What is an eSIM and how do you use it?

Google will add to its Pixel phones the ability to convert a regular SIM card into an eSIM. An eSIM is a virtual copy of a SIM card. A SIM card is a small plastic “chip” that you insert into your phone to connect to your service provider. Thanks to this SIM card, you can make and receive calls, but you can also use the Internet via your service provider’s data network, for example. However, a physical card is no longer necessary to achieve this, it can be done digitally as well: an eSIM.

Electronic SIM card

A useful solution, because it allows the phone manufacturer, for example, to eventually stop adding separate SIM card slots to the device. This eliminates the need for an opening that could trap water and dust, for example. However, there are more advantages: If you are on holiday and your phone is stolen, you can easily be sure that you can be reached again: you do not need to be sent a physical SIM card.

Many people think that the E for eSIM means electronic, but that is not the case. It means “embedded”, which means “closed”. This is because it is actually a type of physical SIM card, which is only present in the phone as standard, and cannot simply be removed and can be programmed as it were. This means that you can, as it were, put your connection with Odido on it, but if you switch to KPN, it is still possible to use KPN on it. What’s more, you can also easily download data from your eSIM to a potential new device.

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Business and private

There are even more advantages: for example, the eSIM can also act as a second SIM when you are on holiday. When you travel to America for three weeks, you can still connect to the Internet everywhere without WiFi, because you are using an eSIM with an American service provider. Another big advantage is that it saves a lot of electrical waste. A SIM card is a type of chip and therefore should not be simply thrown away. Moreover, the lion’s share is plastic, of which we would rather have less than more. So eliminating the physical SIM card definitely means reducing plastic waste. Also consider the “cards” in which SIM cards are always placed for safe transport: they are all made of extra plastic. Another advantage? You can also easily use them with a wearable device, like an Apple Watch.

There are disadvantages to eSIM cards, but they are far fewer than the advantages. The main drawback is that hackers can misuse the eSIM more easily since data is stored in the account. If a hacker knows how someone logs into their Vodafone account, for example, they can easily hack in using your eSIM. Another drawback is that not all phones support it yet. New ones often do this, but older ones are not yet equipped with this technology. Phones like the Google Pixel 8, iPhone 15, and Samsung Galaxy S23 have it. Many providers now offer this option, such as KPN, Odido, Simyo and Vodafone.

Using an eSIM

An eSIM is useful abroad, but eventually many people will use it to use two phone numbers on a single smartphone: their work number and their private number. Very useful, because you don’t have to keep changing phones. Using an eSIM is also fun, because you don’t need to mess around with removing the SIM card (many people also accidentally insert the pin into the wrong slot, instead of the SIM card slot).

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Using an eSIM is very simple. You can order an eSIM from your service provider and download it from your account to your smartphone. This all works via your service provider’s app and is self-explanatory. This saves a lot of fiddling and plastic and gives you more freedom to switch providers more easily.

Laura Jenny

When she’s not clicking, she’s traveling around the wonderful world of entertainment or somewhere wonderful in the real world. Mario is the man of her life..

Winton Frazier

 "Amateur web lover. Incurable travel nerd. Beer evangelist. Thinker. Internet expert. Explorer. Gamer."

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