E-SIM: The future of SIM technology will change

We have been using SIM cards in mobile phones for ages. SIM cards have become an essential item in our lives. Without a SIM, the phone may not become obsolete, but mobile phone usage loses its meaning.

Since the SIM card created in 1991, it has not had to go through much of a change. With the new SIM technology, it has become smaller in size and turned into Nano, Micro. But its basic concept has not changed much. The card has survived so long in the war of technology, but now it’s time to retire. E-SIM or Embedded SIM is going to replace the existing SIM card. Although it is currently connected to only a handful of devices, it will be the new standard in the future.

What is e-SIM?

Before talking about e-SIM, let’s talk about how SIM works. The full form of the word SIM is the Subscriber Identity Module, meaning it carries the user’s identity. A SIM card confirms your identity to the SIM carrier or SIM company. As a result, you can enjoy the network and facilities of that carrier. Your phone is disconnected from the network when this is not possible, or an error occurs.

A SIM contains the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) Number, which is unique. This number is sent by mobile phone to the SIM network of your choice to recognize you. It has an authentication key, so it is not possible to send incorrect information.

The difference between e-SIM and ordinary SIM
Image Source: Thales Group

E-SIM works the same way, but in this case, these technologies of the SIM card are built into the phone. Just as the processor is mounted on the phone’s chipset, so will the SIM. This is why it is called EMBEDDED SIM. Usually, we can’t see it or get out. 

In a regular SIM, this information is written, but in e-SIM, this information may vary depending on the SIM carrier. This means that you can easily connect from one network to another by changing your network information.

Nowadays, some WiFi networks have to be used by signing in, in the same way, SIMs have to use the network with information.

It is also smaller in size than a regular SIM. Where a standard SIM is 15 × 25 mm, and the current smallest nano-SIM is 6.8 × 12.3 mm, the width of an e-SIM is only 6.0 mm. Just as there is space for other components in a device for this small size, so is the use of SIMs in small or IOT devices.

SIM types; Image Source: Hologram

Advantages of e-SIM

The benefits of e-SIM are much more significant than the current SIM card. First, it can be used on many small devices. More new features can be added by changing the phone’s internal design, or we will get more slim devices.

A big hurdle when a phone is not waterproof is the SIM card tray. Without it, it would be relatively easy to get a waterproof phone.

Those who travel abroad will benefit the most with e-SIM. Changing the SIM from one country to another or within the country is a hassle.

There is also a possibility of getting lost using multiple SIMs. Besides, there is the matter of buying a SIM card. Nowadays, if the SIM is lost, it has to be replaced again, the SIM numbers are no longer available. There is no problem in using e-SIM. Maybe a call to sign up or SIM operator is enough to change this.

Concept of e-SIM benefits
Image Source: Thales Group

There is no possibility of losing the SIM or number. We had to change the SIM 3G to 4G, but this is not a problem on phones with a 5G supported e-SIM. In other words, they will be able to join 5G first without any hassle.

Phone thefts are happening all the time. If connected to e-SIM, phone theft will be reduced, or even if it is stolen. E-SIM will not have the opportunity to take the phone and throw away the SIM. Each phone can be easily tracked with the help of SIM.

SIM production and distribution both will save time and resources. No need to rush to buy a SIM. Not all SIMs are available in rural areas. This problem will be solved.

Is there any problem?

The effectiveness of an e-SIM depends on whether the SIM company will support it or not. The support of SIM companies is essential to make it entirely usable worldwide. That is why the current phones still use standard SIM. However, the best SIM companies in the world have already added e-SIM to their service. Among these, AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, etc. are notable. This year, about 200 mobile SIM operators from 90 countries are planning to update their e-SIM services. It is expected that with the growth of supported phones, the supported SIM network will also increase.

E-SIM supported devices; Source: Thales Group

E-SIM supported devices

The number of e-SIM supported devices is also increasing over time. Some phones and wearable devices still support e-SIM. Among them are Apple’s iPhones. The latest iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max are e-SIM supported. Also, iPhone XS, XR-O supports e SIM.

Not only iPhone, Apple Watch 3, 4, and 5 and some iPad models also use e-SIM.

In addition to Apple, Google’s latest Pixel phones support e-SIM. 

These include Pixel 4, Pixel 3, and Pixel 3A. Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip, Galaxy Watch, Watch Active 2, and Gear S2 also have e-SIM support. 

Some devices from Microsoft, Lenovo, and Huawei also support e-SIM.

The network, as well as the operating system, has to support this technology. The good news is that Google’s Android, iOS, Wire OS, and Windows 10 supports e-SIM. 

It is expected that e-SIM will be widely used in the next five years. The touch of modernity is not excluded in any case!

Reference:

1. 6 key points to understand what an eSIM is

2. What is an e-SIM: Everything you need to know

Feature Image Source: Gizmodo