Convert the normal SIM to eSIM

Hello together,

I find it a little bit confusing understanding everything about the eSim. My tought was, that i insert the normal physical sim and then I would be able to convert this sim to the internal eSim.
So afterwards, on the eSim there is a copy of the inserted plastic sim and the sim slot is then free again for a second sim card.

Is that tought wrong? Does the eSim only accept the QR-Code variant? My provider wants 15 € for the eSim and I somehow don’t want to pay that just for a QR Code.


You dont need to insert the SIM to change to eSIM normally and the process is as your provider defines it there is not much to be done about this.

When you switched your SIM to eSIM you can use a second contract for the physical SIM or you just keep the current as physical SIM and if needed have a new/second directly as eSIM.

Yes, eSIMs are a specific form factor of SIM (along with “standard”, “micro”, “nano”), definitely not just a copy of an existing physical SIM.
That QR code contains the data to initialize an eSIM, let’s say the “invitation”. The phone reads them, contacts the provider with a security token, the provider confirms that he’s OK with it, and only after that the eSIM is active (and tied to that phone, you can’t just copy it around).

Now about those 15€, it isn’t excessive, all providers ask for some fee for renewing a SIM, and for them you’re technically renewing your SIM to a different form factor.
You could find a little cheaper by changing provider (for instance I only paid 10€ at Orange FR), but I’m not sure it’s worth the hassle.

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thanks for the explanation.

Converting a physical (normal) SIM to an eSIM requires the support of your mobile service provider, and the process may vary depending on the provider. Here are some general steps that you can follow:

Check your phone compatibility: Ensure that your phone supports eSIM technology. Most modern smartphones released within the last few years are likely to support eSIM, but it’s best to confirm this with your device manufacturer or mobile service provider.

Check with your mobile service provider: Contact your mobile service provider and inquire about eSIM activation. They should be able to provide you with the necessary information and guidance on how to proceed.

Obtain a QR code or activation code: Once you have confirmed that your phone supports eSIM and your mobile service provider offers eSIM activation, they will provide you with a QR code or an activation code.

Activate the eSIM: To activate the eSIM, you’ll need to scan the QR code or enter the activation code. This will initiate the eSIM activation process, and your mobile service provider will guide you through the steps required to complete the process.

Verify the eSIM activation: Once the activation process is complete, you should see the eSIM profile listed on your phone’s settings menu. Check to ensure that the eSIM has been successfully activated by verifying that you can make calls, send texts, and access mobile data.

Rachel Gomez

This is not an unusual price for SIM related services. If it is justified for the actual work they have to put in is another matter.
Different operators certainly handle this differently. In some cases you have to pay such a fee for any related service, for some it’s only when changing one way or the other. In my case with Congstar (Germany) for example, the change to eSIM was free of charge, but the change back would also be 15€ - which is understandable as they have to send out a new SIM in this case.
To sum up: If you’re not willing to pay the fee, you will have to look for a provider who does not charge it for the change you want. You can find a list of alternatives with eSIM support on the FP4 here. In most (all?) EU countries it should be possible to keep your phone number - but that might come with its own fees as well…

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I think different here. I think it’s far too high. I’m at SimplyTel. My data is already registered in their system. I do believe it’s done by an automated procedure once initiated.
Sure some human interaction is needed, that’s not for free, but to switch from plastic to eSIM could easily be purely initiated by customer request in his online account with 2,5 clicks or less.

Anyway both variants normal multiSIM & eSIM cost equal there, that’s nonsense to me. And in addition
my receipts usually were digital for download, now just for the switch to eSIM a separate receipt letter has been sent by post. Theoretically it could also keep a new plastic Sim card. So what’s the sense beside trying to somehow justify the (high) costs.
I’m very annoyed having to read this has become common practice to again squeeze out some more bucks for some new (environmental friendly) form of getting network access.
I strongly believe once more it needs more EU regulation here just as with roaming conditions some time back.

Strange, I could at any time use the plastic SIM in another phone. Yes, sure valid point, at last there is only one working physical SIM. Anyway I don’t see a point why my provider needs to again grant me permission to switch from a SIM to an eSIM.

It could and imho should be just that easy if the design had been made more sophisticated.
Just think of “floating licenses” for software. This principle works for years in the industry e.g. Siemens Simatic software license (unlimited times).
But then no one would make money of it when a license is moved.

Wow - how far ahead. I wonder how they do this…let’s guess, ah yeah don’t pay their staff? Oh, that would be illegal, so…fully automated process? - maybe.
So it is possible to keep costs low (and not be greedy).
Btw. “Blau” up to date does not offer eSIMs.

Sure and that’s legit, but never forget: Their network, their rules… :grinning:

There is no point in arguing over it, all you can do, as I said earlier, is vote with your wallet – if the issue is important enough to you.

BTW, for anybody interested, Ars Technica released yesterday an article on SIM form factors:


Wasn’t that a core value Fairphone wanted to break? So now we know where Fairphone urgently needs to get involved into. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

Interesting article btw. Could/should be placed in our specific forum section Interesting links / news articles somehow related to Fairphone] if not happened yet.

I don’t think so. Besides the fact Fairphone don’t have the stature required, even if they became the only operator in the Netherlands, what would it help all those living in all the other countries around?
It’s a battle they can’t neither fight nor win.

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Well actually I was relating to their phrase “yours to open, yours to keep”, according to:

I missed to point out this reverse analogy. :grimacing:

Good question also if it comes to the phone itself, as it is produced and sold only for the European market.
The idea might be spread abroad but the sales is still concentrated on Europe. If individuals get it moved to somewhere outside of Europe and working with a local network provider - nice. But these are
only a few cases and a very limited fraction of users.
So for the rest of the world not of much use as well up to date.

The best way to influence, well legal one :slight_smile:

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Sorry, I’m confused. Who said that?

Fairphone . . . . . . .

…Aaand when/where? :open_mouth:
I did check their website before posting, and didn’t spot this slogan.

Maybe I don’t get what the discussion is about, but to me it seems right now it’s drifting off to something not relevant to the question how to convert a physical SIM to an eSIM. I have the impression it’s close to turning into a “who’s the biggest smartass” fest.


There is some of that, certainly (always), but my question was genuine, not sarcastic.
Anyway, I agree this thread has outlived its utility.

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