How Do eSIM Cards Work? How to Set Up an eSIM?

  • by MicroEsim

As the world sets into a digital age, many physical things now have virtual alternatives. We have e-wallets and digital currencies, and one of the newest innovations is the eSIM card. You might be wondering, what is eSIM?

An eSIM card isn't a physical card — it's a digital SIM you install directly onto a phone or tablet, without adding or removing any physical cards. An eSIM provides local data without roaming charges. So, how does an eSIM card work? This article will introduce you to the basics of eSIM cards and guide you on how to use them. If you're interested, keep reading to learn more!

How Does an eSIM Card Work

Unlike a physical SIM card that you need to manually insert into an eSIM-compatible phone or tablet, an eSIM is installed digitally. The eSIM is essentially an integrated circuit chip that can be stored within your device. Once you subscribe to an eSIM package, you can use it to connect to the local wireless network. However, not all devices support this technology. Therefore, it is crucial to check whether your device supports eSIMs before attempting to purchase an eSIM plan.

You may wonder why is an eSIM card better than a plastic SIM card. Here are some key points of eSIM vs SIM card:

  • A digital eSIM card never breaks or gets damaged.
  • A digital eSIM card never gets lost.
  • A digital eSIM card can be purchased and activated before traveling, so it starts working as soon as you arrive at your destination.
  • A digital eSIM card can be sent to you via email immediately without delivery.

How to Set Up an eSIM

Although using an eSIM is easy, you first need to ensure that your phone model is among the eSIM-compatible devices. Plus, if you are using a carrier-locked device, you might need to contact your carrier and explain your need to set up an eSIM for international travel. Request them to unlock your device. Once you've confirmed that your device supports eSIM, you can purchase an appropriate eSIM package from the MicroEsim Store.

All set? Now, let's go through how to set up your eSIM on iPhone or Android eSIMs.

On iPhone

Method 1: Using a QR Code

1) Go to your iPhone's Settings.

2) Tap on Cellular.

3) Choose Add Cellular Plan.

4) Use your iPhone to scan the QR code provided by your carrier.

Scan QR Code to Install eSIM on iPhone

5) Follow the on-screen instructions to finish setting up.

Well, if you have trouble activating eSIM with QR code on iPhone, then try method 2.

Method 2: Using an Activation Code

1) Go to your iPhone's Settings.

2) Select Cellular.

3) Tap Add Cellular Plan.

4) If you can't find a QR code or are having trouble scanning it, choose Enter Details Manually at the bottom of your screen.

5) Enter the Activation Code provided by your carrier and follow the steps on your screen to complete the setup.

Manually Set up eSIM on iPhone

- Your eSim is not working? Go check if an eSIM is activated on your iPhone:

    1) Go to Settings on your iPhone.

    2) Click on Mobile Data.

    3) Review the SIMs category, and locate the label for Primary or Secondary, indicating your current active plans.

    4) If the eSIM is not activated, you'll see a label such as No Service.


    - To manage eSIMs on your iPhone:

      1) Navigate to Settings on your iPhone.

      2) Tap on Cellular.

      3) You'll see your plans listed. Select the one you want to manage.

      4) Toggle the switch to turn the plan off as needed.

      On Android

      Method 1: Using a QR Code

      1) Go to Settings and tap on Network & Internet.

      2) Tap on Mobile Network.

      3) Tap Download a SIM or eSIM Manager, depending on your device.

      4) Use your phone to scan the QR code you received from your carrier.

      5) Follow the prompts on your screen to complete the setup.

      Scan QR Code to Install eSIM on Android

      Method 2: Using an Activation Code

      1) Navigate to Settings and select Network & Internet.

      2) Tap on Mobile Network.

      3) Select Download a SIM or eSIM Manager, depending on your device.

      4) Instead of scanning a QR code, select Enter details manually.

      5) Input the information provided by your carrier and follow the on-screen instructions to finish the setup.

      Manually Set up eSIM on Android

      - To confirm if an eSIM is active on your Android:

      1) Head to your Settings and select Connections.

      2) Tap on SIM Manager.

      3) Here, you'll see your available networks. An active eSIM will have a toggle button in the "on" position.


      - If you want to turn off eSIM on Android:

      1) Go to Settings, then Connections or Network & Internet, depending on your phone model.

      2) Tap on SIMs or SIM card manager.

      3) You will see a list of SIMs on your phone, including the eSIM.

      4) To turn the eSIM on or off, toggle the switch next to it. You may need to confirm your choice by tapping Activate or Deactivate. You can also change the preferred SIM for mobile data, calls, and messages by tapping Preferred SIM or Primary SIM and selecting the eSIM or the physical SIM.

      * Note: While traveling, remember to set your eSIM number as the cellular network number.

      How Much Does an eSIM Card Cost

      The cost of an eSIM card can vary significantly based on several factors, including the carrier, usage duration, country or region, and data amount. Here's a reference of pricing plans:

      >> Choose Your eSIM Right Now

      Pricing Plans of MicroEsim

      Tips for Using eSIM While Travelling

      Using an eSIM while traveling can be convenient and cost-effective, but it's essential to keep a few things in mind to make the most of it:

      Tip 1. Switch to eSIM upon arrival

      Once you reach your destination, remember to switch to your eSIM for data usage to avoid huge roaming charges on your primary SIM.

      Tip 2. Choose a combo plan for your destinations if necessary

      Depending on where you're going, select a suitable eSIM plan. For regions like Europe or Southeast Asia, where you might visit multiple countries, consider combo plans that offer coverage across various locations.

      Tip 3. Select the appropriate plan duration and data amount

      It's crucial to pick an eSIM plan that matches your travel duration and data needs. MicroEsim offers a range of options, from 1 to 60 days, and even up to 120 days, with daily, total, and unlimited plans available.

      The Bottom Line

      In conclusion, using an eSIM for international travel has many advantages over physical SIM cards. It's more cost-effective, and you don't need to remove and replace your existing SIM card. Plus, you won't have to worry about losing your SIM card since the eSIM is embedded in your phone. If you're planning a trip abroad, consider trying MicroEsim's eSIM for a hassle-free experience!

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