What is an eSIM and how does it work?
If you’re wondering what is an eSIM, we’ll be covering here all the perks you get when choosing it over a physical SIM. This digital darling is here to stay, so let’s see how it works and if it’s a fit for you.
We have prepared some great things to know about it, both for the early adopters that still want to find out some more things to the still-curious ones that are ready to make the switch.
What is an eSIM?
As per its name, the eSIM or the embedded SIM is a virtual SIM card, already embedded in your device. The new thing about it is that it comes pre-installed on certain devices. That means it is easier to stay connected without the need for a physical SIM card, inserted into the classical trays.
That’s why, the first step when thinking of choosing an eSIM is to find out if your device is compatible with this technology. Also, if you’re shopping for a new phone, make sure to check that it will be eSIM compatible if you want to go digital.
How does it work?
Simply put: digitally.
But let’s dive in and explain how the magic happens.
As stated above, the eSIM is already embedded into your device so you don’t have to struggle with opening trays with SIM keys, earrings, or anything in between. The only thing you’ll have to do is to activate it using a QR code. This code contains your device’s unique identification and authentication information for it to work on the carrier’s network.
Activating an eSIM is easier than you would think. The activation takes just a few minutes and it’s a very simple process. See the steps for every device by clicking here.
You just need to have a steady Wi-Fi connection, follow a few easy steps, and have some patience. Should you need any assistance, you have the coolest Customer Support in the telecom industry from Tello. So if your only issue is that you’re not going to be able to activate it easily, have no worries, we’re here for you!
Not that we’re joining any side, but we must say that there are more pro points to eSIM than downsides (we even struggled a bit to make this second list), but we’ll let you see :
- It’s fast: You don’t have to wait for the mailman to bring you the physical SIM, nor to do the installation process
- It’s comfy: The activation process is as comfortable and fast as it can be. You can activate it from the comfort of your home or even when you’re abroad. Cuz, hey, it’s all online!
- It’s eco-friendly: Less plastic is fantastic! One HUGE benefit of the eSIM is that it’s greener. A not-so-fun-fact about the physical SIMs is that they contain several materials with different decomposition phases. This makes the recycling process a bit complicated. Plus, delivering it adds up to your carbon footprint.
- It’s great for travelers: You can keep your physical SIM slot available for any local SIMs. You can even add another local eSIM while traveling.
- It’s versatile: For some devices, you can have up to 8 eSIMs installed. But keep in mind that you can only have up to 2 active eSIMs active at once. Also, you can always switch between them if needed.
- It’s great for business professionals: You don’t have to keep 2 phones! One with 2 active eSIMs or one eSIM and a physical one, if your phone allows, will work great!
- It’s teeny tiny: Getting rid of the SIM card slot allows our phones to be thinner, slicker and have space for other cool stuff.
- It’s secure: It’s much harder to clone it, lose it, or steal it.
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- If you like to juggle multiple phones, eSIM may not be your friend. It’s not that easy to keep installing the eSIM every single time into another device. Its purpose is to help you keep just one device and juggle between multiple lines and not the other way around.
- If your phone breaks down: In the past, we used to remove the SIM card and put it in a backup phone that we kept in the back of our drawers. Now, if your phone breaks down, you need access to another eSIM-compatible device on which you’ll need to install a new eSIM. Don’t worry though, your phone number will be transferred to the other device along with the new eSIM.
- Limited devices: More and more devices are nowadays eSIM compatible and their number is growing. But, if your device is not compatible with the eSIM technology, there’s nothing to do but choose a compatible one.
So, after putting down the pros and cons, you might have some other questions. Fear not, because we’re ready to tackle them!
How can I activate my eSIM?
Login to My Account – My SIM section and scan the QR code with your phone’s camera. Make sure you are connected to a Wi-Fi network as you will need a steady Wi-Fi connection to complete the eSIM activation.
If you already have your Tello service working on a physical SIM, please note that once you start the activation process your Tello service will be temporarily inactive. Don’t worry, your service will resume once the eSIM is active on your device.
More details on how to activate Tello’s eSIM can be found here.
How long does it take to activate it?
Activating an eSIM usually takes a few minutes. If you encounter any issues or delays, it may take up to a few hours.
Does the eSIM come with a number?
As with any SIM card, eSIMs also have a number assigned to them. Tello will provide you with a phone number or you can bring your own number to Tello and it will be associated with your eSIM. Also, if you have multiple eSIMs on your device, each of them will have a unique phone number associated.
Can I keep my existing phone number?
Of course! You’ll just transfer your phone number from a physical SIM to an eSIM, but your number will remain the same.
Are Tello phones eSIM compatible?
Some are. To see if a Tello Phone is eSIM compatible, click on “View Details” on the phone you are considering. Then scroll down to the “Tech Specs” section.
- If it is eSIM compatible, it will show a ✔ under the “eSIM compatible” box. At the moment, only the newest Apple & Google devices are eSIM compatible.
- If it is not eSIM compatible, the “eSIM compatible” box will not be displayed at all.
Please remember that, if you are new to Tello, and you get a device from us, you will still have to get a physical SIM. You will be able to switch to an eSIM as soon as your service is active by going to the My SIM section of your online account.
Can I use the same eSIM if I’ll change my phone?
As eSIM can not be transferred between devices, the answer to this question is no. If an eSIM is active on your device and you want to swap phones, then you will need to order a new eSIM. First, please make sure your new device is unlocked and eSIM compatible. Then head over to My SIM section in My Tello account and follow the steps listed there to order a new eSIM.
Can I replace my physical Tello SIM with an eSIM?
Yes, as long as your device is eSIM compatible. Just go to My SIM section in My Tello account, select “Switch to eSIM” and follow the steps listed there.
Will I have the same Tello features while using eSIM?
Absolutely! Nothing changes in terms of your plan and features. Our plans come with Wi-Fi Calling at no extra cost, so you can enjoy making and receiving calls/texts over Wi-Fi both with a physical SIM Card and with an eSIM. The same goes for your international calls. All our minute plans come with international calling available to 60+ countries at no extra costs regardless if you’re using a Tello eSIM or physical Tello SIM Card.
Which phones support eSIM?
Here’s a list of eSIM-compatible devices. Check it out when choosing your next one.
iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max, iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Max, iPhone 12 Max Pro, Phone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone SE (2020), iPhone SE (2022).
Samsung Galaxy S23, Samsung Galaxy S23+, Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy S22, Samsung Galaxy S22+, Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy S21, Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G, Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, Samsung Galaxy S20, Samsung Galaxy S20+, Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy Note 20, Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G, Samsung Galaxy Fold, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4.
Google Pixel 2 XL, Google Pixel 3 XL, Google Pixel 3a XL, Google Pixel 4, Google Pixel 4a, Google Pixel 4 XL, Google Pixel 5, Google Pixel 5a, Google Pixel 6, Google Pixel 6a, Google, Pixel 6 Pro, Google Pixel 7, Google Pixel 7 Pro
Other Android devices:
Motorola Razr 2019, Motorola Razr 5G, Huawei P40, Huawei P40 Pro, Huawei P50 Pro, Huawei Mate 40 Pro, Oppo Find X3 Pro, Oppo Reno 5A, Oppo Find X5, Oppo Find X5 Pro, Nuu Mobile X5, Gemini PDA, Rakuten Mini, Rakuten Big-S, Rakuten Big, Rakuten Hand, Rakuten Hand 5G, Sony Xperia 10 III Lite, Sony Xperia 10 IV, Xperia 5 IV, Xperia 1 IV, Surface Pro X, Honor Magic 4 Pro, Fairphone 4, Sharp Aquos Sense6s, Sharp Aquos Wish, Xiaomi 12T Pro, DOOGEE V30
Ready to ride the eSIM wave?
We’ll be waiting for you with great phone plans and 24/7 Customer Support.