An eSIM is a SIM card integrated into a mobile device that can connect to any eSIM-enabled operator. It also works in the same way as a traditional SIM card, but there is no physical card to hold it. It comes pre-installed and can be activated by adding an "eSIM profile" for a new operator using QR codes.
It is, without a doubt, an improvement over the traditional SIM card. An eSIM card is becoming more common in smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers. Here are some frequently asked questions and the other things you should know about an eSIM.
What Are the eSIM Benefits?
The eSIM card has several benefits, including:
- It works digitally without any SIM cards
- You can easily switch between operators in couple clicks
- It's easier to use since it doesn't require any physical activity
- More providers support it
- There are no added costs
- It saves you time and money (e.g., on data roaming)
- It allows mobile users to have multiple plans on the same device
- It makes mobile devices smaller as it doesn’t require SIM card slot
- It cannot be swapped like SIM cards, and thus cannot be cloned or stolen
- You can easily purchase it online
What Are the eSIM limitations?
Although the eSIM has several benefits, it also comes with certain limitation drawbacks including:
- It’s still not compatible with all devices
- It is not yet entirely accessible or available to everyone
- It is not yet supported by many operators
How Does an eSIM Work?
An eSIM chip comes pre-installed in your device but it doesn’t have eSIM profiles or plans. You have to activate an eSIM profile to use the service. There are two ways to do this:
a. Through eSIM QR codes
This method can activate your eSIM profile through an app or website. The first step will require you to create an account on a website or an app. After creating an account and purchase an eSIM plan, you’ll receive an eSIM QR code. Now:
- In iOS: you just need to open the camera app, scan the QR code and follow the final steps
- In Android: you need to go to the device settings, then Network & internet, and finally scan the provided eSIM QR code
b. Through eSIM activation codes
This method involved using manual activation code. Together with the eSIM QR code, your service provider may provide an activation code. You just need to go to your phone settings and under cellular or mobile plans, you may activate the new eSIM by pasting or typing in the provided activation code. Typically, the manual activation code has an SM-DP+ Address (e.g., rsp.xxxxxxx.net) and Activation Code (e.g., AAAAA-BBBBB-CCCCC).
What Devices Support an eSIM?
eSIM is supported in mobile devices such as smartphones, fitness trackers, tablets, and laptops. We provide a basic list below.
- iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone SE (2020)
- iPad Air (3rd Gen), iPad Air (4th Gen), iPad Pro 11‑inch (1st Gen), iPad Pro 11‑inch (2nd Gen), iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd Gen), iPad Pro 12.9‑inch (3rd Gen), iPad Pro 12.9‑inch (4th Gen), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th Gen), iPad (7th Gen), iPad (8th Gen), iPad Mini (5th Gen)
- Samsung: Samsung Galaxy Fold, Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, Samsung Galaxy S21 5G, Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G, Samsung Galaxy S20, Samsung Galaxy S20+, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G, Samsung Galaxy Note 20+, Samsung Galaxy Note 20, Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2
- Google: Google Pixel 3 & 3 XL, Google Pixel 3a & 3a XL, Google Pixel 4, 4a & 4 XL, Google Pixel 5
- Motorola: Motorola Razr 2019, Motorola Razr 5G
- Huawei: Huawei P40, Huawei P40 Pro*, Huawei Mate 40 Pro
- Otherdevices: Nuu Mobile X5, Gemini PDA 4G+Wi-Fi, OPPO Find X3 Pro*, Sony Xperia 10 III Lite
- Acer: Acer Swift 3, Acer Swift 7
- ASUS: ASUS Mini Transformer T103HAF, ASUS NovaGo TP370QL, ASUS Vivobook Flip 14 TP401NA
- Dell: Dell Latitude 9510, Dell Latitude 7410, Dell Latitude 7310, Dell Latitude 9410, Dell Latitude 7210 2-in-1
- HP: HP Elitebook G5, HP Probook G5, HP Zbook G5, HP Spectre Folio 13
- Lenovo: Lenovo Yoga C630, Lenovo Miix 630, Lenovo Yoga 520, Lenovo Yoga 720 convertible laptops
- Microsoft Surface: Surface Go 2, Surface Pro X, Surface Pro 5 LTE Advanced
With the new norm of “remote everything”, eSIM is a step in the right direction. It comes with many benefits, starting with its convenience and ending with compatibility with more devices.
However, consumers are not yet aware of the benefits of eSIM. Actually, many still do not know that their mobile device already has eSIM feature and they can benefit from it starting today. We hope this will gradually change with time as more content is created about eSIM.
CELITECH is the world's first digital-only cellular data platform. We enable travel-related businesses and apps to provide co-branded eSIM services, improve mobile customer engagement, and generate new revenues. Reach out today to learn more.