eSIMs offer an alternative to physical SIM cards, eliminating their need and activation through QR codes or phone apps.
Process will vary depending on your network provider; however, most will provide a QR code and instructions on how to use it.
What is an eSIM?
An embedded SIM is a programmable chip built into mobile devices that enables seamless communication with mobile carriers without needing to insert or swap out physical SIM cards. They have become increasingly prevalent in smartphones, smartwatches and portable computing devices like laptops and tablets.
Once your eSIM is activated, you'll receive an activation code in the form of a QR code from your mobile carrier that can be used to download and install its profile onto any phone or tablet device.
This solution is much simpler and safer than using traditional SIM cards, which require precise placement to avoid damage to the card itself. Furthermore, using this reusable eSIM QR code allows multiple subscription profiles on one mobile device at the same time - particularly useful if your business employs sales personnel as well as remote employees as well as corporate headquarters staff who all share one work phone.
How to Scan an eSIM QR Code
If direct installation isn't an option, your network provider may send a QR code which allows you to set up the eSIM on another device (i.e. computer). In order to use this method successfully, two devices will be needed; one for scanning the QR code and another to install it onto the eSIM.
Alternativey, some networks provide an app that customers can install on a device in order to guide them through the eSIM load-and-connect process, making it quick and simple for customers to set up an eSIM profile and get mobile data immediately.
Once you receive an eSIM QR code from your provider, open the Camera app and scan it using Cell Plan Detected notification. When installed successfully, an "Activate eSIM Page" will appear under eSIMs tab of Settings for iPhone/iPad; or alternatively manually enter installation info found under Manual Installation tab for setup manually.
How to Activate an eSIM
To activate an eSIM, you'll require a wireless carrier who provides both an eSIM profile and data plan. After receiving both these items, download your device-specific "activation code," usually in the form of QR codes you scan with your phone or tablet camera and download your profile onto it - this process should only take minutes!
Your iPhone should then detect an eSIM and add it to its list of SIMs (Settings > Cellular > SIM Card Manager), where its label may differ depending on how it has been set up by your carrier. In this list will also appear any previously installed eSIMs with their associated cellular plans as well as an SMDP+ address that identifies each eSIM.
If you need help setting up and activating your eSIM, take a look at the help pages or reach out directly to your carrier - most carriers are working hard to make the transition as seamless as possible.
How to Reset an eSIM
Resetting an eSIM can be done either directly or manually. The latter option is typically much quicker due to being installed by your phone system itself and doesn't require access to another device. When scanning QR codes with Wi-Fi enabled devices abroad, an active Wi-Fi connection should be established so your eSIM can be activated for mobile data services prior to being used abroad.
To do this, launch the Camera app and aim it at a QR code. When the Activate eSIM page appears, tap Continue before receiving notification that your cellular plan has been detected and is ready for use.
This option is perfect for customers switching from another type of phone to an iPhone, or those wishing to reset their eSIM profile. Furthermore, M2M and IoT devices where an MNO or other provider can pre-provision an eSIM profile.