Only Airtel Postpaid and Reliance Jio offers eSIMs in India right now
In India, only Reliance Jio (both prepaid and postpaid) and Airtel (postpaid) offer eSIMs connectivity at present. So, if you wish to use two SIM cards with the new iPhones then you will have to use either Airtel postpaid or Reliance Jio (both prepaid and postpaid) on the second SIM.
What are eSIMs and How it used?
eSIM a global specification by the GSMA which enables remote SIM provisioning of any mobile device. eSIMs now allows consumers to store multiple operator profiles on a device simultaneously, and switch between them remotely, though only one can be used at a time. The specification now extends to a wider range of devices, beyond the single companion device made possible with the first release. Manufacturers and operators can now enable consumers to select the operator of their choice and then securely download that operator’s SIM application to any device.
So, what is eSIM? eSIM a virtual SIM ID generated by a telecom operator. It that SIM ID simply registered with the IMEI number of your phone/smartwatch. There is no need to purchase a separate physical SIM card for it. For the layman, you can simply think of eSIM like Apple is providing a blank SIM card inside. The new iPhones and the telecom operator will simply ‘write’ SIM unique ID on it. Of course, eSIMs can be changed and ‘rewritten’.
Apple had first introduced eSIMs with the launch of the Apple Watch 3 Cellular in India in May. And with the new iPhones, it seems we headed toward a SIM-less future.
You can convert your existing physical SIM number into eSIM
Yes, If you already have an Airtel Postpaid or Reliance Jio connection, then you need not get a new number for just eSIM registration. You have the option to convert the regular SIM number into eSIM. For example, if you have Airtel postpaid and Vodafone SIMs, you can convert the Airtel number into eSIM to use it as the second number on the new iPhones while inserting the physical SIM of Vodafone in the device.
eSIM is free right now but you may have to pay for it in future
Thankfully, both Reliance Jio and Airtel postpaid is offering the eSIM connectivity for free in India now. In the US, users have to pay around $10 extra every month just for having an eSIM.
While it is free in India right now, in future telecom operators may charge an additional rent every month just for offering an eSIM. Also, there could be an additional charge for eSIM during international roaming.
International roaming may be difficult with eSIM, you may have to switch to physical SIM
If you frequently travel outside your country then it’s highly recommended that you opt for an international roaming plan on the physical SIM card that you have. In many countries, eSIMs not supported. Also, several telecom operators don’t allow you to roam on eSIM.
Do check for SIM compatibility in India if you are planning to buy the new iPhones from abroad
Getting a brand new iPhone from outside India sometimes saves a lot of money. However, be sure to check for the model number and verify with the Apple Store employee that whether the eSIM. And connectivity supported in India or not.
Connectivity is only with Apple Watch Series 3 and Watch Series 4 Cellular
If you use the Apple Watch Series 3 Cellular or intend to buy the Apple Watch Series 4 Cellular then note. It that you will have to use the same mobile number and operator on your Apple Watch and iPhone. You cannot change the operator once you have configured to either Reliance Jio or Airtel postpaid. You will have to reset the Watch to start using a new mobile number.