These tiny chips are built into the smartphone and are about 60 times smaller than standard plastic SIM cards.
When you buy an eSIM phone, you can use your phone network’s app or a QR code to automatically add a phone number to your new phone.
Supposedly, a call to your carrier is enough to change an existing hardware SIM to an eSIM.
Will smartphone owners be forced to use an eSIM?
These new types of SIM are found in premium phones. They’re usually found alongside conventional ones in what’s known as a dual-SIM arrangement, so you have a choice.
Apple has removed physical SIMs entirely from iPhone 14 models sold in the US and asks others to adopt the optional eSIM during setup. This is the direction of travel but we have not arrived.
Why are eSIMs better than conventional ones?
A disputed benefit is the reduction of plastic waste and pollution, which is no small thing, given that there are now more SIM cards in circulation than people on the planet.
They also promise convenience by making it easy to move between devices or create phone lines. East technology It is also said to benefit smart city infrastructure. Analysts at Juniper Research believe that smart street lighting sensors will account for 88% of eSIMS by 2025. This is because each of these lights must be connected to a network, and eSIM makes this easier.
What are the problems with eSIM?
Not all networks have fully adopted eSIMs. While most major UK carriers now offer them, setup is inconsistent and network support forums are full of help requests.
“Confusion still reigns at the retail level,” Anisha Bhatia, an analyst at GlobalData, said in September.
Consumers trying to set up their phones with eSIM tend to report problems, including incompatible QR codes or problems trying to switch phone numbers between phones.
Some networks don’t offer eSIM support in store and people have reported the ridiculous situation where their phone number gets cut off while they’re on a call to do this with technology support for.
Which people should be careful with eSIMS?
If you’re the type of person who tends to lose, break, or trade phones on a regular basis, you have another challenge. eSIM activation is based on a one-time code, which means you need to contact your network provider every time you want to re-download the profile for another device.
This is enhanced by Apple’s iOS 16, which allows you to swap eSIMs between devices using Bluetooth, or at least it will when carriers support it. Right now it’s an inconvenience.
How to use an eSIM when traveling
In the past, you simply swiped a local SIM card into your phone to make calls at local rates. As international calling costs rise and roaming costs are affected by Brexit, the challenge in going all out to get an eSIM is that these virtual cards are not yet available everywhere.
That’s fine if you’re British, as we still have SIM card trays in smartphones and can use them instead. However, for US-based iPhone 14 users, it is a problem.
One solution is to buy eSIMs for other countries in advance, another is to use international prepaid data providers like GigSky, Airalo or Truphone. Good smartphones can carry multiple eSIM accounts installed, with up to two active at any one time, helping you stay in touch.
Should I upgrade to eSIM?
There are pros and cons to migrating to eSIM. The benefits of less waste and near-instant setup (because you don’t need to wait for a physical card) plus the convenience of being able to support multiple lines on one device still don’t balance the challenge of navigating inconsistent approaches to networking.
What does the future look like for eSIMs?
This situation should improve soon, especially since when Apple defends a technology, its adoption accelerates.
The bottom line is that while there are issues that still need to be ironed out to make eSIMs easier to use than conventional cards, the future is coming fast and we can only hope these gremlins are ironed out before eSIM-only smartphones arrive in the UK. .