Orange launches the eSIM in Luxembourg: all you need to know

12/03/2020 - 04h19

What is eSIM ? How can I take advantage of it ? What are the benefits ? Which smartphones are compatible ?

The eSIM is launched in Luxembourg, exclusively at Orange. In this occasion, we would like to explain you what changes, when and how to take advantage of it.

The eSIM is finally available in Luxembourg, at Orange

After 20 years of good and loyal service, it's time to think about the successor to our good old SIM card. Orange is the first operator to announce the launch of the eSIM in Luxembourg.

From March 30, you will be able to activate the eSIM on certain devices (see the list below), but in the near future, this technology will allow us to offer you services on a large number of connected devices: tablets, computers, cars and many others.

A real revolution on this matter is underway, you will understand why.

From SIM to eSIM: a bit of history 

The origin of the SIM card dates back to the early 90s. The technology has progressed over the time, mainly in terms of size. In the 1990s, the first SIM card had a size of a bank card. The new formats, which followed: mini-SIM, micro-SIM and nano-SIM, made it possible on one hand to reduce its size (to 12.3 mm in height and 8.8 mm in width) and on the other hand, to reduce the quantity of plastic.

The SIM card remains essential for connecting your smartphone or tablet to the mobile network. And for a good reason, it has a chip, containing encrypted data, which secures your connection to the network. This card can now be integrated directly into the devices. It is called eSIM and it will really make your life easier.

What is an eSim?

The embedded SIM (eSIM) is a SIM card directly embedded into a smartphone, tablet or connected watch. Technically, it is irremovable and soldered to the device’s motherboard. Its size is 6 mm by 5 mm; it therefore has almost half of the size of a nano-SIM.

What is the difference between the SIM and the eSIM?

We understood that the eSIM is embedded in the smartphone, but what does it change for you and what remains unchanged?

What changes 

  • The main difference from the traditional SIM card? It is no longer necessary to insert a physical SIM card in order to make calls and use the data connection (3G, 4G);
  • It should be activated a little differently ;
  • The eSIM card can contain several different phone numbers, but only one number can be active at a time.
  • There is no need to enter a PIN code to unlock the eSim at Orange

What does not change

  • The eSIM has exactly the same functions as the physical SIM card that you insert into your device today. You have the same services as with a physical SIM (calls, SMS, internet).
  • You keep your phone number (you must not change the number).
  • The eSIM contains exactly the same data as the traditional SIM.

Good to know

The eSIM does not allow you to store contacts, unlike the traditional SIM.

5 benefits of switching to the eSIM 

1. Use it on your smartphone and other connected devices

The use of the eSIM is not limited to smartphones and tablets. This means that it is possible to activate services on other devices, such as connected watches (will be possible soon), but why not in the near future on a modem, car or computer? The future is eSIM.

2. Have multiple numbers on a single card

Some customers, notably freelancers and managers, will now be able to use several subscriptions on a single device: for example a personal and a professional number, thanks to the Dual SIM technology (SIM + eSIM).

3. Traveling outside Europe and saving data

When you travel outside the borders of Europe, data consumption can be expensive and roaming plans too. eSIM allows you to keep your Luxembourg number, but, for example, to surf using a local SIM card. Think about it if you travel to South America, Asia, Australia or Africa for example.

4. Subscribe to an eSIM plan (subscription) in Luxembourg (travelers, expatriates)

For frequent travelers and tourists, it will now be easier to opt for a local subscription, when they are in Luxembourg and depending on the length of their stay.

The same is valid for expats in Luxembourg, who spend several weeks, months or years with us. eSIM will make subscribing to Orange plans much easier and more convenient, even when they return home.

Travelers and expats can continue using their SIM and the number of their country of origin, but simply add an eSIM package to obtain a Luxembourgish Orange number and a data package. No need to constantly change your SIM card or have two phones.

5. Take action for the environment

The gradual transition to eSIM will be good for our planet:

  • Use of plastic reduction for manufacturing;
  • Simplification of the logistics necessary for their circulation.

Which Orange customers can use eSIM?

All Orange customers with a mobile subscription and an eSIM compatible smartphone (not yet the Apple Watch, but we are working on it, a little patience please!). eSIM is not yet compatible to the prepaid card customers at present.

Who can activate eSIM?

  • New customers;
  • Existing customers who wish to replace a physical SIM card with an eSIM;
  • Existing customers who want a second subscription on the same device (dual-SIM).

eSIM: how does it work at Orange Luxembourg?

We will meet you in our shops from March 30.

Smartphones with eSIM in Luxembourg

All eSIM-compatible smartphones today have a dual-SIM technology. This means that they have a slot for a physical SIM card and an embedded eSIM: this is the case for iPhone dual SIM (SIM card and eSIM). Things are a little different for connected watches. Let's make the list.

iPhone compatible eSIM

The eSIM iPhone is the best known today:

iPhone XSiPhone XS MaxiPhone XRiPhone 11iPhone 11 ProiPhone 11 Pro Max.

Your smartphone must be running iOS 12.1 or later.

Android with eSIM

  • Google Pixel 3 and 4: for the moment, not marketed by Orange Luxembourg but compatible if you buy them abroad;
  • The new smartphones Samsung Galaxy S20, S20 +, S20 Ultra and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip.

Connected watches

At the time, watches connected with eSIM are not sold in Luxembourg and the models sold abroad are not yet compatible. A bit of patience. We are certainly not neglecting this point and we are actively working on it.

The future of eSIM

All eSIM compatible smartphones sold in Luxembourg retain a slot for a conventional SIM card, but this is expected to change. The transition will take approximately 3 years. We also estimate that the number of eSIMs will have exceeded the one of the physical cards in 2025 and that the good old SIM card will retire in 2030.

2020 is an important year for technology, since a large number of new models of smartphones, tablets, objects and connected watches will hit the market and will be directly equipped with eSIM. Most manufacturers will then take advantage of the space freed up by the disappearance of physical SIM cards to use and introduce new components in the future.