eSIM is a digital SIM card that allows users to connect to mobile networks without a physical SIM card. It is embedded in the hardware of the device and can be programmed over the air (OTA) by the network operator. This technology eliminates the need for physical SIM cards, making them more convenient for users.
How eSIM works?
eSIM technology is based on a small chip that is embedded in the hardware of the device. The chip contains information that allows the device to connect to a mobile network. When you activate an eSIM, the device requests the network operator to download the required information to the chip. The process is similar to activating a physical SIM card, but with eSIM everything is done wirelessly.
SIM card evolution
Earlier mobile phones did not have SIM cards.SIM cards appeared in the GSM standard in the year 1991, so that anyone can use their phone anywhere on the network and can use any phone with their mobile number by inserting a piece of plastic with a microchip inside. Are.
As the years went by, the only thing that happened to SIM cards was that they became increasingly Lilliputian: from mini-SIM (what we remember as “normal”) to micro-SIM and then nano-SIM. was replaced.
Now that the Internet of Things is here, with its sensors, smartwatches, and other, even smaller devices, even a nano-SIM slot is an unacceptable luxury. Enter eSIM, a built-in SIM card.
At first glance, it seems like programmable phones are making a comeback. However, this evolutionary microchip (5 × 6 mm, similar to a nano-SIM) not only stores subscription data, but also remotely downloads it over the air. In practical terms, this means there’s no need to manually insert SIM cards into thousands of parking sensors or street-light control modules or to reorder an entire batch of cards when changing operators.
When there’s no eSIM – even in an iPhone
While eSIM technology is becoming more popular, not all mobile devices support it. For example, older iPhone models do not have an eSIM, so users need to use a physical SIM card. However, even with newer iPhone models that support eSIM, some countries or carriers do not yet support eSIM, so users may need to use a physical SIM card in those cases.
Which operators support eSIM?
While eSIM technology is becoming more widely adopted, not all mobile network operators support it yet. However, several major operators in various countries have started offering eSIM support, including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Orange, and Vodafone.
How to use a mobile network using eSIM?
Connecting a virtual SIM card is not complicated. All the subscriber has to do is scan the QR code generated by the operator, or manually enter the following parameters: SM-DP+ (Subscription Manager Data Preparation) server address and activation code. The operator will supply them.
The SM-DP+ server is the location where the subscriber profiles are generated, and the LPA (Local Profile Assistant) program on the device requests the corresponding profile and loads it into the eUICC (embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card) – the microchip that contains this profile is later stored in encrypted form.
What’s more, it can host multiple SIM profiles simultaneously with a memory capacity of 512KB versus 64 and 128KB in conventional SIMs. In newer iPhones, this is done by tapping on Settings -> Cellular -> Cellular Plan.
As you can see, there is nothing difficult in connecting eSIM, despite all the abbreviations. We think new iPhone owners should give it a try — and even if the technology isn’t supported in your country yet, you can still buy a Virtual SIM card abroad.
Difference between eSIM card and SIM card
The main difference between eSIM and physical SIM cards is that eSIM is embedded in the hardware of the device, whereas physical SIM cards are removable. Additionally, eSIM technology allows multiple eSIM profiles to be stored on a single device, which can be switched as needed. In contrast, physical SIM cards are limited to one per device.
Advantages of eSIM
One of the primary advantages of eSIM is convenience. With eSIM, you don’t need to physically insert a SIM card into your device, which is especially handy when traveling. Additionally, eSIM allows for multiple profiles to be stored on a single device, making it easier to switch between different mobile networks or plans.
Another advantage of eSIM is that it is more environmentally friendly than physical SIM cards. With eSIM, there is no need to produce and distribute physical SIM cards, which reduces waste and carbon emissions.
eSIM also offers greater security than physical SIM cards. Since eSIM technology allows for over-the-air updates, network operators can quickly push security updates to devices to protect against potential vulnerabilities.
Finally, eSIM technology can also benefit businesses that use mobile devices for their employees. With eSIM, businesses can remotely manage and provision devices, making it easier to control costs and ensure that devices are up-to-date and secure.
Overall, eSIM technology offers many advantages over physical SIM cards, including convenience, environmental friendliness, security, and remote device management for businesses. While it is still not widely adopted by all mobile network operators, eSIM technology is likely to become more common in the coming years as more devices support it and more operators offer eSIM support.