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Can I use eSIM and physical sim at the same time?


Can I use eSIM and physical sim at the same time?

An eSIM is a digital SIM that allows you to activate a cellular plan from your mobile carrier without having to use a physical SIM. It thus plays the same role as a physical sim and allows you to connect your phone with any network plan and allow you to make phone calls or browse data. It is a newer technology but whether is it a better one remains to be seen.

Let’s find out

eSIM Features:

  1. An eSIM needs to be activated on a device by the network company and only after it is activated via SMS and QR code verification, it can be used.
  2. An eSIM is device-specific i.e. it can be active on only one device at a time. It is not interchangeable, unlike the physical sim.
  3. It can only be used on supported devices and presently very limited electronic devices support an eSIM.
  4. It can be used only if your network provider supports the service.
  5. An eSIM is always connected to the network, the user does not have the option to disconnect by removing the sim.

Usage of Physical Sim and eSim together

A question often pops up in our minds, “Can I use eSIM and physical sim at the same time?” Let us look at two aspects to answer this question:

I. eSIM and physical sim for the same number

You cannot have an eSIM and an active physical sim for the same number. So, once your eSIM is activated, the physical sim will automatically get deactivated. This is just like two physical sims for the same number cannot exist, similarly, one eSIM and one physical sim for the same number also cannot exist.

If you activate an eSIM for your mobile number and later want to use a physical sim, you need to get a new physical sim card issued by the company. So, be sure about your choice before opting for a change.

II. eSIM and physical sim as dual sim on a phone

So, if you are using a dual sim phone and want to use one eSIM and one physical sim, you might need to check the phone’s specifications.

Let’s take an iPhone as an example. Here is a list of different iPhone models and their support capabilities:

  • For iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13, and iPhone 13 mini, you can use Dual SIM with either two active eSIMs or a nano-SIM and an eSIM.
  • For iPhone 12 models, iPhone 11 models, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR feature Dual SIM with a nano-SIM and an eSIM. These phones do not support two eSIMs.

Also, it is important to check the device-specific feature to know if it supports this or not.


eSIMPhysical Sim
A new standard for mobile communication known as an “eSIM,” also known as an “embedded SIM” or “electrical SIM,” is a viable replacement for a conventional SIM card. A little chip the size of a thumbnail called a SIM, or subscriber identity module is installed in your cell phone and contains special data necessary to connect it to a particular mobile network.
An eSIM is a typical SIM card that is electronically implanted into the device’s motherboard from the beginning of the production process.A normal sim card is usually inserted physically into the mobile phone either by the provider or the user.
It essentially breaks the current link between the client and the network provider, making it simpler to transfer carriers on the same phone. The phone’s software incorporates an eSIM, and you purchase coverage from mobile networks.In a regular sim, this does not happen. It functions differently.
It can have several profiles.It can have only one profile for each customer.
It has an MFF2 form factor. This one has 4FF, 3FF and 2FF.


I. Can I switch back and forth between SIM and eSIM?

Yes, you can do so. You can use both SIMs at the same time depending on the device’s specifications.

II. How many SIMs can you have on eSIM?

In one eSIM, it is possible to virtually have five eSIMs at the same time. You can easily switch between various SIMs.

III. Can eSIM be recovered even after deleting?

Yes, you can recover it back. You need to talk to your service provider and they will send you a new QR code. They will guide you through the instructions.

Check the process of conversion of an eSIM to a physical sim for Airtel.

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Anna is a writer at Next gen hero, she was working as a full time journalist before this. She loves her job and believes that the company has a great future ahead of it. She wants to help expand their reach and become a leader in the industry.

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