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eSIM vs SIM | difference between eSIM and SIM

This page compares eSIM vs SIM and describes difference between eSIM and SIM. The word eSIM stands for embedded Subscriber Identity Module where as SIM stands for Subscriber Identity Module.

SIM | Subscriber Identity Module

SIM Cards

➨It is small piece of plastic used in mobile device for specific purpose i.e. to avail data/voice connectivity with cellular network operator.
➨SIM card comes in various sizes standard size (25 mm x 15 mm), micro size (15 mm x 12 mm) and nano size (12 mm x 8.8 mm) as shown in the figure-1.
➨These cards can be removed from one mobile phone and can be inserted it any other compatible mobile phones.
➨SIM cards are provided by the mobile network operator as per different plans.
➨It can also be used in wireless dongles, specific laptops and tablets.

eSIM | Embedded Subscriber Identity Module

eSIM Card

➨It is virtual equivalent of normal SIM card. This has been introduced later than traditional SIM card.
➨eSIM is not removable card unlike SIM card but it can be updated over the air.
➨This card is embedded inside the motherboard of the device or it may be part of processor itself.
➨Hence in eSIM compliant devices, one can not see space for SIM card.
➨eSIM stores multiple profiles and hence will seamlessly work across countries and states as per plan.
➨It is used for M2M and/or IoT devices with both single and multiple profile configurations with over the air subscription update facilities.
➨It helps in enabling users to port from one service provider to the other without changing physical SIMs. Its main idea is to enable machine to machine (M2M) communication.
➨Examples of devices which use eSIM technology include Apple Watch 3, Microsoft Surface Pro LTE, Google Pixel 2 etc.

The benefits or advantages of eSIM card are as follows.
• No spacific slot is needed unlike traditional SIM card.
• No chance of missing the SIM card as it is tied to the phone or smart watch itself.
• Software can be loaded to the eSIM over the air. Hence network operators take of the same.


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