Researchers have conducted studies to determine which one provides the best internet experience. In this blog, we will answer: Is eSIM faster than physical SIM?
An eSIM is an embedded card that uses the same network technology as physical SIMs. However, the device you’re using can also make a difference, especially if they use eSIM.
Let’s find out.
No, eSIM is not inherently faster than a physical SIM. Both eSIM and physical SIM cards provide similar internet connectivity speeds
Before we settle the eSIM or physical SIM debate for good, let’s find out which is better and what is the best for travel.
Are eSIMs Better Than Physical SIM
We are now in a new era of mobile connectivity. Popular mobile carriers now support eSIMs in addition to physical SIM cards.
eSIMs have many advantages: saving multiple eSIMs in one device and switching between them quickly.
Here are a few things you should know to help us determine if eSIMs are better than physical SIMs.
- eSIM has a similar performance to physical SIM cards
- Mobile data speeds are independent of the type of SIM you use
- Both eSIMs and physical SIMs use the same network
- Devices with eSIMs have better performance
- eSIMs have their advantages, but not speed
Now, you can determine which is the true winner in the quest for the ultimate internet solution.
Is eSIM Faster Than Physical SIM: All You Need to Know
Because of its virtual nature, you may wonder: Is eSIM faster than physical SIM? The answer is no.
It cannot give you faster Internet speeds than a physical SIM card. An eSIM functions and supports 3G, 4G, and 5G networks just like a physical SIM.
eSIM vs Physical SIM Performance
Hardware performance, especially regarding SIM cards, is not only about speed.
In terms of it, there is no inherent advantage between one or the other. You can expect both types of SIM cards to be as quick as the other.
However, speed is not the only performance metric to look out for. There are a few differences that are worth taking a closer look at.
These performance differences are more than just network speed and can improve the overall user experience.
Here is the performance difference between eSIMs and physical SIMs:
- Setting up an eSIM is quicker.
- eSIMs offer better device compatibility.
- Enables dual-SIM technology on your phone.
- Changing networks is much easier with eSIMs.
- Physical SIMs are more reliable.
Note: eSIMs provide many quality-of-life upgrades compared to physical versions.
Do eSIMs Give You a Better Mobile Signal for Calls and Texts
Both SIM types generally offer similar performance and quality regarding calling and text performance.
It all boils down to signal strength and quality, and as long as your phone is getting enough of those, you should have no issues when it comes to receiving calls or sending messages.
Admittedly, there are other factors at play here that can affect your phone’s signal. Both will be affected similarly if you’re using an eSIM or a physical one.
Here are some of the factors that can affect your call quality:
- Your network’s coverage in your area is independent of SIM type.
- Your network’s capacity, if it’s congested or not.
- The mobile signal your phone picks up is 4G or 5G.
- Interference from external sources such as buildings and trees.
Note: It can appear like your eSIM phones can be faster since they’re newer and compatible with the 5G network.
What About Data and Internet Speeds
Regarding network performance, data and internet speeds are crucial. Some people may believe that eSIMs provide faster data and internet speeds than physical SIMs, but this is not necessarily true.
There are several things that can impact the speed of your internet and data connection.
It’s not just your network’s configuration. The following also affects data and internet speeds.
- The congestion and traffic on your carrier’s network
- The distance and location of your phone from the nearest cell tower
- The quality and configuration of your phone’s modem and processor
- The software settings and updates on your phone
- The type and size of the data you are uploading or downloading
Note: You roughly get the same speeds
Your Device and How it Affects Network Speeds
Data speeds and network performance are not isolated to the type of SIM card your phone has.
Your device also plays a significant role in determining network speeds and performance.
Not all devices are compatible with eSIM technology. Even if your device does support eSIM, it may not support the same network features and capabilities as other devices.
So, yes, the effect you’re likely seeing is that those with eSIM are generally newer and faster than older phone models.
Here’s how your device plays a factor in your mobile internet speeds:
- Check whether your device is compatible with 4G or 5G technology.
- If available, make sure you set your device’s network mode to 5G.
- Switch to a network quickly that offers faster internet speeds in your area.
- Your device specs can determine how fast it processes data.
Note: To maximize network speeds, ensure your device is compatible with your network’s available bands and technologies.
Primary Factors That Affect Network Speeds
There are a lot of factors that can affect your mobile data speeds. For one, mobile internet is not as reliable, so it’s understandable if it can experience some slow spells. However, these are not indirectly affected by your SIM card.
Although mobile technology can play a significant role as 5G data is going to be a lot faster than 4G.
You want to compare these two as newer phones that support eSIMs are compatible with 5G and use it if available.
These are the primary factors that affect network speeds:
- The availability and strength of the cellular network in your area
- The high network traffic during peak usage hours
- The performance of your device, including its modem, processor, and antenna
- The bandwidth allocation of your network
- The quality and capacity of your carrier’s network infrastructure
Note: By taking them into consideration, you can optimize your network for faster speeds and better performance.
Advantages of Using an eSIM vs a Physical SIM
At this point, we’ve established that your eSIM is not going to be faster than traditional physical SIMs.
You will get the same degree of network performance, whatever you decide to use. However, it doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy a few advantages if you switch to an eSIM.
With everything being equal, any form of upside will be more noticeable. Even if it means that you don’t have to deal with the SIM eject tool and the SIM tray is already a win in itself.
Here are the perks that you get when you use an eSIM:
- An eSIM is convenient as you don’t need to swap cards physically.
- Your eSIMs can be managed easily and remotely without using physical cards.
- Multiple SIM profiles on a single phone to use different plans and numbers.
- Better security and encryption against SIM card cloning.
- Using an eSIM future-proofs your setup for the coming years.
Note: There are a few downsides like not all carriers and devices have adopted eSIM technology, but that should change in the next year or so.
Ultimately, choosing an eSIM or physical SIM card will depend on your needs and preferences.
An eSIM may be your best choice if you value flexibility and convenience. But, if you prefer simplicity and ease of use, you should stick with traditional SIM cards.
To answer the question “Is eSIM faster than physical sim” eSIMs and physical SIMs offer comparable performance in network speeds, call quality, and data connectivity.
Although eSIMs provide the convenience of remote activation and management, physical SIM cards are still preferred by other users.
Finn Wheatley holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from UCL, London. He helped small data science consultancy firms, helping large corporations to grow their data capabilities, deploy advanced machine learning-based analytics and troubleshoot tech-related issues. Check out more about him here.