What is e-SIM & How does e-SIM Work? – How to Use e-SIM – The development of mobile technologies does not stand still. We recently discussed how to determine the location of a subscriber on a mobile phone. It used to be a fantasy, but now it’s just a banal reality!
Every day, in addition to manufacturing the latest generation of smartphones, specialists are developing advanced elements of communications. For the domestic market, such an invention is e-SIM.
e-SIM is the latest communication SIM card format designed for more secure communication. The element is an ordinary SIM card, significantly reduced in size (6×6 mm).
The prefix ” E ” means ” integrated “, from the English embedded, so it should be concluded that the e-SIM is not just installed in the phone slot, but sewn into the system. Once mounted in the device, this chip cannot be removed or deactivated.
This element has almost the same functions as a regular card, and the system provides for saving a personal identification number and two types of codes. The main advantage of the link element is that the chip cannot be damaged, and given its small size, it can even be used in smartwatches .
It is also worth noting the possibility of transferring information from the chip to another device since all data is contained in a digital format.
This system also has a drawback. It consists in mandatory activation after changing the mobile gadget. To do this, you will need to use specialized software that employees of the company providing the service have access to.
That network, the card cannot be removed from the smartphone, since the chip is fully integrated into the device in digital form.
The next problem is the little experience of the operators regarding chip reconfiguration. In the Eastern European countries, e-SIMs began to arrive relatively recently, and not all mobile companies sell this product.
Therefore, after purchasing the chip, there is a high probability that the card will be blocked after the first replacement of the phone.
Despite the weak distribution of e-SIM in the domestic market, foreign smartphone manufacturers have been producing products with technology support for a long time. For example:
As for production from other brands, it’s a matter of time.
How does Chip Works
After being introduced into the mobile phone system, the chip allows you to change the mobile operator at any time and this does not require reinstalling the card.
The development of the technology began in 2012, when GSM decided to create a chip capable of backing up data at a remote distance. To use the function, it is not necessary to have a smartphone with a SIM card slot.
Installation is as follows. The chip is soldered to the contact boards, after which it will not be possible to replace the element on its own. A subscriber can change a mobile operator at any time, but for this it is not necessary to purchase a new chip.
The services of the connected communication provider will be automatically linked to the chip, and the tariff plan and other loyalty programs will be set up automatically. Embedded chip services are activated as follows:
The subscriber is obliged to conclude a special agreement with the company providing the SIM card and the included services.
Employees of the company issue the necessary data packets in the form of a QR code, the scanning of which activates the chip.
The user must scan the received code from his mobile phone.
After the procedure, the microcircuit will automatically transfer the information to a special development department of the GSM company.
Next, automatic communication settings will come to the card, which will independently create all the necessary accounts.
Ultimately, the mobile gadget is activated, after which communication services will become available.
Attention! When a user changes mobile operator, the e – SIM number remains the same. This also applies to cases where the mobile device will change. The old number can be transferred to another phone at any time.
The difference between a chip and a regular card
The described communication elements have a similar principle of operation, however, in some technical aspects, differences can be noticed. What are they:
Occupied space. In this case, the advantage is on the side of the e-SIM, since its dimensions allow you to install the microcircuit even in a wrist device. An additional slot is also optional, which saves even more space. As for devices with a regular SIM card, it takes a lot of space to install it, especially if the phone is designed for two communication elements.
Appearance. At a time when the usual SIM-card has a rather large size, which is characterized by an excess of plastic around the main chip, the described microcircuit looks like a miniature plate with contacts.
Unlimited in use. If a regular card needs to be programmed for a specific mobile operator, e-SIM can work with any communication provider without intervention from the technical side. It is also worth noting that the number of transitions to other operators is unlimited.
Benefits of e-SIM technology
In foreign countries, many users have long since switched to the side of this microchip. However, most phones remain functional with old cards, as you can switch from advanced technology to familiar technology at any time.
As a rule, such actions are carried out if the connection is lost on the e-SIM. What features can e-SIM offer:
Minimum costs. After buying a mobile device, there is no need to throw away money to purchase a SIM card. The savings lies in the fact that the digital card fully pays for the money spent. It also improves the protection against dust and moisture of some internal elements of the phone.
Connection to little-known operators. In addition to connecting to world-famous mobile operators, most of which offer their own services for a lot of money, you can connect to any little-known network.
In many countries, there are specialists who independently develop their own networks with acceptable prices, and this is where e-SIM will be most useful.
Versatility. In earlier versions of smartwatches that included a SIM card, the design was rather cumbersome. This was due to the need to introduce appropriate slots for the card.
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In the case of the described element, things are much simpler. e-Sim takes up little space, so future gadgets will be with a smaller overall design.
How to Activate e-SIM on a mobile device
After concluding an agreement and receiving the necessary QR code, you can proceed to activate the microcircuit. The process is quite simple, as it will require you to follow a few steps. The method will be considered using the iPhone 11 as an example. What manipulations need to be carried out:
- Open basic phone settings.
- Find the cellular section.
- Click on the button with adding a cellular tariff.
- Scan the received QR code.
- Choose a name for both cards.
- By default, enter a phone number.
- Select a number for FaceTime and iMessage services.
- Specify the number for data transmission.
Attention! In the last section, you can set automatic switching, since at times the connection on the e – SIM may be lost.
eSIM Enabled devices
At the moment, the domestic market offers a small number of mobile devices that are able to function on this microchip. The lion’s percentage of the market is occupied by Apple.
Among tablets, the following models are supported:
- iPad (7th Generation onwards)
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro (3rd Gen onwards)
- 11-inch iPad Pro (all versions)
- iPad Mini (5th Gen onwards)
- iPad Air 3;
- iPad Pro 3 12.9-inch;
- iPad 7;
- iPad MINI 5;
- iPad Pro 11 inches.
- Microsoft Surface Pro X (5th Gen onwards)
- Microsoft Surface Pro (5th and 7th Gen onwards)
You can install e-SIM in the following Apple smartphones:
- iPhone 13 Pro Max,
- iPhone 13 Pro,
- iPhone 13,
- iPhone 13 mini,
- iPhone 12 Pro Max
- iPhone 12 Pro
- iPhone 12,
- iPhone 12 mini,
- iPhone 11 Pro Max;
- iPhone 11 Pro;
- iPhone 11;
- iPhone XS;
- iPhone XS Pro;
- iPhone XR.
Third party gadgets
Other well-known gadgets that support digital card technology include Google Pixel 3 series mobile devices, as well as smartwatches on the WatchOS operating system. In the latter case, Cellular + GPS support is required.
The procedure for activating a digital SIM card on a watch is more complicated than on a phone. The usual code scanning will not be enough, because for full operation, the simultaneous operation of two SIM cards connected by a single mobile operator number is required.
Reliability and safety of use
The main advantage of a digital SIM card is security during use, the level of which is much higher than a conventional card. First of all, it is worth noting that the chip cannot be lost if it has not been randomly removed from the phone.
This applies to both loss and theft. For any device with an e-SIM, you can pick up a strong password that will protect personal data (of course, if the phone has this feature). At any time, the phone can be blocked, even if it is far from the owner.
In addition to the password on the phone, you can put a security code on the digital card itself. It can also be blocked remotely, but at this point, the microchip will regularly send geodata signals , so finding your own smartphone will not be difficult.
There are special programs with which you can create a new account and synchronize it with a digital SIM card.