These days we have been listening about eSIM a lot as every other smartphone brand is now offering eSIM card support that is known to improve the signal quality for people around the world. Those who are unaware this facility is only available on expensive devices such as iPhone 12, Google Pixel 5 and more. Also, this feature is quite useful for those who travel a lot and struggle to find a reliable mobile provider while they’re in some other country which is the main difference between an eSIM and a regular SIM. We will talk about it more but first, let’s know more about eSIM as most of you are unaware of how it works.
What is an eSIM?
First of all, eSIM stands for Embedded Subscriber Identity Module and in India it has arrived in the year 2018 with the launch of the Apple Watch Series 3 LTE Version that comes with this feature. Reliance Jio was the first one to announce that it provides eSIM technology to its users. eSIM is described as an embedded universal integrated circuit card (eUICC) defined by GSMA, the global association responsible for setting the overall telecommunication framework with approximately 800 mobile operators.
One of the advantages of this feature is that it brings flexibility to consumers, Communications Service Providers (CSPs) and enterprises. So, the users do not need to look for CSPs and go to CSP shops to buy SIM cards while continuing to enjoy all legacy SIM services such as roaming services, local breakout services, or SIM applets with multi-international Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) services when and where applicable. The consumers can choose a new local CSP to remotely provision and activate a new subscription to the device when needed, over the air. Thus, your device can easily rely on a global eSIM to be able to connect all their devices all over the world offering seamless global connectivity services provided by CSPs across the entire device life cycle.
But this does not mean that your device does not have support for a regular SIM. The SIM tray consists of a slot available for a SIM card while the eSIM needs to be activated either by scanning the QR code provided by the preferred carrier or by entering parameters manually as the manufacturers have already integrated a small SIM card inside the phone.
Which phones support eSIM functionality and which region supports this technology?
All the latest Apple devices including iPhone 12 series, iPhone X series. However, Pixel devices also use eSIM technology but which was restricted to the US only. Other than the US this functionality is available in Austria, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, India, Spain, the UK and more.
What are the similarities between both the SIMs?
Both are entirely different technology and both share very few similarities. Both can easily connect to your device to the telecom providers. Both can identify phones as well as subscribed plans and can be used simultaneously and lastly, SIM and eSIM are technically SIM card. But the regular SIM can be physically removed or inserted into your phone while eSIM comes embedded into a dual-SIM phone.
Pros and Cons of SIM:
Starting with pros, a regular SIM provides better services in local areas as it provides a better prepaid SIM plan at a local market or while you are abroad at a convenience store. SIM is removable and is also upgradable if it gets outdated or if you are looking to upgrade your plan.
While the drawbacks/cons here are that it can be easily hacked and this gives hackers your account details including Banks, social media, emails and more. Sim relies on apps and it receives signals from cell phone towers. So, if you are traveling to a remote area then there will be fewer cell phone towers that don’t offer better coverage. It also wears out easily from corrosion or rubbing.
Pros and Cons of eSIM
The best part about the eSIM is that it can’t be hacked easily. It is easy to locate and the service provider can control it over the air so your lost or stolen phone can be easily traced. These cards can’t be damaged or lost as they come embedded inside the phone from the manufacturers. It is smaller in size and can also fit into wearable devices such as smartwatches. Can be used anywhere in the world.
eSIM tech is not available for the older devices as it’s new technology and it only comes on expensive devices. Difficult to transfer data as it cannot be removed from the phone so you have to download from your cloud storage. This does not work with multiple devices as you cannot pop it out from the phone.
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