Changing a SIM card isn’t the worst job in the world, but it’s a hassle we could all do without.
Fortunately, there’s a technology poised to deliver us from the occasional nuisance of SIM card administration. It’s called eSIM, and it stands for Electronic Subscriber Identity Module.
Practically speaking, an eSIM works just like a regular SIM, allowing you to make calls and get online. The big difference is that an eSIM is baked into your phone.
Instead of taking it out and replacing it when you want to go abroad or change operator, you just visit a website and scan a QR code. Whereas a SIM is a static object, and eSIM is programmable, allowing you to tweak it at the level of software rather than fiddly hardware.
The fact that you can throw away you SIM card ejector tool is reason enough to embrace the eSIM revolution, but there’s much more to it than that.
For a start, an eSIM lets you go anywhere you like (pretty much) and take your data with you. Gone are the days of swapping out your SIM card whenever you land in a new country.
Then there’s the extra security an eSIM provides. Whether or not you realise it, your traditional SIM card is a soft target for hackers carrying out simjacking, SIM swaps, and SIM cloning. You could fall victim to these attacks at any moment.
But not if you’re using eSIM, which requires an activation code and shields your personal information from others unless you expressly agree to share it.
There’s a growing number of eSIM providers, and shopping around is essential if you want to get the best value for money. You can compare a number of providers at esim,com. Some, like Simtex and UpeSim, specialize in keeping prices as low as possible.
Others, like Airalo and RedteaGO, trade on their comprehensive suites of features and options.
Interestingly, Elon Musk could well be joining the ranks of these new operators in the near future.
Starlink, the cutting edge satellite communications network that uses space lasers to beam information around at lightning speed, is reportedly keen to enter the telecoms market with an offer of cheap global data plans. Watch this space (lasers).