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What is eSIM: Advantages, Drawbacks, and Activation Process

What is eSIM: Advantages, Drawbacks, and Activation Process

The use of SIM cards, which have been around for 30 years, may soon come to an end due to the emergence of eSIM. This new standard eliminates the need for physical SIM cards, making it easier to switch phones and access mobile networks.

What is eSIM?

what is esim


An eSIM, or embedded SIM, is a digital SIM soldered directly onto a device’s board and can be remotely programmed through software. It allows you to activate a cellular plan from your carrier without using a physical SIM card. With eSIMs, you can switch providers with the touch of a button, add a second plan when you’re roaming or if you want a separate work line, and change your wireless carrier, data, or service plan through software.

Benefits of eSIM 

what is esim


The benefits of eSIM are:

1. Easier Switching

With eSIM, users can activate a new contract remotely without waiting for a new SIM card to arrive through the mail.

2. Multiple Networks

Users can install multiple eSIMs on their device and use two phone numbers simultaneously.

3. Dual SIM

All iPhone models that support eSIM can have multiple eSIMs and use Dual SIM with two active SIMs simultaneously.

4. Flexibility

eSIMs give users much more flexibility in managing their service plans. It lets users switch providers with the touch of a button and add a second plan when roaming or if they want a separate work line.

5. Space-Saving

eSIMs take up less space inside gadgets, allowing makers to reclaim more space inside their devices for other electronics.

6. Pro-Consumer Feature

eSIMs are a powerfully pro-consumer feature if implemented correctly.

7. Android Compatibility

Several Pixel and Samsung devices are eSIM-compatible, offering users the advantages of eSIM.

Limitations of Esim

what is esim


The drawbacks of eSIM are:

1. Limited Carrier Compatibility

eSIM only allows the phone to be used with one carrier because it is incompatible with any other carrier.

2. Slow Adoption

eSIM technology is still not widely adopted, and some carriers still require a physical SIM card to work.

3. Limited Device Compatibility

Not all smartphones have eSIM technology, and only specific models of Apple, Samsung, Google, and Motorola support eSIM.

4. Difficulty in Switching Between Platforms

Shifting eSIM from iPhone to Android is not easy, and the eSIM infrastructure still requires a lot of work.

5. Security Concerns

Since eSIMs are not like traditional SIMs that can be physically swapped out, it may be harder to get rid of the SIM if the device is stolen, but it could also be used against the user.

Difference between esim vs. physical sim 

what is esim


Aspect Physical SIM eSIM
Ease of changing Slightly hard to change each time Fairly easy; all you need to do is scan a QR code from the carrier
Form factor Physical card Fully digital, built into a device’s hardware
Programming Pre-programmed with carrier information Remotely programmable
Compatibility Works with most devices Requires a device with eSIM support
Security Can be physically removed from the device Cannot be removed but offers built-in security features
Advantages Widely used and compatible with most devices Offers several advantages over physical SIMs, such as remote provisioning and built-in security features

How to activate eSIM?

what is esim


Activating an eSIM on your device can be a simple process. You can obtain one by signing up for a new line or converting from a physical SIM. After requesting an eSIM, your service provider will send you a QR code via email or their website. The process may differ depending on the carrier, but instructions are usually available online. Some carriers may offer a smartphone app to streamline the process. However, make sure your device is unlocked if you plan to switch carriers.

How To manually activate an eSIM on Android and iOS, follow these steps:

For Android:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Network & Internet.
  3. Tap SIMs.
  4. Tap Download a SIM card instead.
  5. Follow the prompts to activate the eSIM profile.

For iOS:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap Cellular.
  3. Tap Add Cellular Plan.
  4. Use your phone’s camera to scan the QR code that your carrier provided.
  5. Follow the prompts to activate the eSIM profile

Devices that support eSIM 

What is esim



The following devices support eSIM:

  1. Apple iPhones: All of Apple’s latest iPhones, including the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone 12 range, and the iPad Pro.
  2. Samsung smartphones: Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, S20 Ultra, S21, S22, Flip and Fold series, and Note 20 series.
  3. Google Pixel smartphones: Pixel 2, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 5, Pixel 6, and Pixel 7 Pro.
  4. Motorola Razr: Only an eSIM; it doesn’t have a physical SIM card

Also Read: Apple VR Headset Massive Leak, Rumors, Key Features

US Carriers, which supports eSIM 

what is esim


Several US carriers support eSIM technology, which allows users to activate a new mobile plan without having to physically change their SIM card and easily switch carriers without purchasing a new SIM card. The following are some of the US carriers that support eSIM:

  1. Verizon: Verizon supports eSIM on all of its postpaid plans.
  2. AT&T: AT&T supports eSIM on its postpaid plans.
  3. T-Mobile: T-Mobile supports eSIM on its postpaid plans.
  4. US Cellular: US Cellular supports eSIM on its prepaid and postpaid plans.
  5. Truphone: Truphone supports eSIM on its prepaid and postpaid plans.
  6. GigSky: GigSky supports eSIM on its prepaid and postpaid plans.
  7. Google Fi: Google Fi supports eSIM on its postpaid plans.

Cost between eSIM and physical sim

what is esim


In general, there are no additional charges for setting up an eSIM as opposed to a physical SIM card, and providers may actually save money by using eSIM technology, as they don’t have to bear the manufacturing costs associated with physical SIM cards. Moreover, using eSIMs is also environmentally friendly, as it reduces packaging and plastic usage. 

However, it’s worth noting that policies regarding eSIM usage may differ depending on your carrier and region. For instance, some service providers may only allow eSIM usage on certain plans, such as postpaid rather than prepaid. Additionally, certain carriers in the US, like Verizon, may restrict eSIM functionality to certain devices, such as iPhones.


eSIMs are a new way to manage wireless plans with a digital SIM. It can activate a cellular plan remotely, switch providers with a button, and add a second plan for roaming or work. However, there are concerns about limited compatibility, slow adoption, platform switching, and security. It has the potential to revolutionize wireless plans.

For more, you can browse through Mobilegazettes.

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