e-SIMs – What are they and why are they the future?

What is an e-SIM?

A SIM card is essentially a small plastic computer chip, usually used in mobile phone devices, which house your network data. Typically, your mobile phone network provider (e.g. Three, Vodafone, EE, O2) will give you a new SIM card when you get a new phone. The SIM card allows that device to make calls, texts and connect to data services using the mobile network.

An e-SIM is an embedded SIM card, which means that there is no physical card that you can put in and take out of your mobile device. These e-SIMs have been designed to supersede the traditional SIM card we have known for many years, reducing the plastic waste that goes alongside them.

However, there are more benefits than just being environmentally friendly!

What are the advantages?

e-SIMs make switching between network providers simpler than ever before. This is very useful with business mobile contracts, where devices can be used by different employees at different times and networks need to be adjusted to best suit the individual using the phone. With an e-SIM a simple phone call is all it takes to switch networks, no need to wait days for a traditional SIM card to be ordered, delivered, and then installed by the user which, as we all know can be done incorrectly causing further delays.

An e-SIM allows you to hold up to 5 virtual SIM cards (which can even be on multiple networks!). This means if you or your employees are in an area with reduced or no signal, you can switch between networks almost instantly, you will never have to miss important business calls again!

For companies that require international travel this is ideal, you can simply switch to a local network, avoiding any unnecessary, expensive data roaming charges that may apply.

With the availability of using more than one network, you will also be able to utilise more than one mobile number more easily than with traditional SIM cards! Perfect if you use one device for business and personal use, or if you run multiple businesses and require different phone numbers for each.

Finally, because there is less need for physical space within the devices, manufacturers can now utilise this for more vital components, such as battery space or to enhance processing power with a faster CPU. It also allows them to improve a phone’s IP rating against water and dust, since the absence of a SIM card slot means there are fewer openings.

Are there any disadvantages?

There are currently a limited number of devices which provide e-SIM functionality, new devices from Apple, Samsung and Google will be fitted with e-SIMs as standard. Old devices however, will have to remain with traditional SIM cards.

In addition to this there are a limited number of providers who offer their networks through e-SIMs at present. However, Vodafone is one of these, so we are incredibly excited to be able to offer e-SIM capabilities to our customers! To find out more about e-SIMS, or to see if your business could benefit from this call us on 0800 093 3000 to speak to a member of our team today.

We are a number of years away from saying goodbye to the traditional SIM card for good, but this is an exciting step in not only reducing waste but also streamlining processes that can cause businesses avoidable delays.

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