eSIM (virtual SIM card): definition, operators, and compatible devices... everything you need to know about the virtual SIM card
eSIM, first introduced in Kenya in 2021 by JTL Faiba, slowly operators like Safaricom have rolled out more widely and are gradually becoming a part of the landscape. If you're interested in learning more about what eSim is, here's a quick rundown of everything you need to know.
eSIM is currently available in Kenya and may be used on both iPhone and Android phones (Jamii Telecom's, Faiba 4G, and Safaricom Kenya). Here's a quick rundown of everything you need to know about eSIM.Embedded SIM is the abbreviation for eSIM. It's a feature found on more current phones that allows a smartphone to connect to the network and make calls without a physical SIM card.
What is in eSIM
The eSIM, not to be confused with the iSIM concept, is simple: instead of physically integrating a SIM, the user can activate one already installed in the device. Because this is a hardware feature, it is impossible to add it to a device that does not already have it. Let's not forget that the eSIM takes up much less space than a traditional nano-SIM. We go from 12.3 x 8.8 mm nano format to somewhere about 6 x 5 mm.
eSim Compatible Phones in Kenya
Before looking at rates with your preferred operator, the first thing you should think about is if the phone you have or want to buy is compatible with the eSIM. Here's a rundown of the smartphones that support eSim as the writing of this article
Oppo phones with eSIM
Huawei phones with eSIM
Google phones with eSIM
Samsung phones with eSIM
iPads with eSIM
iPhones with eSIM
If you are interested in getting an embedded SIM, you will need to visit a Safaricom Shop with a supported phone to get assistance. You will pay KES 250 for a new eSIM line, while the operator will charge KES 150 for a swap. That's all, and you've just signed up for a bundle with eSIM through an operator. Nothing could be easier than activating it. To activate eSim on your iPhone go to Settings > General > About. On the other hand, select Settings > About Phone > SIM Status or Status Information.
How to Delete or Trasfer eSim
You may deactivate your eSIM if you wish to swap phones. Indeed, having an extractor tool and physically removing the SIM from the phone is no longer sufficient. Most operators that allow eSim in the country require that you first initiate an eSIM renewal from their client area and that you do not destroy the profile on the old phone. To secure the transaction, the latter must still be able to receive the confirmation SMS.