eSIM technology is the ability to download a virtual SIM card instead of using a physical one.
eSIM technology is helpful as most smartphones released in Canada don’t feature multiple SIM slots. The ability to use an eSIM allows someone to download a SIM to their handset and then use a physical SIM for business or while travelling. Some devices even support dual SIMs, which enables users to utilize both an eSIM and a physical SIM card simultaneously.
It’s important to note that for eSIM technology to work, carriers need to enable the technology.
At one point, only Bell supported the technology, but now many more Canadian carriers support eSIMs.
Below are the Canadian carriers that support eSIM technology:
- Lucky Mobile
Telus says that it and its sub-brands are working to add eSIM and dual SIM technology later this year. However, the carrier could not provide a specific time frame.
SaskTel anticipates an eSIM and dual SIM technology launch sometime in 2020.
As more carriers support eSIM technology, we’ll update this article.
Devices that support eSIM technology are also not very common, especially ones that utilize dual-SIM tech in Canada.
Here’s a list of devices that support dual-SIM that are available in Canada:
- Apple iPhone XR (supports dual-SIM)
- Apple iPhone XS Max & Apple iPhone XS (supports dual-SIM)
- Apple iPhone 11 Pro & Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max (supports dual-SIM)
- Apple iPhone 11 (supports dual-SIM)
- Apple Watch Series 3 (supports eSIM)
- Apple Watch Series 4 (supports eSIM)
- Apple Watch Series 5 (supports eSIM)
- Samsung Gear S3 (supports eSIM)
- Samsung Galaxy Watch (supports eSIM)
- Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 LTE (supports eSIM)
- Google Pixel 3a & 3a XL (supports dual-SIM)
- Google Pixel 4 & 4 XL (supports dual-SIM)
- Apple iPad Pro 11-inch (supports eSIM)
- Surface Pro 12.3-inch (supports eSIM)
- Surface Pro X (supports eSIM)
- Samsung Galaxy Fold (supports eSIM)
- Motorola Razr (supports eSIM)
For those wondering, Google’s Pixel 3 and 2 don’t support eSIM technology in Canada. The LTE variant of Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active 2 will go up for pre-order on September 27th. This will also feature an e-SIM.
Update: 06/09/2019: Smartwatch and tablet support with eSIM is different from smartphones. Carriers like Bell supported eSIM technology with smartwatches a year before bringing the technology to handsets. In the case of Telus, the carrier doesn’t support eSIM with its smartphones. That said, Vancouver-based carrier does support the feature with smartwatches.
Update:18/10/2019: Previously, customers could only get eSIM activations from select Rogers and Fido brand stores, however, now it’s available at all of them.
Update: 09/01/2020: Telus and its sub-brand Koodo now support eSIM.