Understanding eSIMs

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Soon physical SIM cards like the one seen here will be in use no more.

As part of the 5G roll-out happening around the world, mobile devices in New Zealand will soon have integrated ‘eSIMs'. ‘eSIM’ stands for ‘Embedded Subscriber Identity Module’ and will mean that rather than having to get a separate SIM card that can then be swapped in and out, an eSIM will be embedded into the device. 

The arrival of 5G is expected to usher in a new wave of 5G enabled dual-sim phones and wearables over the next few years – however, there is also eSIM capability in current 4G technology. Many devices support eSIMs already (including; the iPad Pro, Apple Watch Series and newer iPhones, such as the XS and 11, to name a few).

Currently there is some support for specific devices with eSIMs in NZ and plans are in place to have wider network support enabled in 2021. Apple has a list of wireless carriers that offer eSIM services in each country. 

A big advantage of eSIMs is that they will allow you to add a network to your device without the need to swap out physical SIM cards, which theoretically will eliminate the need for roaming data and the high data costs that occur when travelling using your usual SIM card. If you have a device that is dual-SIM enabled, then your physical SIM and eSIM are connected to two separate networks and your phone will display both networks on-screen at the same time. You can then make and receive calls and send messages using both numbers.
 

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TDR stands for ‘Telecommunications Dispute Resolution’ a free and independent service that helps consumers manage complaints about any product or service from their telecommunications provider. We resolve complaints about landline, mobile and internet issues.

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