Designed to make life easier for users and provide greater security, eSIM began to be implemented on smartphones and smartwatches in 2016, and is now widely available on a variety of cell phones, especially in more advanced models. The technology is present in Brazil and is provided by the three main operators in the Brazilian market — Claro, TIM and Vivo — with some peculiarities in the activation process of each one.
What is eSIM?
The eSIM (Embedded SIM, or integrated SIM in free translation) is a dedicated chip installed in the cell phone or other device that acts as the SIM card to establish a connection with the operator’s mobile network and enable calls and Internet access without need the physical SIM. The adoption of technology has advantages and disadvantages.
On the plus side, the user does not need to buy and install physical SIM cards, and the porting process can be carried out in a matter of minutes, as all the necessary information is recorded in the eSIM and can be easily rewritten. Because it is integrated, the component makes it impossible to remove it by malicious people, allowing tracking to be maintained in cases of loss or theft.
Other highlights also include the possibility of registering two numbers in the same eSIM — despite not having support for simultaneous use — the sharing of the signal on more than one device (smartphone and smartwatch, for example), and the reduction of the dimensions of the devices, since there is no more space occupied by the SIM card drawer.
On the other hand, it will always be necessary to contact operators when changing cell phones so that the line is transferred to the new phone, a less convenient step than just installing the physical SIM card.
Carriers that support eSIM
The three main operators in Brazil support eSIM, but have their own steps for activation. Check the main information:
Claro calls its eSIM solution an e-chip, selling it in versions for individuals and companies. Individuals can purchase an e-chip through the company’s online store, in control and prepaid plans, or through selected physical stores. In the case of legal entities, the acquisition must be made through the account manager.
On cell phones, activation is done by scanning a QR Code, while smartwatches (which only support post-paid plans) are linked by Claro Sync, on the resource’s website. It is important to remember that it is necessary to have a device with compatible eSIM to use the technology. The complete list of supported handsets can be found on the operator’s dedicated website.
TIM has an eSIM service only for individuals, and the sale of QR Codes to activate the service is carried out only in the operator’s physical stores. Even so, similarly to other companies, the company supports the use of more than one number in the eSIM, including different operators.
There is also a list of devices compatible with the giant’s eSIM here, gathered in a dedicated section of the official website. That said, TIM does not have its own service for sharing the signal with smartwatches and other devices.
Vivo does not detail to which types of public eSIM support is provided, limiting to informing that the Post, Control, Pre and Easy plans are served by the technology. The purchase must be made in physical stores, but there is service via WhatsApp, with direct contact with the physical store closest to the user’s address.
Compatible devices are divided into lists of brands that provide the function (Apple, Motorola and Samsung), found on the company’s dedicated website. The operator also offers free synchronization with smartwatches through Vivo Sync, but like Claro, it is necessary to have a Post plan.
Source: Apple, Claro, Tim, Vivo