eSim vs Physical Sim: Difference and Comparison

Key Takeaways

  1. Form and Convenience: eSIM is a built-in, programmable SIM card, offering convenience and eliminating the need for physical SIM cards.
  2. Flexibility and Compatibility: eSIM allows easy switching between network operators, while physical SIM cards are locked to specific providers but have wider compatibility.
  3. Travel and International Use: eSIM simplifies access to local mobile services while traveling, whereas physical SIM cards require purchasing and inserting local SIM cards or roaming services.

What is an eSim?

An embedded sim or eSim is an electronic form of a sim card that can be inserted into a cell phone without physically purchasing it. It is an upgraded version of a regular sim card. They have the same functionalities as a regular physical sim card. Instead, they are embedded into a cell phone device.

Embedded sim cards were first introduced in the year 2012. They are programmable and embedded into a cell phone from the manufacturing process. Embedded sim cards are permanently mounted into a mobile phone.

The manufacturer installs An embedded sim card into a mobile terminal instead of the network operator. Since the sim card is intangible, no swapping is required. An embedded sim card allows a user to choose any network operator that provides the services for the same.

Installing an embedded sim card can switch carriers on the same phone. The functionalities of an embedded sim card are almost similar to a physical sim card, except for the need to physically insert it into a slot.

Also Read:  Virtual Private Gateway vs Transit Gateway: Difference and Comparison

During the manufacturing process, an eSim is embedded into the device’s motherboard. If a user finds a bad network, they can switch the carrier easily as it holds nearly five profiles equivalent to five sim cards.

What is Physical Sim?

A physical sim is a subscriber identity module enabling users to store their mobile phone information connected to a specific mobile network. A physical sim is a tiny chip that is supposed to be inserted into a mobile phone.

A tiny sim card can hold data for a user, including the user’s contact lists, location, text messages, a user’s contact number, etc. As the technology got advanced, the sim cards got evolved. Today, sim cards are available in various sizes, and various network operators provide them.

One can connect to internet services via a sim card via 3G, 4G, and 5G connections. A sim card ensures that a user connects to the world, and often, it is referred to as the heart of a cell phone.

Apart from regular cell phones, sim cards can be used in satellite phones, computers, and smartwatches. They are available in standard sizes, micro as well as nano sizes. A sim card offers one profile for a user, which means a user can opt for one network provider.

An embedded sim card is the evolved form of a physical sim card which was first made available in the size of stamps.

Difference Between eSim and Physical Sim

  1. A manufacturer installs an eSim; conversely, a network operator installs a physical sim and provides various services.
  2. An eSim is short for an embedded sim card; conversely, a sim card is short for a subscriber identity module.
  3. An eSim is intangible; conversely, a physical sim card is tangible.
  4. An eSim is not physically installed into a mobile phone; however, a physical sim is.
  5. An eSim is relatively more flexible than a physical sim card.
Also Read:  RJ11 vs RJ12: Difference and Comparison

Comparison Between eSim and Physical Sim

Parameters Of ComparisoneSimPhysical Sim
Short forEmbedded sim cardSubscriber module identity
Form factorMFF22FF, 3FF, 4FF
CarriersCan be switchedCan not be switched
InstallationVia softwareVia user by physically inserting, it into a mobile phone.
FlexibilityRelatively moreRelatively less

Last Updated : 17 August, 2023

dot 1
One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️

Leave a Comment

Want to save this article for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own articles box!