E-SIM: What is it? How exactly does it function?

by whatsmind

The first SIM card was created just over 25 years ago. The size of the physical card you put in your phone to connect to the internet has shrunk, but the idea behind it has stayed the same. Changing your phone number? Just put in a new SIM card, and you should be ready. Even though this procedure seems easy, it may not be around for long. You can thank eSIM for that. eSIM is a new standard that aims to replace physical SIM cards completely.

The iPhone 14 series will not have a place for a SIM card. A setup must be done to download an eSIM profile. Find out everything you need to know about eSIM, from how it works to what devices can use it.

What is an eSIM?

An embedded SIM (eSIM) is a subscriber identity module already in your phone, tablet, or smartwatch and can be pre-programmed. It works just like a physical SIM card, but it can be set up to work with any network provider.

If you have a smartphone that can use electronic SIM cards, switching service providers is even easier than using a traditional SIM card. You must download and run a configuration file to get started with the gadget. Most service providers offer this as a QR code that can be scanned to access an electronic SIM card profile.

eSIM profiles are typically made available for download from carriers in the form of a QR code.

eSIM-enabled devices feature a tiny chip that is hardwired onto the motherboard. While 2012’s nano-SIM standard may be the smallest of its kind, it still takes up a lot of space. And because the user can swap it out, smartphone manufacturers must sacrifice valuable real estate around the SIM card slot.

e-Sims and Cybersecurity

In terms of cybersecurity, e-SIMs introduce new vulnerabilities as they can’t physically be removed, and they also can’t be easily swapped to another device. E-SIMs can also be remotely reprogrammed, allowing hackers to access a device’s mobile network connection, making it a potential target for cyber attacks. It is important for device manufacturers and mobile network operators to implement security measures to protect against these types of attacks.

Different Varieties of SIM Cards

You can use a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card to communicate with the mobile network you have subscribed to, make phone calls, and send text messages.

Historically, SIM cards were physical cards that could be removed and swapped between various mobile devices. In other words, if you get a new phone, you can reuse your old SIM card by removing it from your old phone’s SIM card tray and placing it in the new phone’s SIM card tray. The SIM card will transfer all your information to the new phone, including your phone number, texts, and contacts. However, a new SIM card will be required if you switch mobile networks.

Physical SIM cards can be divided into three categories.  E-SIMs are a newer SIM card standard that has recently gained popularity.

What are the pros and cons of eSIM?

Every product has its USPs and weaknesses. When it comes to eSIM, it also has these two factors. So you are curious about the factors? No worries at all; just scroll down to read.

Advantages

  • Using an eSIM makes it easy to switch cell phone service providers. You can change to a different network without ordering a new SIM, wait for it to arrive, and then put it in your phone. You can do this with a phone call or online. Also, you don’t need the “SIM ejector tool” to get the old SIM card out of your phone.
  • An eSIM is like having five physical SIM cards in one place. It means you can quickly switch between networks if you’re in a place where your usual network doesn’t work. It also makes switching to a local network easier while traveling since you don’t have to physically put in a local SIM card. Traveling outside the UK may be cheaper to use the local mobile network than to pay high roaming fees from your UK provider. If you don’t take your UK SIM card out of your phone, it will be safer.
  • Like dual-SIM phones, which have two slots for physical SIM cards, eSIMs offer several benefits, the most obvious of which is the ability to use two phone numbers with a single device. Electronic subscriber identity modules (eSIMs) also benefit from making SIM cards and their trays obsolete. Smartphone makers could use this space to make the battery last longer or add more features. In addition, the fewer holes in a handset, the less likely it is that dust or water will break it inside.
  • It could also lead to phones that are smaller in some cases. But the actual space advantage is for wearables like smartwatches since people want to avoid wearing a significant device on their wrist. eSIMs are already in the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 4 and the Samsung Gear S2 and Gear S3 smartwatches.

Disadvantages

However, eSIMs may have a few drawbacks that you should be aware of.

  • Even if your phone breaks, you won’t lose your number or contacts because you can easily take out the SIM card and put it in another phone (if your contacts are stored on the SIM).
  • Even though cloud-based information and contact storage are supposed to make moving data like contacts between devices more accessible, this will be much harder to do with an eSIM.
  • The fact that an eSIM stays in a device permanently could also be a problem, especially for people who don’t want their whereabouts tracked. On the other hand, this could be a good thing because it will be harder to hide where a stolen phone is.

Which smartphones support eSIM?

Only some of the most cutting-edge mobile devices and wearables currently support eSIMs.

Specifically, these are:

  • iPhone XS, XS Max, XR, the brand-new iPhone 12 series, and the iPad Pro.
  • The Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra from Samsung.
  • Both the Pixel 3 and 3 XL from Google.
  • The Motorola Razr (which does not use a traditional SIM card but rather an electronic one).
  • Smartwatches Samsung Gear S2 and Gear S3
  • Third-, Fourth-, and Fifth-Generation Apple Watches

Do you have to pay more for an eSIM than a regular SIM card?

The electronic SIM card, or eSIM, usually costs the same as a physical SIM card. However, some carriers may only offer it with specific packages.

Compared to traditional SIM cards, eSIMs are typically provisioned at no additional cost by carriers. The service provider saves money on eSIMs because they don’t have to pay for physical SIM card production. Without the added packaging and plastic, they’re also slightly less harmful to the planet.

However, remember that specific policy details may change based on your chosen carrier and geographical location. In the United States, for instance, Verizon’s postpaid plans are the only ones that allow you to use the company’s eSIM functionality.

For more information, visit whatsmind.com

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