eSim: how much they cost, how they are activated and what future they will have

“I know that with ‘du’ tokens it is a bit difficult to buy drugs”. In a joke – that of Fiorenza, Ruggero’s girlfriend A lot nice by Carlo Verdone – a whole world: the imagination of the Eighties. And the tokens, the iconic “pass” for the use of public telephones, soon became circulating currency in the daily economy, interchangeable with 200 lire. This is just one of the many fragments of generational imagery linked to the telephone. The older ones will remember the one fixed to the wall in the house, others that gray, heavy object, equipped with a wheel to dial the number, placed on the piece of furniture at the entrance. Private telephones, but also public telephones in the cabin or in the bars (Bruno Cortona-Vittorio Gassman who on August 15th sticks his arm between the grates of the shutter of the closed bar and grabs the handset in Overtaking by Dino Risi). Without forgetting the colorful telephone cards to collect. Then, more recent memories: the first cell phones, huge, very heavy, and cult ones like the indestructible Nokia 3310. In the phone, the Sims: the attribution of the “status” of the telephone number, sponsored by iconic advertisements such as those with Megan Gale.

At each change of Sim and manager, a new number and the inconvenience of notifying all friends, until the invention of portability. The first Sims, as big as
a credit card and then (hand in hand with the evolution of smartphones) the mini, the micro, the nano. Smaller and smaller dimensions and, soon, impalpable. The virtual eSim could deliver this object – which has now marked several generations – to the wardrobe of memories, together with the token or the orange telephone of the Sip booths.

Basically with the eSim – on the market for a couple of years – it will no longer be necessary to have the card to be inserted in our device to have a telephone number and the related associated services. With all due respect to nostalgics, the dematerialization of the sim has many advantages for users: for example, it is faster to activate and deactivate and impossible to lose or damage with use, and more. The eSim are catching on, even in Italy: but how much do they cost and how are they obtained? SOStariffe.it – independent site for the comparison of home internet offers, electricity and gas, insurance, mobile telephony, mobile internet, TV and loans – answered these questions through an ad hoc study.

The portal underlines that “on the Italian market there are already some telephony operators offering dedicated offers with eSim combined with a smartwatch capable of connecting to the Internet, making and receiving calls even without a telephone. What is still not possible to find in our country, on the other hand, are exclusive mobile phone offers for eSim, which are conceived as virtual supports to be requested in place of the traditional SIM but not yet as separate products “.

Each operator establishes the cost of the virtual sim which replaces the cost of the traditional sim card. “For new customers who request the eSim when activating a new offer (with or without number portability), an average additional cost of approximately 4.2 euros is envisaged, to be added to the activation cost of the chosen offer. Even those who are already customers of an operator that supports eSim can switch to the virtual Sim, replacing the traditional one. Depending on the operator, the replacement can take place in-store or directly online, by contacting the provider’s customer service. The replacement cost is equal, on average, to about 8 euro one-off to be paid at the time of the request ”, writes SOStariffe.it.

How does eSim activation work? Very simple: just frame with our device (which must support the eSim) a QR Code provided by the operator on physical support or via email. We also need an Internet connection to register the linked profile.

One therefore wonders if and when the dematerialized sims will definitively take the place of the physical ones. Studies suggest classic Sims may disappear by 2025. Almost.

According to research by the institute MarketsandMarkets, the turnover of virtual Sims was valued at 253.8 million dollars in 2017 and it is estimated that it could reach 978.3 million dollars by 2023. According to a survey carried out last February by the English institute Beecham Research, 78% of respondents say they already use a virtual SIM or plan to use it in the future. Finally, a study by Truphone predicts that, despite their very slow advance, 90% of utilities will be connected to eSIM by 2025.

Furthermore, within the next four years, 87% of mobile operators and companies that manufacture smartphones will produce compatible devices to accommodate eSIMs. Two-thirds of device manufacturers believe that over 40% of their devices will be connected via virtual sim in 2025. A further 19% predict that most of their products will be connected with the new technology by that date. From the token to the dematerialized sim, the step is technologically short.

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