The much-rumoured eSIMs developed by Safaricom have officially been released in Kenya.
What is an eSIM?
eSIM or embedded SIM is built into your phone. It is a tiny device, much smaller than even the smallest available micro SIMs. The smallest “nano” SIM is 8.8 mm by 12.3 mm, whereas an eSIM is 2.5 mm by 2.3 mm with a thickness of 0.2 mm.
Since eSIMs are installed directly on your device’s motherboard, they are re-writable, which opens many more customization options for advanced users. This feature also makes it much easier to switch carriers.
Customer credentials like phone numbers, PIN codes, etc. are all downloadable into the eSIM.
The eSIM’s capabilities also allow users to download multiple phone numbers for ease of access since they work simultaneously with an existing SIM card installed on a device. Users can effectively use two different cellular plans at once.
Multiple profiles can be set up on your eSIM, but you can only use the number attached to your currently activated profile. However, profiles can be switched at any time.
According to Safaricom, the first announced supported devices are:
iPhone XR, XS, XS Max, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 and iPhone SE 2020.
Samsung Galaxy S21, Galaxy S20, Z Fold and Note 20.
How can I get an eSIM?
Users interested in purchasing an eSIM should first make sure that they have a compatible device, then they should go to any selected Safaricom branches.
At the store, all you have to do is scan the eSIM QR code with your device and wait for the eSIM settings to be downloaded. Afterwards, the eSIM should be ready to go.
Why should I get an eSIM?
An innovative move towards facilitating multiple phone numbers, eSIMs can allow your phone to carry more than 1 number – say, for business or personal.
Your eSIM is also not a physical SIM card, you can never lose it once you have activated it on your device. eSims also make it easier for individuals that travel often to switch between operators – an option that can help reduce roaming costs.
Techweez reports that Safaricom is now the second company to introduce eSIM support in Kenya, the first being Faiba – which rolled out eSIM support in January.