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What is an eSIM Card?
what is an esim
Laura Liang
Content Editor and Customer Support at Textr
Published Jun 10, 2022

A virtual SIM card (also known as an eSIM card) is arguably the future of mobile phone technology. While normal SIM cards do the job fine, there are some situations where they’re not the most convenient option.

In this article, we’ll look to answer the question, what is an eSIM before thinking about situations where it could be better than a traditional SIM card.

What’s an eSIM?

An eSIM card is basically a virtual SIM card. In short, it’s a chip built into your mobile phone before you buy it, but you can also find them in tablets and laptops. Rather than having to install a physical card, your device comes with everything it needs to begin connecting to an operator’s network.

While we’ll never be able to do away with every physical part of a SIM card, the difference with an eSIM is that you don’t have to actually insert it into your phone. Instead, the chip of the SIM card is built into the device, freeing up some space usually taken up by the slot. Hopefully, this could mean larger batteries in future phones!

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How Does a Virtual SIM Card Work?

So, what’s an eSIM compared to a physical SIM card? Simply put, it starts with embedded hardware in your phone. A physical SIM card is basically a chip that you put into a phone when you first buy it. With an eSIM, this chip comes with the phone.

When you first use the phone, you’ll need to download your operator’s eSIM profile. You download this onto the phone and it activates the SIM card, and then everything functions as normal. The only major difference between a physical and virtual SIM card is that the latter should be easier to set up.

The most obvious benefit of an eSIM is that it means your phone isn’t ‘locked’ to a specific network. For example, you might have taken out your contract through AT&T. Generally, this means your phone can only support AT&T SIM cards.

But with a virtual SIM card, you can switch networks whenever you want. All you do is download the new operator’s SIM profile, and you’re good to go. Not only does this mean things are easier for consumers, but also for travelers.

Specifically, travelers can switch to local networks as they move between countries. In turn, this helps them avoid roaming charges. Also, you can store more than one network profile on an eSIM, allowing you to switch whenever you need to (meaning you can keep your native phone number!).

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Is an eSIM Really Safe to Use?

Now that we understand what is an eSIM, you might be questioning whether this is safe technology. After all, physical SIM cards are fairly functional and secure. Aside from their main disadvantage, there’s not much else wrong with them. But what is an eSIM’s safety like?

Making a physical object digital always opens it up to the threat of hacking, and an eSIM is no different. A physical SIM can be removed from a phone, but it can also be locked and/or linked to a single phone. In theory, a virtual SIM card can be hacked remotely, making it more vulnerable.

But eSIM manufacturers thought about this and have ended up making them very secure. First, there are several levels of verification, meaning that only the phone’s owner is able to install new SIM profiles on their phone.

Also, it could help if a phone is stolen. For example, physical SIM cards can be removed and a new one from the same network put in. But this can’t happen with an eSIM because it’s locked by the owner. While this won’t reduce the chances of phone theft, it at least means there’s less point.

So, the answer to what is an eSIM’s security like is that, overall, they’re much more secure than a physical SIM card. Thanks to advances in technology, a virtual SIM card ends up being more secure because it’s tied to a specific device in a way that a physical SIM card can’t be. Not only is it more convenient but it’s also more secure for consumers and providers.

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Text and Call Using Textr Team

Textr will soon launch an eSIM service, so you can take advantage of all our services on the go without having to worry about networks and charges.

You can already download Textr Team to get your business moving in the right direction. Textr provides you with multiple phone numbers from different countries, which you can use to text and call, all in one app. Currently, using a Wi-Fi connection will help you to avoid some charges, but once our eSIM feature launches, you won’t need to worry about this.

Textr also offers texts and high quality call minutes for personal and business use. With the web app, you can tag customers, set up SMS and MMS campaigns, and much more.

Start your 7-day free trial today to see what Textr can do for you. Download the app on iOS and Android or for your web browser.


When will I Use eSIM?

You can use an eSIM whenever you want, whether this is at home or while traveling. iPhones from gen.12 and onwards have eSIM technology and traditional nano SIM slots. This means you can run both at the same time, giving you access to several data plans at once.

Does eSIM Support 5G?

It should come as no surprise that an eSIM supports 5G connectivity. After all, they’re both modern mobile technologies, so it would make sense for them to work together. Of course, you must have a 5G compatible phone for you to connect to a 5G network, but the virtual SIM card technology supports it by default.

Can I Buy an eSIM Online?

You can buy an eSIM online from companies like Textr(coming soon), AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and eSIM lifecell, but remember, you’re buying the network profile. You’ll want to check if your phone has eSIM technology included and then see if your network carrier of choice supports eSIM profiles

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Textr eSIM has launched!

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Using Textr Apps Now

Available on iOS, Android and as a web app. Try for free with a US or CA phone number.