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eSIM vs physical SIM: The Future of Communication in the UK

This article will explore the future of communications in the United Kingdom and how electronic SIM cards may change the way people interact with each other. It will examine the advantages of two types of SIM cards and analyze their security and legal implications.

eSIM vs physical SIM: the future of communication in the UK

The term “eSIM” has emerged in recent years. Regular SIM cards have been a crucial component of phones and other mobile devices since their introduction in 1991. These small, plastic cards provide a unique identification for the device, allowing it to connect to mobile networks, send messages, and make and receive calls. However, in recent years, more and more carriers in the UK have recognized the potential of virtual SIM online, like the one by eSimPlus, to expand or even replace traditional SIM card technology. As the world becomes increasingly globalized, the need for users to connect to multiple networks and switch between roaming packages has become a priority for smartphone users. This article will explore the advantages of eSIM vs physical SIM.

What is eSIM?

eSIM is a groundbreaking technology developed by experts at GSMA Corporation, based in the United States. This is an electronic equivalent of a physical SIM card, which enables a single subscriber account to be connected to multiple operators and telephone numbers simultaneously. The goal of its development was to integrate data into a single device. Today, this technology is widely regarded as the most promising, and some even believe that in the future, the entire world will transition entirely to virtual SIM cards.

eSIM vs physical SIM

Everyone is used to traditional physical SIM cards. To find out if it’s worth it to switch to eSIM, it’s necessary to compare two options. We’ve analyzed both electronic and physical SIM based on the following aspects:

  • Portability: eSim does not require any physical storage space in a smartphone, which means that more storage and battery capacity can be accommodated. Physical storage requires a certain amount of space.
  • Convenience: To obtain an electronic SIM card, it is not necessary to leave one’s home. All options are available online, but a physical SIM card must be obtained by visiting a local service center. While this may be less convenient, it provides an opportunity to address any questions. Additionally, one can change operators without leaving their home,which is especially beneficial when traveling abroad and needing to purchase a local SIM.
  • Versatility: Technically, you can use your eSIM on different gadgets. However, at present, this concept is only theoretical, as there are legislative restrictions on SIM cloning in the UK. If these restrictions were removed, it would be possible to receive calls, for instance, from either a smartphone or a work tablet simultaneously. When it comes to a regular SIM, users can switch between various devices by inserting the SIM card from one device to another.
  • Costs: Communication is essential for everyone. Therefore, local providers’ plans are typically affordable for all users. This is a significant advantage of a physical SIM card. Despite this, roaming charges can be less attractive. In such cases, an eSIM has an advantage over a regular SIM card. A virtual card is designed to be used globally, and its plans are often more affordable than regular roaming packages.
  • Security: A physical SIM card is easily lost, damaged, or discarded. On the other hand, an eSIM cannot be removed in this way, and potential thieves will not be able to access your data without the password. Moreover, you will have the opportunity to recover your number in this scenario.
  • Flexibility: The main advantage of physical SIM cards lies in the fact that they can be used on any device. These devices all have a dedicated space for them. In contrast, eSIMs can only be used on the latest models of smartphones.

Problems of eSIM

Although the potential benefits of electronic SIM cards may seem appealing, there are several drawbacks to this technology in relation to UK regulations and security.

  • It is necessary to conclude security agreements directly with device manufacturers that utilize eSIM chips. Nevertheless, large companies such as Apple will not compromise or make changes solely for the sake of individual country’s legislation.
  • The code is potentially unsecured. There is no guarantee that gadget manufacturers will not embed code in the SIM chip to collect user data, including call history, message history, and location information. It is difficult, but not impossible, to steal data from a device.

Final thoughts: future of communication in the UK

Telecommunications in the UK are undergoing intensive development, particularly with the introduction of eSIM. While this represents a significant advancement, the transition to full adoption of eSIM has been challenging due to technical and regulatory constraints. Currently, less than 5% of iPhones with SIM support have downloaded eSIM at least once, indicating a relatively low level of adoption of this technology. Despite the potential benefits of eSIM, such as flexibility and convenience, physical SIM cards remain the dominant standard due to difficulties associated with transitioning to a new system and adherence to legal requirements.

eSIM vs physical SIM: The Future of Communication in the UK