What is eSIM and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

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Most US carriers and many outside of the US accept an embedded SIM card. Since 2017, Apple iPhones have been equipped to support this type of SIM card (abbreviated as SUBSCRIBER IDENTITY MODULE, which is generally made of PVC). Before the unveiling of iPhone 13, users could use one physical SIM card and one SIM card Embedded use, but in the iPhone 13 family, the simultaneous use of two SIM cards Embedded It became possible. The next step for Apple is to completely remove the physical SIM card slot. Of course, this change has only been applied in the US market, and the iPhone 14 in other regions of the world is still equipped with a slot for a physical nano SIM card.

The following article was updated on 20 September 1401 with the addition of a video.

An electronic SIM card or eSIM is a much smaller version of a regular SIM card that is placed internally in phones. Today, the latest smart gadgets in the world of technology support eSIM and their number is gradually increasing. Many people introduce eSIM with the title of electronic SIM card (ٍElectornic SIM Card), but actually e In this term, the word Embedded It refers to a chip embedded (or embedded) inside a phone or gadget that can store information about a person’s phone number. This chip is fixed hardware on the phone’s motherboard and cannot be removed from the device.

What is eSIM?

In simple definition, eSIM is a type of internal SIM card Embedded It is in smart gadgets. This type of SIM card can be considered as an alternative to physical SIM cards, which performs the same functions as normal SIM cards and connects smartphones to telecommunication networks.

eSIM Much smaller dimensions It has a normal SIM card and, unlike a physical SIM card, on the motherboard of phones or any other device Fixed is placed; This means that the user cannot install or open it and only the possibility of changing the phone number or operator is available to him; In fact, the information on the eSIM can be rewritten.

SIM card is embedded

Changing the phone number or operator with an eSIM is simple and faster than the process of changing the number with a physical SIM card. Users do not need to register a physical SIM card and wait to receive it to change their mobile number. Just one phone call is enough to easily get the necessary information to use the new phone number. The embedded SIM card provides all the features of the physical SIM card and can be connected to the same networks. In a brief definition, it can be said that the use of eSIM has no interference with the user’s previous telecommunication connections.

Both the operator and the user’s smartphone must support eSIM

To use eSIM, you must first choose an operator that offers this type of SIM card, and naturally, your mobile phone must also be equipped with the internal hardware required for eSIM and support it. As mentioned at the beginning of the article, the international operators that support eSIM include AT&T and T-Mobile; Some Iranian operators have conducted tests to support this technology in recent years, but currently none of the domestic operators of the country officially and publicly support the embedded SIM card technology or eSIM.

Experts predict that in the not too distant future, all smartphones and tablets will support eSIM. The very small dimensions of this SIM card make it possible to use it in devices of the Internet of Things ecosystem. Of course, there is a newer technology in this field called iSIM, which may be considered the next revolution in the field of SIM cards. iSIM or integrated SIM are very small and offer more security than physical SIM cards or embedded SIM cards (eSIM).


eSim is not limited to iPhone 14

Today, some smartphones in the market, from the iPhone 11 or Google Pixel 4 to newer phones such as the iPhone 14 series, are available in some markets without physical SIM card support. These phones support a relatively new feature called eSIM and provide many benefits to users. Removing the SIM card slot is considered a very important event in the world of smartphones; But electronic SIM cards or eSIMs are still not widely used around the world. Using a SIM card Embedded It eliminates the need to visit service offices in person and allows users to move between different operators more easily. T-Mobile is one of the first mobile operators that use SIM card technology Embedded supports.

How to install eSIM?

Normal mobile phones are connected to the telecommunications network by inserting a SIM card. As mentioned, eSIM does not have any physical card and as a result, its installation process will be different. After buying a phone with the ability to use eSIM and registering the mentioned service in the operator, The user receives an activation SIM card containing a QR code who must scan it with the phone. Needless to say, the installation process is different in different operating systems.


  • In iPhone phones, you must enter the section Settings > Cellular > Add Cellular Plan and scan the code according to the given instructions.
  • On Android phones to the path Settings > Network & internet > Add go. Follow the instructions and select Use 2 Numbers in the final menu. Of course, the activation steps may be different in different versions of Android.

Google a program called Fi for telecommunications and SIM card services Embedded It is offered in some countries. By registering in this service, users will receive eSIM settings automatically in their user account. Other examples of eSIM use include the Apple Watch, whose SIM card settings are activated through the Apple Watch application on the smartphone. There are also dedicated applications for setting up the SIM card embedded in other smart watches, such as the Galaxy Watch.

Devices equipped with two SIM cards must have DSDS or Dual Sim, Dual Standby to provide full services to the user. This feature is available on iPhone and phones equipped with Android 10 and above. DSDS makes it possible to connect two SIM cards to the network at the same time. After the initial activation of this feature, one of the SIM cards must be selected as the default line.

Advantages of eSIM

The main advantage of SIM cards Embedded At Small dimensions They are seen. Nano SIM cards today are known as the smallest physical SIM cards, which have an area of ​​24.108 square mm. In comparison, the eSIM has an area of ​​approximately 30 square millimeters About one third of a nanowire Is. In addition to the dimensions of the main SIM card, using a physical SIM card means using more hardware, such as the location of the SIM card and the card reader in the device. Such parts and spaces are removed when using an electronic SIM card.

The dimensions of the embedded SIM card

Reducing the dimensions not only increases the space of the smart gadget for other parts such as a larger battery; It will also give the manufacturing company the possibility to redesign and change locations. For example, there is no requirement to mount the eSIM on the edge of the smartphone, and it will also be easier to waterproof.

Probably, in the future, all smart devices will be equipped with eSIM

Users also use a SIM card Embedded They will get benefits. They no longer need to carry physical wires and the trouble of opening and closing the SIM card slot is also eliminated. As mentioned, dual-SIM features are also more easily available using eSIM.

Disadvantages of eSIM

The main problem is the SIM card Embedded In the age of moving The mobile phone is visible. In fact, the user cannot easily transfer the SIM card from one device to another. In addition, Testing device communication issues It also becomes more difficult. Users can now try the SIM card in another device if there is a problem with the phone. By doing this, you can find out if the problem was caused by the SIM card or the phone; But such a possibility will not exist if eSIM is used.

New technologies need time to enter the body of society. This is also the case for e-SIM cards, and in 2019, they still have limited support.

Apple watch series 5 / apple watch 5 series

What is the status of eSIM in Iran?

Currently, none of the country’s domestic operators officially and publicly support eSIM technology. Irancell and Shuttle previously launched this service in their network as a test, but this technology remained in the same test stage and has not yet been put into operation. Mobile First also has no plans to launch the eSIM service in Iran, and therefore it is not possible to determine with certainty a specific time for the use of eSIM technology in Iran.

Devices equipped with eSIM support

The iPhone 11 series and above and older models such as the iPhone XS and iPhone XR support eSIM alongside the nano SIM card; The iPhone 14 family is also available in the United States only with support for an embedded SIM card (eSIM) and is not equipped with a space to use a physical SIM card. Google phones also support this technology from the Pixel 2 onwards. Apart from these products, the number of smartphones that support eSIM is limited. For example, currently only Samsung flagship phones offer the possibility of using eSIM technology. In the category of smart gadgets, devices such as Apple Watch, Galaxy Watch, and Huawei Watch 2 are among the most important products that are equipped with eSIM technology.

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