eSIM: a new word in mobile communications technology
Each phone user is familiar with such a concept as a SIM card. This is a small plastic chip card with which the smartphone connects to the mobile network. For several decades now, SIM cards have been improving: sizes are decreasing, shapes are changing, functionality is increasing. Virtual eSIMs have gained popularity in recent years.
Device manufacturers are in no hurry to completely abandon the slot for the SIM card. The introduction of built-in eSIM is still limited only to flagship models. However, the prospects for the widespread use of new technology are promising.
eSIM - what is it in simple words
The prototype of eSIM technology appeared in 2010. Initially, the built-in SIM card was called eUICC (Embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card), but only the first letter e remains in the modern name.
An embedded SIM is a microchip only 5x5 mm in size, soldered on the motherboard of a smartphone. Such a “SIM card” cannot be removed, replaced, or disabled, but it is endowed with all the functions of a physical chip.
In order for the eSIM to work, you need to write down the data of the mobile operator on it by scanning a QR code with a link to download a subscriber profile. Unlike a conventional SIM, several providers supporting this technology can be linked to one built-in card. To change the operator, it is enough to reprogram the chip.
Now the most famous popularizer of virtual eSIM is the American corporation Apple. Since 2017, the company has been producing products that support the built-in SIM card in one way or another. And the iPhone 14 line, introduced in 2022, will be available in the US market only with eSIM.
Pros and cons of eSIM
Like any other innovation in development, embedded SIM technology has its pros and cons. Let's take a closer look at the pros and cons of eSIM.
According to manufacturers, it is worth choosing an electronic SIM card, if only because it greatly simplifies the process of buying a number. First, you don't have to go to the salon to buy a starter pack. Secondly, you can order the connection of the operator online.
In addition to ease of connection, virtual eSIM has such important advantages:
- A connection of 5 profiles at the same time is available.
- Does not interfere with the parallel use of a physical SIM card.
- The chip is impossible to lose.
- Easy number transfer to a new smartphone.
- The chip format is suitable for small devices, such as smart watches.
- Makes it impossible to hack personal data, as it is protected by a phone lock.
Even if an attacker has stolen a smartphone, thanks to the active eSIM built into a mobile device, you can determine its location.
Naturally, it was not without drawbacks. In total, it is worth highlighting two disadvantages:
- Until now, not all mobile devices support technology.
- Transferring a subscriber profile takes more time and is required every time you change the device.
If you are planning to switch to an e-SIM, you need to be prepared for minor, but unpleasant for many users, changes, as well as study the pros and cons of eSIM.
Is it worth switching to an electronic SIM card?
By itself, the transition to Embedded SIM is not mandatory for users. Until now, most smartphone and smart device manufacturers combine innovation with traditional approaches.
But it is clear that in the future, virtual eSIMs will gradually replace SIM cards. Therefore, to switch now or wait until it has to be done due to certain circumstances - the choice is up to the user.