Republic and eSIM

Since we’re speculating to various degrees about what Republic’s future holds as a DISH owned brand, here’s my vote for eSIM. A somewhat dated Fierce Wireless article suggests two other AT&T MVNOs (read the article if you wish to know which ones) are offering eSIM though I haven’t found evidence of that on their websites:

Interestingly, the article also mentions DISH offering eSIM as part of its agreement with the Department of Justice related to the T-Mobile/Sprint merger.

So, while I don’t expect eSIM to be part of the initial improvements being brought to Republic, perhaps, a Republic eSIM option is a possibility for the future.

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ESIM would be nice! The sooner we replace physical SIM the better. Less expensive, less waste, and easier!

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What Is An eSIM | Pros And Cons Explained – Forbes Advisor UK provides a sort of tutorial for those of us who are inquisitive :slight_smile:

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I won’t be surprised if eSIM is an option for Republic’s new plans. After all, that’s what everybody will be moving to in the future. AT&T started offering it in 2018.

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Meh. As I only fool around with a SIM every 3 years or so, it doesn’t really have any attraction for me. I had one with my Fi trial and it took me longer to disable and delete it than I would have liked. But as an option it would be fine for those who have some affinity for it.

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eSIM requires both the phone manufacture and the carrier to do their part. Manufacture has to imbed the iSIM into the phones logic structure and the Carrier has to implement the back end processes to manage and support the software updates

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I’m ready to go phonewise. My Pixel 3a supports eSIM. Also a Pixel 5a 5G I ordered that is still unopened pending Republic’s announcement of new plans (that can be returned until the end of January if nothing sparkles enough to lure me away from My Choice).

With an MVNO such as Republic involved, it’s more difficult. Though we colloquially refer to all mobile service providers as carriers, MVNO’s are not. MNO’s like AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and US Cellular are carriers owning their own telephone networks. At least, that’s how it works today.

DISH is an interesting case, in that it’s building its own 5G network but presently does not own a telephone network nor are there yet any clear plans for it to acquire one. Well, DISH does own a small competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) but that seems to be limited to Colorado.

Anyway, suffice to say, for Republic to offer eSIM would currently require cooperation from not only the phone manufacturer and DISH but also from the future cellular network partner. This is not insurmountable but makes Republic eSIM support likely something for the future. I highly doubt it will be available when Republic’s new plans launch.

The appeal of eSIM, for me, is dual SIM. Google’s Pixel’s starting with the Pixel 3a series have eSIM in addition to a physical SIM slot. Samsung’s Galaxy Note20, Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S21 series phones have eSIM hardware but the hardware is not supported in most U.S. firmware builds. Both T-Mobile and Verizon have recently enabled firmware eSIM support for their carrier branded Galaxy Note20 variants but Samsung has yet to do so for factory unlocked variants. It looks like the Android 12 update said to be coming in January 2022 will firmware enable eSIM for factory unlocked as well as carrier branded Galaxy Note20 variants. Circumstances are similar for Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S21 variants.

The manufacturer most likely to force widespread carrier adoption of eSIM is Apple. Just as Apple got rid of the headphone jack, Apple will sooner or later get rid of physical SIM slots on iPhones. At that point, the carriers who’ve been dragging their feet on eSIM support will have no choice as they won’t sacrifice their ability to support iPhones.

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I agree. Since the phones we use tend to last awhile, it’s not that big of a deal. Not sure I like the idea from a ‘privacy’ point of view either.

However, I despise those ‘sim/SD’ trays…if those chips get any smaller, I’m all-in for eSIM. :grinning:

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There’s nothing on an eSIM not already on a physical SIM. Therefore, I see no increased privacy issue.

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I recently moved a Pixel4a from RW to Mint due to the higher data usage on that line. Mint supports esim that made the entire process including number transfer under half an hour. So I sincerely hope RW’s new plans will also offer eSim support.

As mentioned previously in this topic, I do not believe it’s likely eSIM will be available for Republic’s new plans at launch. I’d be more than happy to be wrong about that but I don’t think I will be.

eSIM support among MVNOs is very thin. There’s Mint, Visible and US Mobile just started their eSIM beta. None of them use AT&T’s network. The two MVNOs mentioned in the article I linked in the top post do use AT&T’s network. Despite the article stating those two would be offering eSIM in the 1st quarter of this year, I can find no evidence they actually do so.

For now, eSIM is a niche rather than a mass market opportunity. There are relatively few eSIM capable phones in the U.S. and those that are tend to be at higher price points. One day, eSIM will be a mass market opportunity if not mandatory to compete but today (or tomorrow) is not that day.

A curiosity question. I had never heard of eSIM before (which shows how far out of technology I’ve gotten). What happens if by chance you get a new phone before your old one dies (which has never been the case with me). Is there any way to completely delete all your info from the eSIM? A removeable SIM can just be… removed! Then you don’t have to worry about stored contracts etc. Thanks!

2 posts were split to a new topic: Does Republic offer a SIM card for a smartwatch?

eSIMs can be erased and removed from the phone though, like other user content stored on the phone, not after it dies.

That said, contacts are not stored on a smartphone’s eSIM (or a physical SIM for that matter). Older flip phones stored contacts on the phone’s SIM but that was a while ago now.

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In your opinion why is AT&T dragging its feet on this one? …can’t be that much of a technology challenge if it has already implemented for its direct customers…Is it just a ploy to discourage churn?

Thank you!

I don’t think it’s fair to single AT&T out on this one. All MNO’s worldwide have been slow to adopt eSIM to one degree or another. Additionally, that I’m aware of, there are three U.S. MVNOs offering eSIM, Mint on (T-Mobile’s network), Visible, (owned by Verizon and on Verizon’s network) and US Mobile (on Verizon’s network and currently in beta). That’s hardly widespread availability.

Then, there’s the reality eSIM is supported on relatively few phones. There is Google’s Pixel series, a couple of Samsung S series and Note series phones and Apple iPhones. If any manufacturer is going to drive widespread adoption of eSIM, it will be Apple. If it weren’t for Apple, PCs would still have PS/2 serial ports rather than USB. It was Apple that first adopted USB as the serial port standard on its computers, which is highly ironic, given USB originated with Intel. Apple would later adopt Intel processors for Macs but at the time was still using Motorola’s RISC processors.

eSIM is the future but, for the most part and like 5G, not so much the present. As with other things, we’ll get there with patience.

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For at least some of us, “patience” is much easier to say and write than to practice. :wink:

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