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What's an eSIM?

An eSIM - meaning ‘embedded SIM’ - is the next generation of SIM card. It’s a virtual SIM rather than a physical card, so if you need a new one, you don’t have to go out to a shop or wait for it to arrive in the post. And there’s no fiddly process of inserting the card or realising that you’ve bought the wrong size. This makes switching networks even quicker and easier than before.

Perhaps you need to use more than one network - that’s easy too. Because most eSIM phones support more than one eSIM profile - and they usually have a physical SIM card slot too - you can have more than one phone line on your phone. You can only use one line at a time but you can switch quickly between them. This comes in very handy if you have more than one phone - a work one and a personal one, for example - and you want to consolidate them. It’s good news for travellers too, as you can pick up a new eSIM or SIM card for a local network wherever you are - therefore avoiding roaming charges.

  1. If you’ve already got a Vodafone contract or are purchasing a new Vodafone deal then you will be able to swap from a physical sim over to an eSIM. Just visit the Vodafone eSIM website here and follow the instructions to log-in and swap to an eSIM.
  1. If you’ve already got an iD Mobile contract or are purchasing a new iD Mobile deal then keep an eye on the iD Mobile website for more details on how to get an eSIM. iD are working to bring eSIM’s to their network soon.

eSIM FAQs

What is an eSIM?

An eSIM (which stands for ‘embedded SIM’) is a digital version of a physical SIM card, built into a handset. Instead on inserting a SIM card, you simply download a SIM profile, allowing you to access either one or multiple networks from a single device.

What are the benefits of eSIM?

An eSIM lets you switch quickly and easily between connections, which is helpful if you want to have two separate numbers on one phone. It’s also more secure, as there’s no physical SIM which can be lost or removed, and its quicker to get started as you don’t need to wait for a delivery.

Can I have more than one eSIM profile?

Yes, that’s one of the main benefits of eSIM. Each mobile number will have its own eSIM profile, letting you have multiple connections on one device. This is handy if you’d like one number for personal use, and another for work purposes.

How do I add multiple eSIM profiles?

You can add a new eSIM profile by purchasing a new network connection. Each profile can be labelled with its own title, and you can switch easily between profiles on your handset, depending on which mobile number or monthly allowances you wish to use.

How does an eSIM work?

How eSIMs work is almost exactly the same as regular SIMs. The main differences are, instead of being a physical card, an eSIM card is a small chip embedded in your phone and can’t be removed, and you can have plans with multiple networks on the one phone.

Is my phone eSIM compatible?

To find out, go to your phone’s keypad (as though you were about to make a call) and type in *#06#. A box will instantly pop up, displaying your IMEI and handset serial number. If you also see an EID number, then your handset is eSIM compatible.

Can I transfer an eSIM profile to my new phone?

Yes this can be done by following on-page instructions for Vodafone here, and for iD Mobile here. On iD Mobile you’ll just need to request a replacement eSIM set-up via email. Once this email arrives simply activate it on your phone using Wi-Fi.

Can I transfer physical SIM to eSIM (and vice versa)?

Yes, you’ll just need to check your handset is eSIM compatible (see above) then contact your network to make the request. If you’re placing an upgrade order via mobiles.co.uk, and changing from physical SIM to eSIM, we’ll request the change for you as we process your purchase.

Other useful eSIM information


How to delete an eSIM profile from your handset:

When you reach the end of a contract, you’ll need to delete your eSIM profile before you sell, gift, or trade-in your handset. To erase your eSIM, simply follow these steps:


On iPhone:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select Mobile Services.
  3. Chose the eSIM you want to remove.
  4. Tap Delete eSIM.

On Samsung:

  1. Navigate: Settings > Connection > SIM card Manager.
  2. Chose the eSIM you want to remove.
  3. Tap Remove.
  4. Complete the on-screen prompts.

On other Android:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Chose Network & Internet.
  3. Tap SIMs.
  4. Select the eSIM you’d like to delete.
  5. Hit Erase SIM.
  6. Complete the on-screen prompts.

What to do if your eSIM phone is lost or stolen:

The first step is to deactivate your eSIM. You can do this by contacting your network service provider directly. iD Mobile customers can call 0333 003 7777, while Vodafone customers can dial 0333 3040 191.

You can get further help and advice from your network online. If you’re with iD Mobile, you can access their Lost & Stolen Phones Help & Advice. Additionally, iD Mobile customers can request a new eSIM set-up here. Once the new eSIM is received by email, this can be activated on a replacement phone.

Vodafone customers can access the Vodafone Lost & Stolen Hub for more assistance on what to do next, and request a replacement SIM.

Finally, be sure to contact your insurance provider if you have insurance for your device.

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