Understanding eSIMs from Jio, Airtel, and Vi: Features, Safety Measures, and Activation Guide.


Gopal Vittal, Airtel’s Chief, Promotes eSIM Adoption for Enhanced Security and Convenience, With Airtel, Jio, and Vi Leading eSIM Support in India

Gopal Vittal, the head of Airtel, advocates for the adoption of e-SIMs over traditional SIM cards. In a recent communication to Airtel customers, Vittal highlighted the myriad benefits of e-SIMs, particularly emphasizing security and convenience. He stressed that e-SIMs offer seamless connectivity, enabling effortless device-switching.

“In instances of theft, if your device gets stolen, it will be that much harder for criminals to get rid of your e-SIM, since they are unlike the traditional SIMs that could be physically removed from phones. This will also make a lost smartphone easier to track,” Vittal wrote in an emailed statement to Airtel customers. Let’s delve into the concept of eSIM, its advantages, and a step-by-step guide on how to enable eSIM on major Indian telecom networks – Airtel, Jio, and Vi.

What is eSIM?
The term “eSIM” stands for embedded SIM, a technology that integrates the SIM card directly onto the motherboard of a device. Unlike physical nano-SIM cards, eSIMs eliminate the need for a separate SIM card slot. This embedded or digital SIM allows users to activate a cellular plan from their carrier without requiring a physical SIM card. Bharti Airtel, Jio, and Vi are the leading providers of eSIM support on smartphones in India, catering to both Android and iOS users.

Inner Workings of eSIM Technology
Despite its virtual nature, an eSIM functions identically to a traditional SIM card. It stores essential information like the subscriber’s identity and network credentials but offers unparalleled flexibility. Users can seamlessly switch between network carriers and plans without the inconvenience of physically swapping SIM cards. The activation process is streamlined, involving just a few taps on the device to grant immediate access to a new network.

How to enable eSim on Jio, Airtel, and Vi
Enabling an eSIM is a straightforward process, but the specific steps vary depending on your mobile carrier. The procedure is free of charge, and your existing mobile plan will be transferred to the eSIM. Airtel and Jio offer eSIM support for both prepaid and postpaid plans, while Vi only provides eSIM for postpaid plans.

To activate your eSIM, follow these steps for your respective carrier:

  • Airtel: Send an SMS containing “eSIM registered email ID” to 121.
  • Vi: Send an SMS containing “eSIM registered email ID” to 199.
  • Jio: Send an SMS containing “GETESIM” to 199.


  • Locate your IMEI and EID numbers in the Settings app.
  • You will receive an SMS from your carrier with further instructions.
  • A QR code will be sent to your registered email address. Scan this QR code to complete the eSIM activation process.
  • Ensure your registered email address is correct. You can verify or update your email address through the respective carrier’s app: Airtel Thanks app, Vi app, or MyJio app.

The QR code scanning procedure differs across smartphones:

  • eSim on Samsung: Open Settings > Connections > SIM Card Manager > Add Mobile Plan > Add Using QR Code.
  • eSim on Apple: Go to Settings > Mobile Data > Add Data Plan.
  • eSim on Pixel: Click on Settings > Network & Internet > Mobile Network > Download a SIM instead > Click on Next > Scan the QR code received by email.

eSIM advantages

  • Enhanced Physical Security: Embedded eSIMs cannot be removed, lost, or stolen, significantly reducing the risk of unauthorized access or tampering.
  • Authentication and Encryption: eSIMs utilize robust authentication mechanisms and advanced encryption, bolstering resistance to hacking attempts.
  • Remote Management and Control: eSIMs facilitate remote provisioning and secure updates without the need for physical interaction, ensuring up-to-date configurations.
  • Reduced Risk of Cloning or Fraud: Unique identifiers make eSIMs more difficult to clone, diminishing the risk of identity theft or fraudulent activities.
  • Multi-Layered Security Features: Hardware-based security measures enhance protection against cyber threats, including secure storage and execution environments.
  • Secure User Authentication: Additional layers of user authentication and access control reinforce device and network security.
  • Continuous Security Updates: eSIMs can receive firmware or software updates remotely, ensuring resilience against evolving threats.
  • Reduced Physical Exposure: The embedded nature of eSIMs minimizes physical exposure, enhancing the security of sensitive data.

eSIM disadvantage
While eSIM offers convenience and eliminates the need for physical SIM cards, it presents challenges for frequent device switchers. Unlike traditional SIM cards that can be easily swapped between devices, eSIMs require a more complex activation process, making it inconvenient to switch between multiple devices regularly.

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