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Econet eSim: Everything you need to know

Econet made a bit of a quiet rollout of their eSim service and Econet being Econet they are the first to bring this tech to Zimbabwe. And as it is with new tech we have a lot of questions needing answers. Let’s answer some of these.

What is an eSim?

eSim is short for embedded Sim. Why it’s called an embedded Sim is because it no longer comes in the physical form of a card that you insert into your phone. What that card has is just information about the network your number belongs to. Think of it as an ID.

An eSim now is just all your data for that network stored virtually in your phone. And how you add that data to your phone is by use of a QR code that you get from your service provider. You then scan this with your eSim-enabled device and it’s loaded onto your phone.

That’s all really technical but the important bit is that even though you cannot touch this eSim, that is the only part it differs from the Sim cards we are used to. For everything else, the eSim works exactly the same way as the physical Sim card.

How do I get one?

You can get an eSim from any Econet shop. The ones confirmed to have eSims in stock are Econet 1st street in Harare and Econet shop at the Livingstone building.

Does my phone work with an eSim?

The technology is very new and so it’s not available on most phones. The devices Econet supports are listed below:

iPhones

  • XR
  • XS
  • XS Max
  • 11
  • 11 Pro
  • SE 2 (2020)
  • 12
  • 12 Mini
  • 12 Pro
  • 12 Pro Max
  • 13
  • 13 Mini
  • 13 Pro
  • 13 Pro Max
  • SE 3 (2022)

Note: On iPhone 13 models you can have two eSims activated at the same time.

iPads

  • Pro 11 inch (A2068, 2020)
  • Pro 12.9 inch (A2069, 2020)
  • Air (A2123, 2019)
  • (A2198, 2019)
  • Mini (A2124, 2019)

Note: Only iPads with 4G LTE support eSims

Samsung Galaxy

  • S20
  • S20+
  • S20 Ultra
  • S21
  • S21+ 5G
  • S21 Ultra 5G
  • S22
  • S22+
  • S22 Ultra
  • Note 20
  • Note 20 Ultra 5G
  • Fold
  • Fold 3
  • Z Fold 2 5G
  • Z Fold 3 5G
  • Z Flip 3 5G
  • Z Flip
  • Watch (Via Samsung Wearable Application)

Google Pixel

  • 2
  • 2 XL
  • 3
  • 3 XL
  • 3a
  • 4
  • 4a
  • 4 XL
  • 5
  • 5a
  • 6
  • 6 Pro

Note: For the Google Pixel 3, only models bought on Google Fi or Spring will work. All other Google Pixel 3 phones bought from the US or Canada will not work with the Econet eSim.

Huawei/Honor

  • P40
  • P40 Pro
  • Mate 40 Pro
  • Honor Magic 4 Pro

Note: Huawei P40 Pro+ and P50 Pro are not compatible

Oppo

  • Find X3
  • Reno 5A
  • Reno6 Pro 5G
  • Find X5
  • Find X5 Pro
  • A55s

Note: Oppo Find X5 Lite is not supported

Motorola

  • Razr 2019
  • Razr 5G

Sony

  • Xperia 10 III Lite
  • Xperia 1 IV

Other supported devices

  • Microsoft Surface Pro X
  • Nuu Mobile X5
  • Gemini PDA
  • Rakuten Big-S
  • Rakuten mini
  • Rakuten Big

Will the physical Sim work if I put an eSim on my phone?

Yes. If your phone supports an eSim you will be able to switch between the physical Sim and an eSim in your phone’s settings. It can even be a different service provider from Econet so the physical Sim can be a Telecel Sim and the eSim can be an Econet Sim. Something to note is that different smartphone makers have different ways in which they are implementing eSims.

Single Sim scenario

A phone accepts a single physical Sim and an eSim. It can only have one of these active at any instance. So you can have a Physical Sim and an eSim on your phone and via your phone settings, you can choose which one you want to activate. The eSim or the Physical sim. And you can happily do this at the press of a button without the need to remove any physical Sims.

Dual Sim: 1 Physical Sim + 1 eSim

In this scenario, a phone with one Sim slot which we call a single Sim phone can have an eSim running at the same time as the physical Sim. And this means this sort of phone will operate as a Dual Sim phone thanks to the eSim.

Dual Sim: 2 Physical Sims, Multiple options

Scenario number 3 we have a Dual Sim phone which takes in 2 physical Sims. In this scenario (Huawei Mate 40 Pro) you can have 2 physical Sims active at the same time. But one of the 2 Sim options will support the eSim (Sim 2). You can switch between the physical Sim and the eSim just like in the single Sim scenario.

So you can either have 2 physical Sim cards running at once or you can have a single physical Sim and an eSim both active at the same time. You can also switch between all these in the phone settings without removing any sim cards. Essentially making the phone a triple Sim phone. Just that only 2 Sims can be active at the same time.

Can I have more than 1 eSim on the same phone?

You can have multiple eSims on the same phone. Just like you can have a wallet full of physical Sims only this time they are all safely stored in your phone. And these can be from any network even international ones if you are a frequent international traveler.

What you just do to use any of them is you just go into your phone’s settings and pick an eSim of your choice. It’s as simple as that.

Can my old Econet number be converted to an eSim?

Yes, it can. The process is the same as a sim replacement. The old physical Econet Sim card will be deactivated and your number will be reassigned to the eSim.

Will my linked banks still work with an eSim

The conversion will transfer any services, banks, and wallets linked to your old Sim card. So they will all still be active and work in the same way as they did on the old sim

How do I check my balance, buy airtime, send money, etc with an eSim?

Apart from the fact that an eSim is just a normal Sim in digital form, it functions the exact same way as the physical Sim. So all the USSD codes for Econet and EcoCash services will work the same. Your linked banks will still be there too.

The eSim will work the exact same way as a physical Sim. It requires no special treatment when using it.

Can I have an eSim with the same number as my physical Sim?

You cannot have 2 Sims with the same number. It does not matter if they are physical Sims or eSims.

Can my eSim be hacked?

An eSim is just as vulnerable as a physical sim. However, the advantage it has over a physical Sim is that you cannot easily remove it from the phone.

Also read:


Quick NetOne, Econet, And Telecel Airtime Recharge

14 thoughts on “Econet eSim: Everything you need to know

    1. You saw those starting prices right? Unless some angel sponsor or fan comes in, you might be better off looking to the usual suspects on youtube than waiting on TZ. The first videos were up after the Apple event stream.

    1. Some do, but that’s usually the more recent flagship models, and even then, esim support can be market specific. LG closed its cellphone business so if your phone didn’t have it at launch, you’ll likely never get it.

      Technically, you could load a specific ROM that supports it or buy an eSIM.me sim card (its a physical sim card that can run esims). eSIM.me is great if you have an android phone, up to 30 lines and lots of dollars burning a hole in your pocket, if it works on econet!

  1. I got mine so head office. So excited about the technology. Thank you Techzim for parading this, Econet decided to not even announce it

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