Home Technovation What is eSIM and How does it work?

What is eSIM and How does it work?

Posted on September 13th, 2020
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eSIM

You might have recently heard the word eSIM as it relates to mobile smartphones, and wondered what it meant. Like you might have suggested, yes it has to do with the regular SIM cards you already know, but better. Before I go on to talk about eSIM, let me remind you of a few things about the regular SIM card.

SIM stands for Subscriber Identification Module and over the years, has undergone a few changes, especially in size. It all started with the regular mini-SIM down to micro-SIM and more recently nano-SIM.

eSIM different SIM card sizes

However, with the advent of eSIM, none of these are used since SIM cards will be virtual.

What is eSIM?

eSIM which stands for embedded-SIM is a form of programmable SIM card that is embedded directly into a device. To explain, imagine that your SIM card has already been integrated with your device from the point of purchase, only that it has not been attached to any network provider yet, and you don’t need to eject or insert any external SIM card to select your network provider. This will mean that you as the end-user will be able to switch your network provider without having to swap SIM cards.

How does eSIM work?

Questions that may be on your mind now are, do I have to change my phone if I have to change my phone number? so how do I get a personal phone number with eSIM? Can I use more than one phone number on a device as is the case with dual-SIM devices? Not to worry, the answers to these are way simple than you can imagine, which makes eSIM an awesome innovation.

eSIM works by downloading your personal profile onto the embedded-SIM on a compatible device to configure it for your use. This profile is generated by your cell phone carrier, which will include your phone number and other information in form of a QR code. Once downloaded and activated on the device, the network provider name is displayed as it would with a regular SIM card and used as you would a regular SIM, only now, the SIM card is virtual. So if you need to change your carrier or phone number, delete the earlier downloaded profile and scan QR to download a new one.

What are the Benefits of eSIM?

You might have identified a few amazing benefits of this new technology, however here are the biggest benefits of an eSIM

  • e-SIMs allow you to have more than one phone number associated with your smart device. This is particularly useful for people who want to manage personal and business lines on a device.
  • It is almost impossible for you to lose or damage your SIM since it is built into your device.
  • Now you no longer have to deal with cutting SIM cards or finding adapters because of varying SIM sizes
  • It is extremely convenient for frequent travelers, making it easier to switch between network operators.

Which Device is Compatible with eSIM?

For now, just a handful of devices are compatible with eSIM technology. The number is expected to rise in the coming years as more mobile carriers (already available on MTN Nigeria) make the service available

List of compatible devices

  • Google Pixel 3, 3 XL and Pixel 4, 4 XL
  • Apple iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS, XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • Samsung S20 Series
  • Motorola Razr

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