WHAT IS AN ESIM?

An eSIM is a small chip inside your phone that acts just like a SIM card. It’s not a physical SIM card, so you don’t have to worry about inserting it into your phone or swapping it with other SIMs. To get your eSIM up and running, you simply contact a network that supports eSIMs, and they’ll activate it for you. You can have plans from more than one network stored on your eSIM, but you’ll only be able to use one at a time.

HOW DOES AN ESIM WORK?

Instead of having to get an actual SIM, your phone provides one for you instead. Your mobile phone network provides it virtually. It’s essentially an embedded SIM, which is updated as and when you need it to be. And because there’s no actual physical SIM, you can store more than one network.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF AN ESIM?

There are many advantages of eSIM, not least with regards to switching phone networks. For example, if you are switching from one network to another, you don’t have to go out to a shop to get a new SIM card or wait for one to arrive in the post – you can switch there and then. There’s no actual SIM that you have to install Perhaps you’re thinking of switching to more than one network – that’s easy too. Because an eSIM lets you store more than one network in it, you’ll be able to switch quickly between them. This could come in handy if you find yourself with no signal, in an area that your network doesn’t cover. If this happens to you now, you’re stuck. But in the near future you could simply switch to the network that offers the best coverage. eSIMs take up less room on a phone than a SIM card and its tray. Phone makers could potentially use this extra space to add extra features to your phone, or a bigger battery perhaps – extra battery life is always welcome.

It could be good news for travellers, too, as you can switch to the local network/tariff wherever you are – therefore avoiding roaming charges.

WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF AN ESIM?

We think the pros outweigh the cons, but there are a couple of potential flaws. With a physical SIM, if your phone breaks down you can transfer the SIM and have all your details on another phone – this may not be possible with an eSIM. You may not be able to transfer data from one phone to another, apart from information that’s stored in the cloud – things like contacts, messages and more.

Also, eSIMs devices can’t be taken out of the device – though they are secure and can be reprogrammed – so there some may be worried about their device being trackable.

List of phones with eSIM support

As of March 2021, the current known list of eSIM supported devices is:

Apple

  • iPhone 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, 12 Mini*
  • iPhone SE*
  • iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max*
  • iPhone XS, XS Max*
  • iPhone XR*
  • iPad Pro 12.9 inch (4th generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9 inch (3rd generation)
  • iPad Pro 11 inch (2nd generation)
  • iPad Pro 11 inch (1st generation)
  • iPad Air (4th generation)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad (8th generation)
  • iPad (7th generation)
  • iPad mini (5th generation)

Samsung

  • Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G   new
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G    new
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20 FE 5g
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20 FE
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Ultra 5g
  • Samsung Note 20+
  • Samsung Fold LTE model
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
  • Samsung Galaxy S20, s20+ and S20 Ultra (Single SIM Nano-SIM and/or eSIM models )
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy Fold

Google Pixel

  • Google Pixel 5
  • Google Pixel 4a
  • Google Pixel 4
  • Google Pixel 3 & 3XL (Limited support )
  • Google Pixel 2

Microsoft

  • Microsoft Surface Duo
  • Windows 10 PCs

Huawei

  • Huawei P40 and P40 Pro **

Oppo

  • Oppo Find X3 Pro new

Others

  • Nuu Mobile X5
  • Lenovo Yoga 630
  • HP Spectre Folio
  • Gemini PDA
  • Motorola Razr 2019
  • Palm Palm

Etisalat Presents Afghanistan`s first eSIM

eSIM makes it easy to switch from one phone account to another without having to replace your SIM card each and every time. To get a QR code and activate your eSIM, please visit your nearest Etisalat flagship in Kabul or other provinces.