eSIM on the up: This is how the farewell to the plastic SIM should be faster

eSIM on the up: This is how the farewell to the plastic SIM should be faster
Written by insideindyhomes

Vodafone wants to make it easier to activate new contracts with eSIM and thus increase the spread of the virtual card. The company announced this. In addition, prepaid tariffs are to be offered directly as an eSIM from August. The other network operators in Germany, Telekom and O2, also offer eSIM – albeit in different forms. Customers often have to actively try to do this.

The eSIM as a replacement for the plastic SIM is nevertheless becoming increasingly popular. Every year, Vodafone records a doubling of the number of users who dare to switch from the physical to the virtual key card to the mobile network. The company expects one million users with eSIM by the end of the year. By 2025, around a third of the smartphones in operation worldwide will be connected via eSIM, predicts the GSMA, the global industry association of mobile phone operators.

With the eSIM, a chip is built into the mobile device. Access to the mobile network can be loaded as a so-called profile. The eSIM enables mobile phone numbers to be changed quickly and without the need for conversion. It also saves space, which is primarily important for smartwatches.

An overview of the new and existing options for using the eSIM:

If you order an eSIM-enabled smartphone with a fixed-term tariff from Vodafone, you will now automatically receive an eSIM – unless a plastic SIM is expressly requested. Since the eSIM profile is permanently linked to the eSIM chip serial number (EID), the eSIM profile can be downloaded directly in the device settings, according to Vodafone. The previous method of scanning a QR code on paper and then entering an ePIN is no longer applicable.

From August, Vodafone also intends to offer prepaid tariffs directly with eSIM. So far, the mobile phone providers have usually only offered eSIMs directly with the order for fixed-term contracts.

Telekom offers eSIMs on request in all tariffs. The entry is usually made by scanning a QR code. Alternatively, the EID of the device can also be entered via the customer center.

So far, prepaid tariffs have not been offered directly as an eSIM. However, after activating the plastic SIM, customers can order the virtual variant via the hotline.

At O2, the plastic SIM is still the starting point of a business relationship. According to the network operator, there is always a classic SIM card for new contracts. This can only be exchanged for an eSIM after activation.

With prepaid tariffs, there is not even a choice afterwards. O2 currently only offers eSIMs for contracts with a term. And at the moment the company cannot say when anything will change.

Since the presentation of the specification and the first devices in 2015, the range of eSIM-enabled mobile devices has steadily increased. Especially with the smartphone flagships, the ability is part of the standard equipment.

Apple has supported the eSIM in the iPhone since 2018. The cellular versions of the iPads also introduced the virtual SIM. Samsung has been there since the Galaxy S20 and now has various devices on offer that have an eSIM installed. Other smartphones include the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G, the Google Pixel 3 and later, the Fairphone, the Huawei P40 and the Oppo Find X3 Pro.

In addition to the iPads, the tablets include the Acer Swift 7, the Asus Transformer Mini, the Microsoft Surface Pro X, the Lenovo Yoga 5G and the HP Spectra Folio with eSIM.

Then there are also smartwatches such as the Apple Watch from Series 3 and the Samsung Galaxy Watch, each in the mobile version.


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