What is eSIM and what does it mean for your new phone or Apple Watch?
The first fully eSIM-only mobile phone has now been announced in the form of Motorola’s Razr flip phone-we should see more, but the current trend is mobile phones that support both eSIM and standard SIM.
Both use eSIM to replace the mobile phone with the second SIM card. These still have room for traditional Micro SIMs that you use regularly, but you can add a second number or data contract via eSIM.
Although most mobile phones do not support eSIM, it is only a matter of time before many smartphones adopt electronic SIM cards, which fundamentally eliminates the need for physical SIM cards.
The use of eSIM brings many advantages to device manufacturers and networks, but there are also some advantages for you because you can store plans in multiple networks from eSIM.
Therefore, you can use one number for business, another number for personal calls, or use a data roaming SIM card in another country.
You can even have a completely independent voice and data plan. But what exactly is eSIM? What will it offer you? Let us explain more.
What is eSIM?
The term “eSIM” simply means an embedded SIM card. There is no physical SIM card involved, and you do not need to perform a physical exchange.
eSIM needs to be supported and enabled by the network or operator, and not all networks support eSIM.
eSIM is essentially a small chip in a mobile phone, which works similarly to the NFC chip used for payment technologies such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.
The information on the eSIM is rewritable, which means you can decide to change the operator with a simple phone call. They are really easy to add to a data plan, and it only takes a few minutes to connect a device with an eSIM to a mobile account.
And, as we mentioned, eSIM is defined by the GSMA, the Mobile Network Association, and this organization for global eSIM standards.
Are there any disadvantages to eSIM?
For consumers, there may be disadvantaged in terms of choice. If a mobile phone is sold exclusively, all mobile phones may be pre-installed with a specific network, rather than open to everyone.
Besides, people cannot easily switch phones using eSIM unless they contact the network. This is not a consideration for most people, but for some people, it will be offensive.
For most people using Android or iOS, thanks to cloud backup, the days of storing numbers on the SIM card are numbered anyway, but for those using older or cheaper phones, it does change. Way of thinking. You will no longer be able to physically replace the SIM card with a new phone.
Which devices support eSIM?
Apple has switched to eSIM for iPad Pro, Apple Watch Series 3 and Watch Series 4 and Series 5, and provides dual SIM support for iPhone XS and XS Max and iPhone XR and iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max.
Google’s Pixel 2 also supports eSIM, but initially, it was only used for Google’s Google Fi in the United States. Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, and Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, and the latest Pixel 4a are the same.
Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra also have eSIM. As we mentioned, Moto Razr flip phone also provides eSIM support and Windows 10 also supports eSIM.
Certain devices with cellular modems (such as PCs supported by Qualcomm Snapdragon) can use eSIM instead of inserting a traditional microSIM card into the slot.
eSIM is very suitable for travelers?
eSIM means that you can go to another country by adding a roaming eSIM to your phone while retaining access to the main “home” number.
This is one of the current shortcomings because, for example, if you change your SIM abroad, you cannot access your number.
Truphone’s Steve Alder said: “eSIM has the potential to eliminate roaming charges abroad.” “It also enables people to quickly switch operators to connect in areas where there is no signal, thereby making room for new features. Free up space or extend battery life, and reduce the risk of device theft.
How will eSIM work in practice?
The EE network said that if you configure physical and eSIM and connect to two separate networks, the iPhone will display both networks on the screen at the same time.
If the handset is on standby and both a SIM card and an eSIM card are provided, the customer will be able to receive calls and text messages on both numbers at the same time.
As the instructions below show, you can choose to make a call, use SMS, and the “default” line used by iMessage and FaceTime. The other line is only for text messages and voice.
You can store multiple eSIMs on your iPhone, but you can only use one at a time. You can switch eSIM by clicking Settings> Cellular> Cellular Plan and clicking the plan you want to use. If you are in the UK, it is mobile data.
How to use eSIM on a compatible iPhone?
If you have a QR code:
- 1. Go to Settings>Phone.
- 2. Click Add mobile phone plan.
- 3. Use your iPhone to scan the QR code provided by the operator you may be asked to enter the activation code.
The internal appearance of the EE eSIM package is as follows (obviously, we have blurred the QR code):
Or, you may be asked to activate eSIM through the carrier application:
- 1. Go to the App Store and download the operator’s application.
- 2. Use the app to purchase mobile phone packages.
- 3. Then, add the data plan to the iPhone’s settings-see below.
This is how it works in the Truphone app-select the desired plan and pay with Apple Pay. Then, the phone’s “Settings” app will select a plan, so you need to click Add data plan.
You should also add a label to the plan in “Settings”> “Cellular”. Click the number whose label you want to change. Then click “Cellular Plan Label” and select a new label or enter a custom label.
What does eSIM mean to the device?
One of the advantages it offers to phone manufacturers is that we should buy smaller devices because there is no need to hold the SIM card or the tray to hold it.
There is also no need for a network to manufacture or distribute a large number of SIM cards. eSIMs will also be very suitable for other devices, such as laptops and tablets, where seamless connections will become the norm.
Vodafone said that eSIM will enable more connected devices, simply because eSIM does not require much space inside the device, allowing fitness trackers and even glasses to have independent 4G or 5G connectivity in an unprecedented way.
Which networks support eSIM?
The eSIM can be obtained from the selected operator. You will need to have a carrier’s app or a QR code that can be scanned. Similarly, operators will need to support eSIM. In the UK, EE, O2, and Vodafone support eSIM, although Vodafone currently only supports Apple Watch.
In the United States, AT&T, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless support eSIM.
Three currently do not support eSIM. O2 recently launched eSIM on compatible Apple and Pixel phones. O2 said that customers only need to enter your local store or call customer service to get an eSIM package or download an eSIM.
With EE, you can get a traditional-looking SIM card package from the store. But there is no SIM card inside. Instead, you get instructions and QR codes so that your device can extract detailed information. Each eSIM package has its number, just like a traditional SIM package.