eSIM: The Virtual SIM Card.

Nov 28, 2016

The 5G, flexible phones, standardization of phone chargers, disappearance of earphones jack, the eSIM… The end of the year is coming and some publications specialized in telecom, and more concretely in mobile phones, are introducing the latest developments for 2017.

There is a novelty standing out among the others: the eSIM,an updated version of the traditional SIM (all shapes and sizes) and probably a great mystery regarding its functions and use. Although this is not that new, it is slowly starting to be implemented (in Europe).

But, what exactly an eSIM or Virtual SIM Card is?


The eSIM is a virtual SIM card whose use was approved last year by the GSMA, the main world association of mobile devices makers and operators, which will make the physical card disappear and will allow us to access to our operator’s services by simply logging into our linked device, phone, tablet, smartwatch and wristband.

This device, obviously, must be suitable for the eSIM service, which means that if the device has not this feature, you should change it for a suitable one.

As everything in life, there are some advantages and disadvantages.

eSim’s advantages.

Changing the operator will be faster as the chosen operator will only have to upload its profile to the user’s phone. In that way, we will avoid the tedious process of talking to operators, changing the SIM card, portabilities, and so on.

Several operators can be used in a device, and thus the user can check the best tariff in every moment and make a call or surf the Internet with the cheapest operator and the best phone coverage, for example. There may be potential applications to automatize these changes.

Roaming disappears; it is possible that local operators send us an SMS to load their profiles to our eSIM once we activate our phones abroad, so that we can obtain local prices in a few seconds. It is remarkable that roaming will disappear in the European Union on June 2017 if the European Commission maintains its commitment.

eSim’s disadvantages.

As mentioned before, for enjoying the advantages of the eSIM, it is needed a suitable device, and if you do not have it, you should renew it, which means a first expense.

There are other future disadvantages of bureaucratic nature or regarding the rethinking of the operators’ offers, such as: disputes because of long-term contracts, or convergent offers, those which include more than one service (Internet + TV). In short, technology will be available first, and then we must wait for the law to enjoy it.

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no esim phone

When can we enjoy it?

It can be said that there are some stages with implementation dates in Spain, which practically includes about 100% at the beginning of 2017, however, these schedules have a big delay due to the different interests or priorities of the operators.

Nowadays, mobile operators in the Spanish market does not offer the eSIM service for devices. In Europe, Vodafone in Germany leaded the way.

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