Five Questions About e-SIM Answered

e-SIM QR code

ESIMs are gaining popularity today, so whether you're currently using one or contemplating making a purchase, it's important to understand its workings. An e-SIM is an embedded sim. As the name implies, it is embedded directly into your mobile device. It consists of software installed onto an eUICC chip permanently attached to your device.

The eUICC stands for embedded universal integrated circuit card. To better understand what this is we need to take our minds back to how a standard sim card works. Every sim includes an operator profile where you can find info about your sim. In a standard sim that profile is fixed, if you want to change the profile you have to change the physical sim card. In an eUICC sim you also have the profile , in this case you are able to replace it and you can do it without changing the physical sim card. When you change a profile it's called a swap.

Here are five questions answered about e-SIM that'll help you better understand how your e-SIM works or help you make up your mind about using one.

Can you simultaneously use your ESIM on two devices?

No. A check-in/check-out system is used by the network node known as an SM-DP+, which controls your e-SIM profile, to make sure that this doesn't take place. The same result as SIM cloning would be achieved by downloading the same profile to several devices, and nobody wants that.

Can e-SIMs and regular SIMs work on a device at the same time?

This has been a concern for several smartphone users. The answer, however, is dependent on the kind of device you use. 

How to use e-Sim and regular sim on an iPhone.

You can utilize two e-SIMs for two or more cellular plans, two active at the same time. On the iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13, and iPhone 13 small, you can use a physical SIM for one cellular plan and an e-SIM for one or more additional cellular plans. I.e you can use one number for commercial calls, and another number; for personal calls. Both your phone numbers can make and receive voice/ FaceTime calls and send and receive messages using  iMessage, SMS, and MMS. Your iPhone can also use one cellular data network at a time.

If you want to use 5G with Dual SIM on iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, or iPhone 12 Pro Max, make sure that you have iOS 14.5 or later.

How to use e-Sim and regular sim on android devices

You can use an e-SIM with your Google Pixel and later versions, Honor Magic 3 and later versions, Samsung Galaxy devices (including S20, S21, Z Flip, Note, and later versions), Huawei P40 and Huawei Mate 40 Pro, Nuu X5, Oppo Find X3 Pro and later versions, Rakuten Mini, Rakuten. These phones are also 'Dual SIM'. They have two SIM slots meaning that you can have two numbers and two different plans on the same phone.  If your device is unlocked, you can use a foreign SIM and your own SIM at the same time if you're traveling abroad. 

How to manually check if your phone supports e-SIM

Locate your IMEI in your settings and check to see if your phone supports eSIM. The term "IMEI" stands for "International Mobile Equipment Identity," and checking your phone's IMEI will show you whether it has been carrier-unlocked and whether digital eSIMs are supported.

Can e-SIMs be hacked?

Since e-SIMs use digital authentication, many believe that it isn’t as secure as physical SIM cards. However, e-SIMs are stored using eUICC, a dedicated chip built into cellphones to separate them from physical SIM cards, providing the same protection. e-SIMs also employ the same algorithms that physical SIM cards use, just without the extra hardware required in the phone like the SIM tray.

ESIM generation is also highly secured with services certified by the GSMA, offering added defense from cyber threats. Another benefit of e-SIMs that adds to its overall security is that its typical QR code matches only one device. It also cannot be swapped or cloned like physical SIMs. Additionally, e-SIM cards cannot be stolen without stealing the phone, whereas removable SIM cards are sometimes stolen, and used in scams.

You can deactivate any connection you want and then it can only be reactivated by scanning the QR code or entering the passcode provided by the operator. Since a single e-SIM contains the information being provided to multiple networks, it's much more difficult for hackers to steal the identity.

In terms of traceability, like regular sim cards, when an e-SIM-enabled smartphone is turned on, it becomes connected and is immediately trackable because all smartphones have a GPS tracking device.

What e-SIM provider can I use in Nigeria?

Some Nigerian Telco operators are rolling out e-SIM options for tourists. To register and activate you'll have to locate the mobile operator's store in the city. While others are way behind in the rollout of e-SIM services.

As a tourist, you will want to look out for an e-SIM service that provides instant data connectivity upon arrival, preferably, one that can be activated right from your mobile device. In Nigeria, Afrosim e-SIM is a tourist-approved solution. The e-SIM provides instant data connectivity services upon activation. 

You can activate one HERE as quickly as 2 minutes. 

Do I need internet connectivity to install an e-Sim?

Purchasing, downloading, and activating your e-SIM profile requires an internet connection. Switching between previously downloaded profiles does not need any internet access at all. 

Here's how to set up your e-SIM in as little as two minutes so you can enjoy an internet connection while you travel:

Step 1 : Go to

Step 2 : Pick your destination e.g. Nigeria or Ghana.

Step 3 : Install and activate your sim.

Leave a comment