM, which cannot be physically removed.
- With real SIM cards, it is simple to switch between phones. To switch an eSIM from one device to another, you will typically need to contact your cell provider.
- SMS services may be interrupted for up to 24 hours while you transfer your eSIM to a new handset. However, this security measure may not apply to all mobile service providers. In India, for instance, they ceased functioning when using the JIO network, according to our observations. You may be able to avoid this difficulty by carefully reading the instructions before transferring your eSIM to a different device. This is not the case when transferring a physical SIM card to a new handset.
- SIM cards can save the contact information. This cannot be done using eSIMs. However, this should not matter much as the majority of users now keep their contacts in the cloud.
Who May Utilize eSIM?
eSIM is not currently accessible to all users. To give it a try, you must have a particular phone type and use a particular network. Today, the majority of flagship devices support eSIM, including:
- iPhone XS / XS Max or later models
- iDevice SE (3rd Gen)
- Google Pixel 3+
- Samsung Galaxy S20 series Plus
In addition to mobile phones, many smartwatches and computers include eSIM technology, including Apple Watch Series 3 and later, Samsung Galaxy watches, and numerous PCs. Other Internet of Things goods, such as automobiles, smart meters, security systems, etc., can also support eSIM.
AT&T, T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless, Truphone, Ubigi, and Visible all support eSIM in the United States.
eSIM can be requested by both new and existing users of a carrier. Existing subscribers will no longer be able to utilize their regular SIM card after activating eSIM.
On the other hand, an increasing number of smartphones feature dual SIM capabilities, with one SIM functioning as an eSIM. This means that a single device can support both a traditional SIM card and an eSIM, enabling the usage of two separate phone numbers.
Activating an eSIM
Unlike a physical SIM, eSIM eliminates the requirement to visit a store or place a mail order to obtain a replacement SIM card. Using “remote SIM provisioning,” network providers can transmit information to your eSIM that enables it to connect to their network.
The activation steps for eSIM vary slightly between mobile operators and devices. However, in the majority of instances, the cell operator will provide a QR code containing the eSIM profile that you must scan using your mobile device.
Alternately, you must manually activate the profile by providing the IMEI and IMSI codes for your phone. Don’t fret. When you apply for an eSIM, your cellphone provider will provide you with detailed instructions. Below is an example of a text message delivered by our cell provider that contains the whole activation instructions for our eSIM.
Benefits of eSIM Cards
eSIM’s greatest benefit is that it eliminates the need for individual SIM cards. If you wish to utilize various plans on your phone, you can easily switch between them. This makes it ideal for network-hoppers who do not want to fiddle with physical SIM cards each time they switch networks.
eSIM cannot be destroyed or lost, unlike real SIM cards, unless the phone is lost. Additionally, eSIM is safe because it cannot be easily replicated, provided you do not disclose the QR code or other vital information such as IMSI or virtual SIM number.
In addition, manufacturers can create slimmer phones by eliminating the tray required for SIM cards. You need not be concerned about the SIM swap; simply enjoy your slimmer gadget!
Negative aspects of eSIM cards
Companies have complete control over the process of transferring an eSIM to a new phone, as opposed to users being able to do it without engaging the carrier. To relocate the eSIM to a different phone, you must retrace all the processes you took during activation (again, SMS may cease working for 24 hours!). One of the biggest downsides of eSIM is that it is more difficult to transfer to a new phone, unlike traditional SIM cards, which can be easily removed and reinserted between devices.
In addition, to use eSIM, both your network provider and smartphone must support the eSIM capability.
eSIM additionally complicates the identification and resolution of network faults. To determine if a problem is caused by the network or the phone, one would often remove the SIM card or insert it into a different device. This is difficult to manage with eSIMs.
The change from a user-replaceable SIM to a fixed SIM inside the device is leading some customers to express concern about the gadget’s lack of customization, as this is another element they cannot modify.