28.12.2020

eSIM – what is it, how it works, advantages

Using the same telephone number on different devices at the same time, switching freely between telecommunications networks and more customised services… these and other features are offered by eSIM. Will this virtual SIM card be appreciated by people beside the gadget lovers and people who travel? This technology has great potential and it seems that, with the help of mobile operators and domestic smartphone manufacturers, it has a chance of becoming widely used and perhaps even replacing physical SIM cards. We present the advantages of eSIM and the upcoming novelties aimed at making this technology accessible to everyone in Poland.

eSIM has already gained considerable popularity and approval of users worldwide. Yet in Poland, eSIM technology has so far been known primarily to technology geeks, people from the GSM/IoT/wearables industry and users of the market giants’ flagship models. It gained attention during the launch of the iPhone XS in 2018 and other advanced models such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 or Google Pixel 3. It develops along with the technological and commercial progress of the operators on whom the operation of eSIM depends. However, it seems that it is only now that eSIM has a chance to really become popular in Poland, due to a domestic producer.

— The topic of eSIM has been somewhat sidelined by the 5G development. However, it is an innovative solution and a convenient alternative to traditional SIM cards since we can use eSIM with our basic phone as well as with other devices at the same time. There are many more possibilities of eSIM,” explains Piotr Spychalski, Sales Director at mPTech, a company known for its myPhone and HAMMER brands. – We appreciate technological innovations, and we want to make mobile technologies accessible, more universal. The same is true of eSIM, which has so far been somewhat reserved for flagship models, i.e. very expensive, so few people could use it. We want to change this and the opportunity to do so will be the premiere of HAMMER Blade 3 with eSIM, which will take place any day now. The eSIM technology awaits a dynamic development, not only due to more devices available on the market, but also because of the availability of service at operators. The technology is doomed to succeed – because nowadays customers expect remote services available anywhere and anytime, which is not offered by traditional SIM, adds Piotr Spychalski.

eSIM – what is it?

eSIM is otherwise a built-in SIM card or virtual SIM card, and its primary purpose is to simplify the use of services and increase user freedom. It is the next generation of familiar physical cards. Unlike a traditional SIM card, which has to be inserted into the device, eSIM is, as the name suggests, built into the device as a small chip (module with appropriate software). The necessary information can be saved in this module and used as a traditional SIM card (making calls, texting, mobile internet). However, the subscriber information (profile) is saved virtually on the eSIM module after being downloaded remotely – via the Internet from the provider.

Advantages of eSIM

In order to change the telecommunications network with eSIM, you simply select, pay for and install the appropriate profile from the delivery side – the operator. What is more, such profiles can be created and customised to a greater extent than before. Several profiles can be installed and activated at the same time. One can use the offer of a stationary operator as well as virtual, local and international and can switch between them as required, e.g. when travelling abroad. How is it useful for the users?

– Above all, eSIM enables the use of one telephone number on different devices with eSIM, e.g. different smartphones – an”office” phone, a Smartwach and for instance HAMMER – for the remaining challenges. It also allows the use of one and the same data package and transfer on several different devices, though this depends largely on the provider or operator. As a result, we can deliberately forget about moving SIM cards, searching hotspots and connecting the phone with e.g. a smartwatch. With eSIM to continue enjoying calls and SMS, all through profile sharing and Internet connectivity. On top of that, eSIM is invaluable when travelling because it allows you to quickly, independently, remotely and at any time buy a package with a local operator profile and use it almost immediately without switching off our basic SIM card, which saves time and reduces your expenses. You can stay in touch all the time,” explains Piotr Spychalski.

Moreover, the lack of a physical SIM card also means that there is absolutely no risk of losing it. And in case of problems, loss or theft of a smartphone with eSIM, all you need to do is to lock the profile remotely.

eSIM for every pocket

As announced by mPTech representatives, myPhone and HAMMER smartphones with eSIM will soon be introduced. The first one is HAMMER Blade 3 – a slim but durable, 6.2-inch smartphone with IP69 certification. It offers good performance (Octa-Core Helio P22, 4 + 64 GB), 48 Mpx camera and NFC. Another model is to be the long-awaited HAMMER Explorer PRO – an advanced generation of the already available Explorer model. An interesting proposition is a new smartphone myPhone Now eSIM, offering good parameters and a virtual SIM card, priced at several hundred zlotys.

– A major issue for users of new models with eSIM from mPTech is not only the increased availability of this feature but also its evolution. The technology is constantly being improved. As the first step, the installation and management of profiles will take place from the level of a special eSIM application already installed on a dedicated model. Then, in the next step, thanks to the OTA update, the management of eSIM and profiles will be carried out from the smartphone settings level and not, as before, through the application – adds Piotr Spychalski.

Importantly, mPTech models are not only to work with eSIM but also with a physical SIM card. The smartphones will be equipped with both the eSIM module and the well-known DualSIM function, with 2xnanoSIM slots. Switching from eSIM to a regular SIM and vice versa will be easy, literally “a click”. In combination with eSIM, such a smartphone allows, for example, to keep the original SIM card with the phone number in the phone and at the same time ensures easy use of the eSIM profile for data transfer while travelling abroad.

It seems that the Polish company mPTech will soon join the world giants offering models with eSIM. However, we will have to wait for answers to the questions of how dynamically eSIM will spread in Poland, because the popularity of eSIM technology itself is also largely dependent on operators. At the moment, the most developed and complete eSIM ecosystem in the country is offered to all customers by the Orange network.

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