What is eSIM? Which carriers support it in Pakistan? How to activate eSIM?

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eSIM Profile Setup with QR Code

Jazz has just announced its support for eSIM activation on a few compatible mobile phones. So you might be wondering if you could use it or not. If you could, then how?

Update 2021-02-16: Ufone is also offering eSIM connectivity in Pakistan. Find more about how to activate Ufone eSIM.

Well, the most important question is that if you have a compatible phone or not. It’s simple, only a few handsets currently support eSIM technology. With Jazz, in Pakistan, you will be able to active eSIM on iPhone XS, XS Max, XR, Google Pixel 3, and Pixel 3 XL, for now at least. However, the technology itself supports a number of eSIM-enabled devices like Laptops, Tablets, Wearables, and IoT devices.

What is this eSIM?

A couple of years passed after the introduction of eSIM (embedded SIM) but what this kind of SIM is?

For the layman, the eSIM allows users to avoid keeping the chain of their SIM cards in their pockets or wallet. Users do not need a physical SIM card to put into their phone to access a cellular network. Instead, the cellular plans can be activated remotely on eSIM.

Mobile SIM evolution (eSIM)
eSIM Profile Setup via QR code / Gemalto

Instead of putting multiple SIM cards in the phone, you can activate multiple numbers on a phone with eSIM support, without the need for physical SIM cards.

Where to get this eSIM?

It comes on-board with a few new smartphones. As referred to by the name itself – embedded SIM, manufacturers embed it on-board into the smartphones. There is a number of other devices including laptops, tablets, wearables, and many IoT devices which may come with this module in them. So you don’t really need to get this eSIM from anywhere.

Currently, the smartphones which have the eSIM feature also support standard physical SIM cards. As eSIM has not widely been adapted yet, users still can use those phones with their existing physical SIM cards.

Which carriers support it in Pakistan?

Right now, Jazz and Ufone have introduced eSIM technology for their users but we may expect other carriers to bring the support soon. Jazz announced its support for eSIM activation back in 2019, while Ufone has launched eSIM support in February 2021. Apple iPhone XS, XS Max, XR, Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are among the supported devices. Check respective details as linked above.

How to activate eSIM on your phone?

Subscribers can digitally activate the SIM via Wi-Fi or visit any Jazz Business Center to register for the eSIM on their current number. After the registration, they will receive a QR code on a voucher, which is to be scanned under the phone’s settings. Ufone subscribers can also get the eSIM jacket from Ufone Service Center and perform the same step.

eSIM Profile Setup with QR Code
eSIM Profile Setup via QR code / Gemalto

How to activate eSIM with a QR code?

  • On iPhone
    1. Connect to the internet via Wi-Fi
    2. Go to Settings > Cellular
    3. Tap on “Add Cellular Plan”
    4. The camera screen will pop-up to scan the QR code.
    5. Scan the QR code you received on a voucher.
  • On Google Pixel
    1. Connect to the internet via Wi-Fi
    2. Go to Settings > Network & internet > Mobile network > Advanced > Carrier
    3. Tap on “Add Carrier/Operator”
    4. Scan the QR code you received on a voucher.

How to activate eSIM manually?

Well, the smartphones do support the manual configuration of eSIM profiles. But for most users, it’s much easy to do with QR code. That’s why most carriers initially provide QR code way. Currently, Jazz has not disclosed anything about manual configuration.

  • On iPhone
    1. Go to Settings > Cellular
    2. Tap on “Add Cellular Plan”
    3. On the camera screen, tap “Enter Details Manually” at the bottom.
    4. Enter details as provided by the carrier.

After completing the process above, your plan will be activated within a few minutes.

What about other mobile carriers/operators?

You don’t need to worry about that either. Telenor, Zong, or Ufone, whenever they introduce their support for eSIM, it will be the same with them too. You will need to go to their business centers and register your phone’s eSIM. Follow the same steps to subscribe to a new number right on your phone without any kind of physical SIM card.

Visit Jazz business center, get registered, activate your eSIM smartphone, and share your experience with us in the comments below.

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