eSIM

Vodafone UK finally provides eSIM support for smartphones

Vodafone implements eSIM support with an accompanying online interface

Vodafone UK finally supports eSIMs in smartphones on its Pay Monthly plans. Promisingly, Vodafone says eSIMs will be provisioned using Vodafone’s accompanying online interface to load your eSIM on to your phone in just a few minutes rather than waiting days for a physical SIM card, or QR code to arrive in the post. 

As most of the smartphones that currently support eSIMs also retain their physical SIM card slots, eSIMs can complement physical SIM cards in a number of ways. For example, you could have both your personal and work mobile numbers on a single device, with one of those lines provided seamlessly by eSIM.

The term “eSIM” simply means an embedded SIM card. There are no physical SIM cards involved and no physical swapping over required by you. eSIM needs to be supported by the network or carrier and enabled by them and not all networks support eSIM as yet. 

An eSIM is basically a small chip inside your phone and works in a similar way to the NFC chip that’s used for payment tech like Apple Pay and Google Pay. 

The information on an eSIM is rewritable, meaning you can “theoretically” decide to change your operator more easily. One of the touted features is being able to connect devices with eSIMs to a mobile account in minutes, which is what Vodafone is promising, and a feature that is not currently the case with EE and O2.

eSIM is backed by the GSMA, the association of mobile networks and that organisation has defined the standard for eSIM worldwide. 

As eSIMs are a relatively new technology, only certain devices have the hardware necessary to use it. Vodafone UK supports eSIMs in the Apple iPhone XS or newer, the Google Pixel 3 or newer, as well as in certain Samsung Galaxy phones and iPads.

The following smartphones from Vodafone support eSIM technology:

iPhone

  • iPhone XS
  • Apple iPhone XS Max (dual SIM)
  • iPhone XR
  • Apple iPhone 11
  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro
  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max (dual SIM)

Android

Samsung

  • Samsung Galazy Z Flip
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra
  • Galaxy S20 Plus
  • Galaxy S20

Google

  • Pixel 3
  • Pixel 3 XL
  • Pixel 3a
  • Pixel 3a XL
  • Pixel 4
  • Pixel 4 XL

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