SIM-ply the best! Your essential guide to eSIMs

Say hello to eSIM – the digital SIM that’s more flexible, easier to set up, extra secure and more eco-friendly than a plastic SIM. Just download it and you’ll be ready to go in minutes

We’ve got some exciting news to share with you. Introducing eSIM – a digital SIM that’s made it easier to connect to the people and things you love than ever before.

So, what’s the big deal? As well as giving you access to the latest and greatest devices, eSIMs are the quickest, smartest and most future-proof way to get started on your new phone, tablet or mobile plan. All you need to do is download and activate your eSIM profile and you’re good to go – there’s no need to wait for a SIM in the post.

Not only that, but eSIMs are the safest way to stay connected. If your device is lost or stolen, nobody can remove your eSIM, meaning your O2 plan can’t be used on another device without you knowing.

And whether you use your device for business or pleasure, eSIMs give you the freedom to use two active numbers on the same device. Plus, they’re 100% plastic-free so there’s less waste and impact on the planet.

With more and more gadgets supporting eSIM technology (in fact, over 50% of the devices we sell are eSIM-compatible), there’s never been a better time to swap, upgrade or switch to the device you want.

What is an eSIM?

Also known as an embedded SIM, an eSIM is a small chip that stores the data your device needs to connect to the O2 mobile network. It’s like a traditional SIM except there’s no need to physically insert it into your device – it’s already pre-built inside it and is a permanent part of your device. Your device might also have a plastic SIM slot as well as eSIM capability. This means it’s a dual SIM device, which lets you have two mobile numbers with individual tariffs on one device. There are also devices which allow you to use two eSIMs.

Couple looking at phone together

Why would an eSIM be right for me?

An eSIM is much more secure than a traditional SIM. They’re specifically designed not to store your personal data and can’t be taken out of one device and inserted into another the same way that a plastic SIM can. That makes it harder for thieves to get their hands on your SIM and use it for making calls and texts. If you’re a globetrotter or always on the go, eSIMs allow you to seamlessly swap between two mobile numbers on one device, meaning that personal and business and home and holiday mode are only a few taps away. If you’re looking to live an eco-friendlier lifestyle, then choosing an eSIM is a great way to flick through your socials or natter the night away while reducing your plastic usage.


How do I get started?

Setting up your eSIM is easy and only takes a few minutes. If you’re new to O2 or upgrading to an eSIM-compatible device and chose an eSIM as your preferred option during your purchase journey, then your eSIM profile will automatically activate as part of the new device setup. Just follow the onscreen prompts so that everything is ready to go by the time you reach the home screen. However, this method is only available for Pay Monthly plans*. But there are other ways to get started too. If you didn’t request an eSIM when you bought your device, you can set up your eSIM manually via My O2. Here’s how.

Kids watching mobile phones with headphones on

Can I switch from a SIM to an eSIM?

If you’re an existing customer, we’ve made it easy for you to swap your plastic SIM for an eSIM. All you need is a compatible device and SIM plan as well as access to My O2. You’ll also be able to keep the same mobile number. Simply head to My O2, select "Phones, SIMs and devices", followed by "Manage my device". Choose the "Replace your SIM" option and select "eSIM". Find out more about making the switch and tips for setting up eSIMs.

Are other gadgets eSIM-compatible?

Yes! In fact, setting up your other tech has never been easier. All iPhone models from the iPhone XS onwards, and an increasing number of Android phones, support eSIM technology. But eSIMs are also compatible with Samsung watches, Apple Watch, iPad Pro 11-inch (1st Generation or later, iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd Generation or later), iPad (7th Generation or later) and iPad mini (5th and 6th Generation). To find out if your device supports an eSIM, just head over to the device’s product page in the O2 shop and check “SIM type” in the “tech specs” section. What are you waiting for?

If you have an Android device, you can download the My O2 app for free from the Google Play Store.

If you have an iOS device, you can download the My O2 app for free from the App Store.


*We don’t offer eSIMs on Pay As You Go plans just yet.

Published: 8 April 2024

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