eSIM Technology – Its Advantages and Disadvantages and How It Works

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An overview of eSIM technology – what it is, why it is important and its potential implications

Since it’s practically difficult to make and receive calls without one, we all understand what a “SIM card” is. However, eSIM, a new type of technology, has recently gained traction. Due to the fact that not all smartphones presently support eSIM technology, this word may not have much relevance for most people. But this new innovation is making a significant dent in the smartphone market. The iPhone 14 was released in September, and the US variant doesn’t even have a SIM card port; it only accepts eSIMs.

A SIM, or “Subscriber Identity Module,” is often a little plastic card containing a chip that you physically insert into your phone or another mobile device. It effectively contains the data necessary to link your device to a mobile network. This typically comprises your mobile subscriber ID, the carrier-issued mobile number you use, and the specific SIM card ID. In other words, if your mobile service provider has not issued you the proper SIM card, you will not be able to connect to a mobile network.

Since a SIM card can also save your contact information, switching phones is simple: just take the SIM card out of your old phone and insert it into your new one.

The card reader on the device’s motherboard reads the SIM card’s actual chip. Similarly, if you change cell service providers, you take out the SIM card from your old carrier and insert the SIM card from your new provider into your phone.

How Does eSIM Technology Function?

With eSIM, you may access your cell network without a real SIM card. When you purchase a cellular plan, your mobile operator or service provider issues an eSIM QR code or activation code. The eSIM is downloaded to your device’s chip and made available for use after you activate such a code on it. Up until you set it up to connect to a mobile network, the eSIM is inactive.

An eSIM is a virtual SIM card, to put it simply. eSIMs are included in mobile phones. (the letter “e” means “embedded”). While an eSIM cannot be removed and moved, like a traditional SIM card, it may be remotely overwritten. Additionally, eSIMs feature 512KB of memory as opposed to a regular SIM card’s 128–256 KB.  Multiple cell providers may be stored on this type of memory as eSIMs, making it simple to connect to them.

No matter where you are in the globe, you may use your device with the wireless service you purchased once it has been enabled. And just as with SIM cards, your smartphone may always connect to the service of your cell provider.

What Are an eSIM’s Big Advantages?

International Availability

If you often travel, you should utilize an eSIM. No matter how frequently or suddenly you move, you can always keep in touch. Traveling is considerably simpler with eSIMs, especially for people who transfer back and forth between the two nations regularly. Expats and business travelers can quickly move from their local operator to an eSIM card provider while keeping their two lines operational. Everywhere and at any moment, an eSIM service is focused on mobile connectivity! eSIMs offers you a number of benefits over conventional physical SIM cards.

Accounts Won’t Have to Be Permanently Disabled

Since eSIMs may maintain numerous profiles, switching between networks and back again is possible without permanently disabling accounts. With this capability, you may stay connected to a network wherever you are, which is extremely helpful when traveling. Additionally, it’s frequently a less expensive option than turning on global roaming.

They Require Less Room on Mobile Phones

The majority of contemporary smartphones are presently equipped with nano-SIM cards. These small cards are 8.8mm in size, whereas eSIMs are just 4mm. Because of the reduced size, phone makers have more room to add more features, such as a larger battery, or to increase a phone’s processing capability by installing a quicker CPU. Additionally, since there are fewer entry points without a SIM card slot, the IP rating of a phone against dust and water is enhanced.

Every inch counts as smartphone makers struggle to cram more features and usefulness into a very small area. A real SIM card and tray are not required with an eSIM, freeing up room for additional applications or the creation of even more compact goods. Additionally, a device’s overall resilience may increase due to the removal of a detachable SIM card tray, which removes one potential point of failure.

An eSIM Cannot Be Damaged or Lost

Keep in mind that your phone already has an eSIM. The chances of hurting it are quite slim. It should go without saying that a faulty SIM card reduces signal quality. Phone-related issues thus become widespread. The fact that using an eSIM lessens the danger is only one of the many reasons you should give eSIMs a try.

More Than One Phone Number Is Possible

You can have numerous phone numbers if you have an eSIM, just like when you use a phone with two SIM card slots. The biggest advantage of this is that you can handle your incoming and outgoing communications more easily because you can make and receive calls and messages with either number. eSIMs may be really helpful for segregating your personal and professional communications because of this. In short, you may customize your connectivity across your devices by using an eSIM in addition to a traditional SIM card.

Compared to SIM cards, eSIMs Are Simpler to Activate

An eSIM may be activated by merely scanning a QR code that registers your eSIM profile with your mobile network, as opposed to real SIM cards, which must be placed into your phone to be activated, an operation that frequently necessitates the hand stability of a surgeon. You might additionally need to enter a PIN number on some networks. In most circumstances, it takes no longer than 15 minutes to connect to your network.

What Are an eSIM’s Big Disadvantages?


When it comes to security, eSIMs are normally quite safe because criminals can’t physically take them and put them in other devices, and because they can be set up to ask operators for confirmation anytime a user attempts to update their profile. They aren’t entirely immune from fraud, however, as hackers frequently go to considerable efforts to access weak mobile carriers’ networks in order to obtain user profiles or other data.

Network Providers Can More Easily Trace Users

By removing a physical SIM card from their phone, users who are concerned about privacy may easily stop their cell network from monitoring their position. However, since eSIMs are built into the device and cannot be removed, customers’ phones will continually be connected to their carrier’s network and be easier to track. While it is true that most people in nations such as Australia shouldn’t have a problem with this, for certain people in other parts of the globe, such as those who belong to groups who are persecuted by their governments, this might be a significant problem.

Emergency Situations

If your phone malfunctions, loses power, tips over, or just smashes its screen, communication will be completely shut off. This is the case with eSIMs. While this is happening, standard SIM cards can be readily taken out of the damaged phone and inserted into a backup device or a different phone.

On a New Phone, the Restoration Process Is Slower

It’s likely that the little plastic SIM card that was hidden within your phone will survive any damage if it breaks. You can just take it out and put it in a new phone. But with an eSIM, this is not the case. Your eSIM profile must be retrieved and downloaded from the cloud, which takes a lot longer to complete. When you upgrade, it also takes longer than it would to move to a new device.

Hard to Transfer SIM

Currently, data may be saved on the SIM card and simply placed into a new phone if you decide to change phones. As opposed to just moving a detachable SIM card, using an eSIM requires retrieving and downloading your profile from the cloud.

Your Device Might Not Be Supported by Network Providers

Not all of the world’s major network providers offer eSIM technology. As a result, unlike with a detachable SIM card, you might not be able to add a local eSIM profile to your smartphone while abroad. Furthermore, even while a network provider may offer eSIM, this does not imply that they do so for all devices that use it. It is crucial to check with your local network provider to see if they support your particular device.

Support Limited to High-end Phones

Only more expensive smartphones, such as Apple iPhones, Google Pixel smartphones, and Samsung Galaxy S and Z series, which may all be prohibitively expensive for the average customer, now enable eSIM. By switching to an eSIM, users will also be restricted to a far narrower selection of devices that support the technology.