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eSIM Technology is Here: What you need to know

If you already know about the eSIM technology, chances are you want to know what it is and how it can benefit you. If not, this short guide will help you understand the ins and outs of the new technology since its transforming how users connect to mobile networks.

Introduction

First, it is worth mentioning that the acronym SIM refers to “Subscriber Identity Module.” As we all know, a SIM is critical for every mobile phone and slots into such devices.

There is a new era ushering mobile phone users into the world of eSIMs. The “e” represents embedded, and this technology focuses on doing more than what ordinary SIM cards can do. Recent statistics confirm the shipment of 360 million eSIM-based devices in 2018. The expectation is that by 2025, these shipment numbers will hit approximately two billion.

Unpacking An eSIM

Unlike the previous removable plastic cards inside mobile phones, an eSIM is a small chip embedded in one’s handset. As such, removing the chip and having it in another phone is impossible. Switching from one network to another without removing your SIM to insert a new one is also possible when using an eSIM since the latter is rewritable.

Presently, eSIMs serve as a second SIM in dual-SIM handsets, meaning they are yet to replace plastic SIMs.

Benefits of An eSIM

1. It makes provision for multiple SIM profiles

Opting for an eSIM implies that you can have one SIM capable of using different carriers. That suggests that switching between carriers will not be a problem. In that case, eSIMs come in handy when you need separate mobile numbers or for travelers wishing to use a local SIM.

2. Saves on space

Today, part of the priorities of most smartphone manufacturers is having as much functionality and features as possible in a confined space. eSIMs are the answer, in this case, because they get rid of the tray and physical SIM card. That, in turn, enables the manufacture of more compact devices and frees up space for other uses.

3. Enhances Security

If you lose your phone with an eSIM embedded, tracking and locating it will not be a problem. The fact that network providers can access and control eSIM remotely is what improves security when using an eSIM.

4. Reduced risk of loss or damage

It is less likely for one to lose or damage an eSIM because it is embedded into their device. That is not the case for a removable SIM, which is prone to moisture and dust.

eSIM Drawbacks

a) Lack of Support

Not all network operators around the world are currently offering eSIM technology. So, adding a local eSIM profile to your device when traveling, as is the case with a removable SIM card, is not always possible. Additionally, the fact that a network operator provides eSIM services does not suggest that it supports all eSIM-activated devices.

b) Susceptibility to Hacking

eSIMs are software-driven technology that is prone to hacking. Since the servers at the network provider or those hosted in the cloud control much of the eSIM data, hacking becomes somewhat inevitable. In other words, compromising such infrastructure is possible, which may expose or adversely affect users.

iPhones That Support eSIM 

Over the years, iPhone has used different SIM designs, including mini-SIM, micro SIM, and nano SIM. The latter is still in use today. The advent of the eSIM may make you curious to find out which iPhones support the technology and whether yours has an eSIM you can leverage.

Well, here’s a list of the iPhones with an eSIM besides iPhone 14.

•    iPhone XS – eSIM + nano SIM.
•    iPhone 13 Pro Max – eSIM + nano SIM and dual eSIM support.
•    iPhone XS Max – eSIM + nano SIM.
•    iPhone 13 Pro – eSIM + nano SIM and dual eSIM support.
•    iPhone XR – eSIM + nano SIM.
•    iPhone 13 – eSIM + nano SIM and dual eSIM support.
•    iPhone 11 – eSIM + nano SIM.
•    iPhone 13 mini – eSIM + nano SIM and dual eSIM support.
•    iPhone 11 Pro – eSIM + nano SIM.
•    iPhone SE 3rd gen – eSIM + nano SIM and dual eSIM support.
•    iPhone 11 Pro Max – eSIM + nano SIM.
•    iPhone 12 Pro Max – eSIM + nano SIM.
•    iPhone SE 2nd gen – eSIM + nano SIM.
•    iPhone 12 Pro – eSIM + nano SIM.
•    iPhone 12 mini – eSIM + nano SIM.
•    iPhone 12 – eSIM + nano SIM.

Alternatively, following the procedure below allows you to check if your iPhone has an eSIM. Head to Settings ˃ Cellular ˃ Add eSIM ˃ or Add Cellular plan.

U.S. Carriers That Support eSIM

The popularity of eSIMs is encouraging more network carriers to support the technology. You also need to understand that although the big three major carriers in the U.S. have SIM support, only a few smaller prepaid carriers provide the service.

Below are the carriers that support eSIM technology in the U.S.

–    PureTalk
–    T-Mobile
–    H20 Wireless
–    AT&T
–    Bytes Mobile
–    Verizon
–    Google Fi
–    Mint Mobile
–    US Mobile
–    Visible

Requirements for Switching from SIM to eSIM

Using two phone numbers simultaneously and installing eight or more eSIMs on an iPhone is now possible thanks to an eSIM’s capabilities. So, what do you need to move from SIM to an eSIM? Here are the details.

  1. Ensure your iPhone is connected to a Wi-Fi network.
  2. You need an iPhone that supports the technology as per the list above.
  3. Confirm that your wireless carrier supports eSIM technology.

Conclusion

Indeed, most phones will retain the tray designated for a removable SIM card until eSIM technology becomes the universal standard. If you have one of these, know that it is only an older way of identifying you on a carrier’s network. The only thing is that swapping out a SIM card is not always the best option since it has delicate do-not-touch circuits and is small in size.

Therefore, opting for an eSIM may prove a wise decision, especially when moving to a different carrier or if you intend to switch phones.