Over the years, we’ve witnessed an evolution from the traditional phone SIM which was initially a mini-SIM to the current eSIM. More and more phone companies are migrating to newer and modern SIM models like the Nano SIM and now the eSIM. The electronic SIM is more advanced than the rest and is built with a smarter technology. Companies like Apple are slowly moving to the eSIM across all its devices. The Apple Watch and iPad has had the embedded sim card feature for some time but with the new iPhone XS and XS Max, iPhone eSIM is now the new trend. e SIMs has lots of advantages for both the network carriers and users as we would see later in this article.
Before we go further, let’s throw some light into what a standard SIM does for you. Ok so SIM stands for “Subscriber Identity Module”. When you try to make a call or use data, your cell carrier would need to identify you in order to route you to a cell tower. Without this, your phone can’t make a call. Your carrier authenticates you as a user of their service and then grants you access to cell towers.
What exactly is an eSIM?
eSIM means embedded SIM or electronic SIM. Obviously, this implies that it is not a physical SIM card like we’ve been familiar with. e sim card is basically a small chip inside your device which lets you select any SIM Supported carrier of your choice while using your device. The information available via an eSIM is rewritable thus, you can change your network operator at any time.
To break it down for you, when you travel to a new country, you’d need to physically switch your SIM to a new carrier within the city you are in. With eSIMs, you don’t need all that hassle, you can easily switch to a new carrier from your phone/device. The embedded SIM technology provides support for multiple network carrier accounts and it is very easy to manipulate.
In theory, when you travel to another country, all you need to do is add a roaming eSIM to your device while also retaining your home number. This will potentially eliminate roaming charges while abroad. For phone makers, the availability of e-SIM means they can build a slimmer device without the SIM card slot/tray.
For the Apple eSIM, you can store more than one carrier but you are only allowed to use one at a time. The iPhone XS and XS Max come with both a physical SIM slot and an eSIM. Customers can choose a default line if they activate the eSIM option. They can decide which to use for whatever purpose like calls and texts or FaceTime. To switch to eSIM on your new iPhone XS or XS Max, go to your settings > Cellular > Cellular Plans and then select the ones you want.
As of now, not all network providers offer the eSIM service and obviously not all device come with the option. It is still a pretty new innovation but with lots of potentials. In the near future, we expect to see lots of devices without the traditional SIM tray but rather come with the e-SIM feature. We eagerly look forward to the future.