In the coming future, you may not need a physical SIM card anymore in order to use your mobile phone as a result of the introduction of eSIM.
But what is an eSIM?
An eSIM is a smaller embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card measuring just 5mm in length and 5mm in width soldered into a device motherboard with all the functions of a regular SIM card. In other word, the eSIM/Embedded SIM is a very much smaller version of the removable SIM found in your phone.
But what is the intention or purpose of introducing this eSIM? Well, it’s obvious phone manufacturers want to do away with the space occupied by a removable SIM card. For a SIM to work, there will be a SIM socket for holding it and the circuit which connects it to the motherboard and other necessary parts of the phone or mobile device but with an eSIM, this is minimized adequately and manufacturers can have the luxury of making less bulky phones with more beautiful designs.
This was the same reason, phone makers adopted the use of nano SIM and mini SIM cards years ago but it looks like that is not even enough now. The same reason why we now have phones with non-removable batteries. All this technology is to make phone less bulky and appealing to the eyes.
HOW eSIM WORKS
It has M2M (Machine to Machine) and Remote Provisioning capabilities which provide you with an enhanced customer experience when activating and managing our phones. When you buy a phone with this eSIM in it, you can activate your preferred operator by going to phones settings, then select your network and what plan you want and you will be connected.
Interestingly, the new smartphones from Google – the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 comes with eSIM though Google rightly included slot for removable SIM as well because it’s not yet rampant but expect to see it replacing the normal SIM card in nearest future.
At this years Mobile World Congress, in the GSMA Seminar, Thomas Henze, Program Director eSIM, Product Innovation, Deutsche Telekom demonstrated activating his phone via scanning a code that in his demonstration was part of a physical letter from an operator. In another demo, a scenario was played out where via a Universal Activation Code, again used by scanning, we could activate as many phones as we wanted.
The eSIM is the future but it will not happen overnight, look down at your phone now and it’s still got a physical SIM, and will still need one when you pass it onto your kids, other family members or sell it. In the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL the eSIM is currently only used by Google Project Fi and thus it has a physical Nano-SIM card tray for all the other operators. ref.