What Is an eSIM and How Does It Work? (Full Details)

What Is an eSIM and How Does It Work? (Full Details)

A new kind of SIM? What is an eSIM?

To understand the new eSIM standards in the latest smartphones, we have to understand why there's a need for such a service and first what a SIM is. In short, SIM is the abbreviation of “subscriber identity module” and an eSIM is the abbreviation of embedded subscriber identity module that represents the new era of digital SIM that is available in all the latest flagship smartphones by major companies.

As most of the phones with eSIM support are using this latest technology along with traditional SIM card options, the first eSIM-only phone has been launched by Motorola, and it's a flip phone named Motorola Razr. iPhone and many other companies are also featuring eSIM with nano-SIM options and the eSIM is available in iOS and many Android devices as the second-sim option.

What is an eSIM?

To your surprise, the term eSIM is the abbreviation of "embedded SIM card". This technology doesn't need an external and physical SIM card. To clear your doubts, it doesn't need any kind of SIM cards, it is a built-in feature in a smartphone and can be activated by a carrier or a network provider.

Many carriers and networks still don't support eSIM and most of the major networks are already providing their eSIM services at a cheap price. One can buy an eSIM-enabled phone and call a network provider to get his eSIM activated on the go.

But what an eSIM actually is? is it on my device?

Yes, an eSIM is a little SIM-chip that is installed in your smartphone's motherboard and is a rewriteable module that is capable of changing your carrier or network as many times as you require. It will act like a built-in SIM card that is universal and works with all the eSIM-enabled networks.

So, whenever you feel the need to change your network or get a new mobile number, you can call that carrier support or their helpline and give the information about your device, they will activate your eSIM with their services for you. In short, there's no need to switch your phone or SIM cards, with an eSIM you can do it simply by calling a service provider or doing it online from your own smartphone.

What devices support eSIM?

All the major smartphone manufacturers and smartphone selling companies are shaking hands with eSIMs and here's the list of their devices supporting eSIM:

Apple devices with eSIM support:

  1. iPad Pro
  2. Apple Watch Series 3, 4 and 5
  3. iPhone XS, XS Max and iPhone XR
  4. iPhone 11, 11 Pro and Pro Max
  5. iPhone 12, 12 Pro and ProMax

Samsung Galaxy devices with eSIM support:

  1. Galaxy S20
  2. Galaxy S20+
  3. Galaxy S20 Ultra

Google devices with eSIM support:

  1. Google's Pixel 2
  2. Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL
  3. Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL and Pixel 4a 

Also, the Motorola smartphone Moto Razr flip phone support eSIM without a SIM card slot and even Windows 10 users can enjoy eSIM on their computers.

What networks support eSIM?

Currently, there are a few networks supporting eSIM and their names with country name are listed below:

Current eSIM providers in the USA include:

  1. T-Mobile.
  2. AT&T.
  3. Verizon.
  4. GigSky.
  5. Telna.

Current eSIM providers in the UK include:

  1. EE.
  2. O2.
  3. Three.
  4. Vodafone.

Current eSIM providers in India include:

  1. Airtel.
  2. Vodafone.
  3. Reliance Jio.

Current eSIM providers in Australia include:

  1. Optus.
  2. Vodafone.

Current eSIM providers in Pakistan include:

  1. Mobilink Jazz.

Other networks such as Telenor, Zong, and Ufone are working on it.

  • NOTE: eSIM is also referred to as an "embedded universal integrated circuit card" and is rewriteable to act as a traditional SIM card and work activates on your demand.

How to activate an eSIM?

If you own an eSIM-enabled device, you can buy an eSIM pack from your carrier or service shop near you and then follow the below steps:

  1. Connect your device to WiFi.
  2. Find a QR code in your eSIM pack.
  3. Go to your phone Settings tap Connections.
  4. Select 'SIM card manager' tap + button for 'Add mobile plan' under eSIMs.
  5. Select 'Add using QR code' and scan that QR code.

That's it, you will see a prompt saying "Congratulations, your eSIM has been activated" and that's it.

On the other hand, you can also call your carrier helpline and give them the information they may ask about your device and your personal information. They will activate your eSIM on your device for you.

So, if your phone is capable of using an eSIM go ahead and use it. You never see a disadvantage of eSIM but, a couple of benefits using an eSIM as it will help you get rid of that old SIM cards.

If you are a frequent traveler or someone who doesn't open SIM-slot very often, you are good to go with an eSIM.

Also, if you are fed up with changing sim cards, you should use this new technology.