All You Need to Know about an eSIM

Before explaining what an eSIM is, it might be useful to understand what a SIM card is. SIM card means subscriber Module card. A tiny encoded circuit board that can be integrated into GSM mobile phones immediately you sign in as a subscriber. It contains the information of the subscriber, security information and memory to store personal numbers.

It also contains information that allows the network service provider to identify the caller. But, it seems like the introduction of eSIM will soon make the plastic SIM card to disappear. This is because, eSIM, a smarter technology, allows you to ditch plastic SIM cards, have two phone numbers on one phone, and easily switch between carriers.

What is an eSIM?

It is exactly what it sounds like: an electronic or an embedded card. eSIM stands for “embedded subscriber identity module” - it's a small electronic chip inside the phone that functions the same as the small plastic SIM cards we have been using for years. With an eSIM, your phone has a few new settings dedicated to your SIM card that let you switch between lines and carriers and manage accounts.

Phones that currently use eSIM
There are not many phones with eSIM yet. Motorola Razr is the first phone to be launched without a physical SIM card slot, it relies solely on eSIM. Samsung Galaxy Fold also comes with an eSIM and a Micro-SIM card slot.

Apple's iPhone XS Max, XS, XR, 11, and 11 Pro MAX, all come with an eSIM, as well as the standard plastic SIM card. Google Pixel 2, 3, 3A and 4 also come with a standard SIM card slot and are eSIM support.

What are the benefits of using an eSIM?
Not like the standard SIM cards that prevent you from switching between operators, the eSIM can be programmed and reprogrammed as needed, it allows you to switch between operators or cancel and start the service without having to get a new SIM card every time.

In the absence of the removable SIM card tray and the space it requires, phone manufacturers will be able to squeeze bigger batteries inside the phone housing or use the free space for new features. Of course, having no card SIM slot probably means no microSD card slot to add extra storage, which is also the change phone manufacturers are now migrating to.

The eSIM is still new, so the activation and support process for telecom operators and phone manufacturers will have to be streamlined, but one thing is clear: we will soon be able to switch instantly between telecom operators with just a few clicks our phone screen.

The advantages of having an eSIM and a physical SIM

Apple iPhones with both eSIM and a physical card can simultaneously connect to two different carriers and phone numbers. Therefore you can have your business number and your personal number on one iPhone, even though both are from different service providers. This is possible on the iPhone since it is unlocked and supports many operators.

Phones that use eSIM are also useful for frequent travelers outside the country. You can use eSIM to subscribe to a data plan abroad and save you roaming charges. And if you set up eSIM with a provider like GigSky before you leave, you will have access to data immediately you land.

You don’t need to use both SIM cards at the same time, or even at all, and when you purchase your phone from some carrier, it normally has a standard SIM card already installed and ready to connect to your account. But, if you purchase a phone that does not come with a SIM card, you have to order for a SIM card and wait for it to arrive, and then get it activated. But with an eSIM, you don't have to wait; you can activate the phone in a few minutes.

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