Traveling overseas and want to swap to a local carrier? You’ll have to take out the SIM card in your phone and replace it with the carrier’s own SIM card. While not particularly inconvenient, it isn’t efficient either, not to mention there is always the possibility of losing your original SIM which means more work when you get back home.
However it looks like eSIMs could become more mainstream, thanks to GSMA recently announcing a new eSIM specification aimed at smartwatches, fitness trackers, and tablets, and the good news is that the Samsung Gear S2 classic 3G will be the first smartwatch that will take advantage of the new specification, according to Samsung.
For those unfamiliar with the concept of eSIMs, basically this refers to an embedded/programmable SIM inside a device that lets users choose between carriers. This means that you won’t need to get a new SIM if you were to switch from AT&T to T-Mobile, and so on. If this sounds familiar, it is because Apple has already introduced such a feature in the form of the Apple SIM.
According to GSMA, the eSIM is currently backed by some of the big names in mobile, like Samsung, LG, Microsoft, and Huawei, along with carriers like AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica, and EE. Unfortunately this specification is specific to wearables and tablets, but it is expected to become available for smartphones later this year in June.