Vodafone UK now supports embedded-SIM (eSIMs) in smartphones on its Pay Monthly plans.
“SIM cards contain unique identifying information enabling a mobile phone or other device to connect securely to a mobile network. With eSIMs, that data is contained in a few lines of code which is stored on a dedicated chip inside your phone rather than on a removable card,” Vodafone UK explained in a blog post.
Customers can use Vodafone’s accompanying online interface to load the eSIM on to their phone, making the activation process much faster than waiting for a physical SIM card to arrive in the post.
This also eliminates the need to manufacture and ship the associated plastic, thereby reducing carbon emissions.
As most of the smartphones that currently support eSIMs also retain their physical SIM card slots, eSIMs can complement physical SIM cards in several ways, Vodafone says. For example, customers could have both their personal and work mobile numbers on a single device, with one of those lines provided by eSIM.
Vodafone UK supports eSIMs in the Apple iPhone XS or newer, the Google Pixel 3 or newer, as well as in certain Samsung Galaxy phones and iPads.
While handset support is new, Vodafone has long supported eSIMs in smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch.