As we live in a time where traveling has become a frequent requirement due to work or even leisure for a lot of people, connectivity is a major necessity. In the past, people have had to pay insane per MB data roaming prices charged by their carriers or had to buy local sim cards in order to stay connected.
For the past couple of years, frequent travelers have had to accumulate local mobile SIM cards bought in various countries. In addition to this, getting a SIM card is more complicated depending on the countries requirement. Some countries will allow you to simply buy a SIM on the road from vendors and others require you to go to the carriers store and register with your passport or other documents.
However, in recent years there have been some more convenient options provided. For example, local sim providers place booths in airports to assist arriving travelers with a SIM, setting out the APN and sorting them out in just minutes. The EU have also dropped their roaming prices progressively to zero as well as other regions creating free-roaming zones.
In addition to this, some operators offer customers flat-rate or even free roaming to other countries such as T-Mobile US’s free international data (limited to 2GB) or $5 per day for capped LTE. Some phones even offer a dual sim option so that they can easily switch between home and local SIMs.
Although, none of these options can compare to the new technology that is emerging in our markets today. Developers have offered a new feature to smartphones that are called an embedded SIM but best known as an eSIM.
This new feature is essentially the gold key travelers needed to unlock their optimal travel experience. An eSIM is a pre-installed virtual SIM that your phone will have. It’ll allow users to have the opportunity to switch from network to network without physically removing their SIM card and can have multiple profiles from carrier to carrier.
For example, the 2018 iPhone models are some of the few devices that will support this feature. Travelers with these devices can be subscribed to say, T-Mobile’s eSIM plan and then switch to a different plan when they are in a different country by scanning the QR code of the new plan.
Like all things new, the eSIM is yet to take off, and the predicted market competition resulting in low prices for eSIM phone plans does not exist yet. While a few eSIMs are presently available in a few varieties of devices, they mostly focus on M2M communication.
Market leaders like Apple have the ability to introduce new technology to millions of consumers and this could completely revolutionize the way we use SIM cards in general. Some experts have been predicted that the struggle of incurring international roaming charges could cease completely by 2023 as the eSIM would remove the need for additional costs.
Though there are no eSIM plans that can be referred to in order for price comparisons to be done, most research and predictions show that eSIMs should make roaming significantly cheaper than the outrageous roaming charges that can be incurred when traveling. The eSIM will not only be a new addition to technology, but users will able to directly see the benefits gained from the new advancement.
No matter how much time it takes for the eSIM and market participants to become more established, there is no doubt that some of the happiest new eSIM users will be international travelers.
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