What are virtual SIM cards for mobile phones and how do they work?

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Marie-Ange Demory
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The evolution of technology does not stop. Every day Apple, one of the most popular companies, and many other large companies bring to market new innovations that make our tasks much easier, such as new mobile devices that now look more like a pocket computer than a cell phone.

What are virtual SIM cards for mobile phones and how do they work?

However, a mobile device could not perform its basic functions without a SIM card and it would be unreasonable to think of using a cellphone without one. Despite this, there are cell phones that work without the need to insert an active SIM.



The iPhone XS and XS Max surprised everyone with their innovative technology with a integrated virtual SIM card. This attracts attention, as this could be the goal of all mobile phones in the future, leaving aside the usual physical SIMs that can be damaged or lost.

Ma what are virtual SIMs or eSIMs really and how do they work? Is it worth doing the generational change? In the following article we will explain what they are, how they work and the advantages that these new virtual cards can offer, which seem to be here to stay.

      What is an eSIM or virtual SIM?

      The traditional SIM is a card offered by telephone companies and which allows the telephone to make calls or to have a data plan which allows you to surf the Internet. Over time, this board has undergone several changes, significantly reducing its size, but now it will no longer be necessary to use physical SIMs.


      Now the premise of SIM cards has changed, giving way to the new eSIM or popularly known as virtual SIM card. This type of technology excludes the use of physical boards for the chips virtually integrated into the device, doubling performance and data that a common SIM could contain. These virtual SIMs are activated remotely by purchasing a technology-compatible mobile device.


      How does the eSIM work?

      Although it seems a little difficult to understand at first, the operation is simple. All you have to do is buy the phone and contact the telephone operator of your choice so that they remotely activate the virtual chip.

      Once the eSIM is activated, we will be able to enjoy our equipment with its data plan included and there will also be the compatibility to connect multiple devices to the eSIM . And although the idea is quite young and there are few companies that have ventured into this technology, it is possible that in the future eSIM cards will be the most common due to their practical use.

      Benefits of eSIM

      Undoubtedly, the best advantage of this technology is that it offers greater freedom for users , as it allows them to choose the phone company they want and does not bind them only to the one compatible with their mobile phone.

      Since it is a virtual chip, there is the possibility that other devices such as smartwatches or tablets include the eSIM network connection function, data sharing , without the need to have several traditional SIMs or to change the SIM from one device to another .



      Another big plus is when you buy a mobile you will not have to buy a SIM, since in theory it will include one or, in any case, you can communicate directly with the company of your choice and quickly activate a virtual chip.

      Disadvantages of the eSIM

      The main drawback is not the card itself, but the equipment as such. As this technology starts to become popular, new phones will have to have a new design that does not include the SIM slot.


      If, in fact, this type of sim manages to supplant the previous one, making sure that only devices can work with this technology, will consequently generate that many of the devices that millions of users have today will be discontinued, forcing them to buy a new phone with eSIM technology.


      Devices and companies that use eSIM cards

      Being a very new technology on the market, few companies have developed support for eSIMs and despite that iPhone XS and XS Max surprised everyone with this technology, there were already models from other companies that worked with eSIMs, such as the Google Pixel 2. For its part, in Spain the Orange company already uses equipment with this technology.

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