Some of the largest Brazilian operators (Claro, Vivo and TIM) already support the Yes it is (electronic chip) and we already recommend some services that use this technology to allow access to the mobile network without the need to use a physical chip.
If you still have doubts about the benefits and disadvantages of using an eSIM, however, we have made a brief dossier on the resource to help you with this.
What is eSIM?
Before delving into the technical details, however, you need to understand the basics. The term eSIM means embed subscriber identity module (in Portuguese, embedded subscriber identity module), that is: a built-in SIM card.
The SIM is basically an identifier that contains information about cellular networks. SIM chips are usually integrated with a UICC card (universal integrated circuit card, or universal integrated circuit card), which have been decreasing in size over time – and today can be fully electronic.
eSIM on Apple devices
Currently, the latest models of iPhones (XR, XS, XS Max, 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max and second-generation iPhone SE), Apple Watches (Series 3, 4 and 5 with GPS + Cellular) and several iPads are compatible with eSIM technology.
The pros of using eSIM
There are some advantages of using eSIM, starting with the fact that this option does not require a physical chip. Thus, you can’t lose your eSIM and he too will not wear out with time.
Some services even allow you to quickly acquire and activate an eSIM from apps; for that, a temporary internet connection is enough (if you are in airports, coffee shops, restaurants, etc.).
Another advantage is related to the option of to register multiple eSIMs on an iPhone, and activation is practically instantaneous.
Note, however, that you can only use one eSIM – that is, even if you have three eSIMs registered on your iPhone, you can only use one at a time. It is the same as having several physical chips in the wallet, but only being able to insert one at a time into the tray.
Practicality (Dual SIM)
For professionals, eSIM combines the useful with the pleasant by allowing a person to have, on the same device, different profiles / contacts – thanks to the Dual SIM feature. This means that it is possible to:
- Separate personal contact from professional.
- Use more than one line and messaging service on a single device.
As eSIM works as a second chip for the iPhone, using it on your primary operator allows you to quickly and easily buy a physical chip from a local operator when you travel abroad and then go out using the internet or making calls.
Likewise, if your main chip is physical, in many countries you just need to connect to Wi-Fi at the airport, for example, download the app from a local operator and hire an eSIM plan directly from it, activating it immediately on your device.
Another positive point refers to security, since it is impossible to remove an eSIM the device physically. So, if you have your device lost or stolen, whoever finds it will not be able to disable (if it is blocked by a password) eSIM to inhibit connection to mobile networks – unless the device is turned off, of course.
It is worth mentioning a safety tip here: regardless of whether or not you use an eSIM, some features can inhibit the device from being disconnected from the internet. On iPhones, it’s interesting to disable access to the Control Center and Siri through the locked screen (Settings »Face ID / Touch ID and Code» Allow Access When Locked), otherwise someone can still activate Airplane Mode via the Switch or using Siri.
The cons of using eSIM
Like everything in life, not all aspects of eSIM are positive. Below are some disadvantages of using the technology.
Acquisition and plans (in Brazil)
Unlike some eSIM apps / services, purchasing an electronic chip in Brazil is need to go to a carrier’s store (in most cases; there are exceptions, however, such as the new operator Intercel). In addition, some operators require the acquisition of specific plans to activate eSIM, which may not be attractive to some people.
If you purchased a new device and would like to migrate the eSIM from the old device to it, be aware that this process can be a little more complicated than you think. Unlike the physical chip, which can be removed from one smartphone and reinserted into another immediately, eSIM has a unique record that must be updated when using it on a new device – and, as seen above, you may need to go to your carrier’s store for this.
Furthermore, the migration of data from eSIM depends on cloud services (online) to transfer information such as contacts, messages, among others – therefore, this requires an internet connection.
Just like the physical chip, eSIM may not work in a certain area / region, which varies depending on your carrier’s plan. In this sense, if you use eSIM as the main chip and do not have coverage in a specific location (mainly when traveling abroad), you may have to go to a store to buy a physical chip – or else purchase another eSIM plan that supports that location.
Although security is a plus in eSIM technology, as we listed above, it also has its downside.
Unlike the physical chip, which can be removed if there is a security problem, eSIM, precisely because it is electronic, is more susceptible to invasion by hackers, crackers, etc. Apparently this is not (yet) a problem, but it serves as a warning – especially for operators, who must pay attention to the security of their database, in addition to eSIM encryption.
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Of course, there are several other requirements such as quality, price and availability that must be taken into account when purchasing an eSIM (just like any other plan). This, however, varies depending on the operator. Here, we focus on the pros and cons of using the technology itself.
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