What is Esim and how does it work?

Do you know what esim is? It is actually a Virtual SIM Card. In the past 30 years, you needed a physical SIM card if you wanted to connect a phone or a device to a cellular network, and in today’s digital world, things are delivered with a few taps in an app.

Phones that have both are using esim as an alternative to another sim. There is still room for a traditional micro SIM that you can use as normal, but you can add a second number or data contract via eSIM – how does it work? Read on to know more about it.

What is Esim?

The term eSIM (embedded SIM) means an embedded SIM card and is also known as eUICC (embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card). The eSIM / Embedded SIM is smaller at 6mm in length and 5mm in width and is soldered onto the motherboard of the device.

It is an embedded SIM in your communication device, which allows you to activate your prepaid/postpaid service on the device without using a physical SIM on eSIM enabled devices.

There are no physical SIM cards involved and no physical swapping required by you. eSIM needs to be supported and enabled by the network or carrier and not all networks support eSIM yet.

An eSIM is basically a small chip inside your phone and works similar to the NFC chip, which is used for payment technology like Apple Pay and Google Pay.

The information in an eSIM is rewritable, which means you can decide to change your operator with a simple phone call. Adding to a data plan is really easy—connecting devices to a mobile account can be done in minutes.

How does a SIM card work normally?

Let us understand with an example how a physical SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card works. Shyam is a man who has bought a device which supports physical SIM card.

  • Went to Shyam retailer, selected a number and bought.
  • The retailer gave him a SIM card, which has the specific data store of the network.
  • The sim that Shyam had taken from the retailer was installed in the phone.
  • Connected to the network using the data storage that was in the phone sim.

If Shyam has to switch from another network, then he will have to follow 4 procedures again.

How Esim works

The carrier data store remains with the physical sim and the device accesses the network using the same data. eSIM is essentially a SIM card with empty data slots that are pre-installed and embedded in the device. Instead of using the physical SIM to connect to the network and send the required data, the carrier sends that data over the internet, which is used by the eSIM.

Let’s take an example as well to understand how esim works. Shyam bought a device in which esim supports.

  • Shyam picks a plan that he likes and places an order to buy it.
  • Instead of sending a physical SIM, the carrier sends it a QR code.
  • Shyam scans the QR code and activates the plan.
  • Provision to send a SIM profile (same data stored in the physical SIM) to an eSIM slot on his phone.

(The provisioning system is called Subscription Manager Data Preparation (SM-DP). You can see that term in the esim activation instructions sent by the carrier.)

Once installed, the device uses the eSIM and the data stored in that slot as if it were a physical SIM. However, unlike physical SIM, which will allow you to use data from only one carrier, eSIM can store SIM data from multiple carriers. For example, if Shyam decides that he wants to try another carrier or needs a different number for the job, he can download new plans in different slots on the same eSIM.

What is the advantage of Esim?

There are a lot of advantages of eSIM as compared to old school SIM cards.

  • Switching networks is easy.
  • There is no need of sim tray.
  • Can connect with more devices, like you have smart mobile phone and smart watch, both can connect with same esim.
  • esim is very secure in comparison to other sim cards.
  • No physical cards: You don’t have cards to lose, especially if you switch cards frequently.

What is the disadvantage of Esim?

Like anything else, new technology will have its downsides.

  • Expensive phones: Currently, only top-end phones include eSIM technology, so using the technology will cost.
  • Not simple: even though the eSIM can be switched easily, one can slide the physical card out and insert a new SIM card in a second.
  • Switching devices quickly isn’t easy. Right now, if your handset stops working, you can easily remove the SIM and put it in another phone, giving your number and contact information (if your contacts are stored on the SIM).

This would be a lot trickier with an eSIM—though storing information and contacts in the cloud is designed to make it easier to transfer data such as contacts from one phone to another.

How to activate airtel Esim

step 1:

Convert your physical SIM to eSIM or existing eSIM to eSIM.

To convert your physical SIM to eSIM or existing eSIM to eSIM, there are a few steps that you need to follow:

  1. To start the process, sms eSIM <> registered email id and sms to 121.

2.) (a) If your email ID is valid, you will receive an SMS from 121, confirming the initiation of the process. You will have to reply back with “1” to confirm the eSIM change request within 60 seconds.

(b) If your email id is invalid, you will receive a sms from 121 asking you to restart the process with the correct email id along with instructions on how to update you email id will guide.

3. After receiving the confirmation sent by you for post “2”, you will receive another sms from 121 asking you to consent to the call, failing which the SIM change request will be cancelled.

4. After providing your consent to the call, you will receive a final sms from 121 regarding the QR code, which you will receive on your registered email id.

step 2:

After the completion of step 1, you will receive a QR code on your registered email id. eSIM activation will take approx 2 hours, please scan the QR code immediately upon receipt. For more details visit Airtel site.

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