As Globe brings eSIM to PH, we ask, ‘What is an eSIM?’
For the longest time, mobile phone users have been using the SIM (subscriber identity module) card, a physical card that is inserted into the device so that network providers can identify you as their subscriber. Without the SIM, we won’t be able to tap into the network to make calls, send out messages, or use mobile internet. Throughout the years, the SIM card has evolved from a 15 x 25mm standard size to a smaller 12 x 15mm micro SIM, and the most recent nano SIM at only 8.8 x 12.3mm. But that may soon be over.
A new technology called the eSIM, which stands for electronic (or embedded) SIM, is currently on the rise and what it is, basically, is a small chip built right into your mobile and wearable devices, and serves the exact same purpose as the SIM card.
Now you’re probably thinking, “Why should I even bother if it does the same thing anyway?” Well, you know how it is when you travel abroad and you need to get a new SIM card, right? Hassle. But that won’t be the case anymore with eSIM as it is equipped with automatic activation so you can simply switch carriers by tapping on the settings through an app installed in your device. It even has an automatic syncing feature also enables customers to use and manage multiple devices. One of the early adapters of this technology was the Google Pixel 2 phone, launched in October 2017.
In the Philippines, Globe Telecom intends to lead Filipinos into this new age in digital lifestyle by introducing the eSIM in its latest postpaid offers. Globe is currently running tests of the eSIM technology with select eSIM-enabled devices such as iPhone Xs, Xs Max, and XR (now being offered this November), as well as the Apple Watch and Huawei Watch. Globe Postpaid ThePLAN customers can avail of iPhone Xs, Xs Max, and XR this month, while Apple Watch and Huawei Watch will be available soon. Before the year ends, Globe customers with eSIM-enabled devices can get QR cards at Globe Stores and scan it using their phone to activate their eSIM.
“With the introduction of eSIM, Globe further strengthens its position as the country’s mobile innovation leader. This new technology enhances our customers’ experience and the way they live their digital lifestyle. The eSIM is also consistent with our initiative to reduce plastic use as part of our sustainability commitments,” says Issa Guevarra-Cabreira, Globe Senior Vice President and Head of Consumer Mobile Business.
As eSIM eliminates the need for a physical SIM, the use of plastics in SIM activation will be reduced, therefore contributing greatly to environmental sustainability efforts. Transitioning to eSIM, which removes the need for extra plastic and paper packaging, strengthens the commitment of Globe to support a circular economy by reducing solid waste and avoiding single use plastics getting into landfills.
At present, eSIM is only available in 10 countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Singapore. Globe is working towards the full digitalization of the eSIM technology as the industry foresees the arrival of more eSIM-enabled devices in the near future.