e-SIM: What is it and how do you activate it?

TechNews Writer
Mon Mar 06, 2023

An embedded SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card in a cell phone is e-SIM. It is the newest technology that has opened the doors for cellular systems. One can easily activate a cellular plan from the network carrier without a physical card. Using e-SIM, you can easily change the mobile operator remotely. It seamlessly works with Wi-Fi, dongles, and other electronic devices like laptops and tablets. An e-SIM is the future of instant mobile internet access because it eliminates the need to carry a physical sim card on your phone.

An e-SIM is embedded in the motherboard and does not require any SIM card tray. It allows for designing a thinner device. Information on e-SIM is rewritable, which makes it easy to manage e-SIM while switching network carriers or cellphone devices. However, there are some cons of e-SIM. A few mobile carriers currently support e-SIM, but this will gradually increase as more manufacturers adopt this technology. It is difficult to control the e-SIM card manually, so in case of physical damage to the device you will have to rely on cloud hosting. 

Most of the USA carriers support e-SIM for iOS devices. However, some network carriers support e-SIM for Android devices, like the Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel series. The latest iPhones from Apple, the Google Pixel series (7 and 7XL), the Samsung Galaxy series, Razr from Motorola, the Apple watch series, the Samsung gear watch series, and Microsoft surface DUO have an e-SIM.

When you have bought a new Android phone, check whether your device is compatible. You need to do the IMEI check by contacting the network carrier. IMEI is an identification number associated with GSM phones. 

If you already have an Android cellphone and wish to upgrade to e-SIM capabilities, check that it supports e-SIM and has the right network coverage. The network carrier provides you with information about the compatibility of your device and will help you to install it. When you are ready to switch from Android to iPhone, communicate with your network carrier and make sure their e-SIM activation process is complete. The notification should appear on your screen when it is ready. Continue the process by tapping the label "Continue" at the bottom of the screen. After completing this process, restart the iPhone.

If you have a new iPhone, by following on-screen instructions you can easily set up e-SIM. The network carrier supports either e-SIM carrier activation or e-SIM quick transfer facility. For e-SIM carrier activation, the network carrier assigns e-SIM to your device. 

Using the e-sim Quick transfer option, you can transfer SIM from one iPhone to another. To convert physical SIM into e-SIM, follow an extra step in the "Convert" settings. Apple on-screen assistance with a combination of carrier instructions makes this conversion easy. If these options are not applicable, communicate with your network carrier to activate your e-SIM using a QR code.



eSIM technology by Ericsson https://www.ericsson.com/en/esim

About eSIM on iPhone https://support.apple.com/en-in/HT212780

ESIM – WHAT IS AN ESIM? https://www.dstny.se/en/glossary/esim/



Appears in
2023 - Spring - Issue 7