After iPhone, Android 13 should allow the use of two eSIM chips – Tecnoblog

O iPhone 13 optimized the use of eSIM to allow the user to register two lines with virtual chips at the same time. Now it’s the turn of Android 13 advance: the Google should launch a solution to release Dual SIM through the feature on almost any cell phone. This is what an analysis published by the blog of Esper.

Android 13 may have a solution to use two eSIM chips at the same time without touching the hardware (Image: Guilherme Reis/Tecnoblog)
Android 13 may have a solution to use two eSIM chips at the same time without touching the hardware (Image: Guilherme Reis/Tecnoblog)

Before moving on to the solution, it is necessary to explain what is eSIM. The technology works as a kind of virtual chip to replace the SIM card (physical chip) and free up more internal space in smartphones. That is, to use the line, just go to the operator’s store or use a QR Code to get the license, for example.

The novelty began to become popular in 2018 with the launch of the iPhone XR, XS and XS Max. Since then, other manufacturers have adopted the function, such as Samsung. But Apple took new steps in 2022, with the iPhone 13, by allowing two lines are enabled on the cell phone simultaneously (Dual SIM) by eSIM.

And that’s where Google’s new patent comes in. If the solution goes ahead, any cell phone with eSIM can, in theory, enable two lines virtually. The scenario, it should be noted, is different from Apple cell phones before the iPhone 13, which depend on the mixture of a virtual chip and a physical chip to use Dual SIM.

But how does all this work? Calm down, I’ll explain below.

Schematic shows how the eSIM chip works when using two logical interfaces (Image: Play/Wait)
Schematic shows how the eSIM chip works when using two logical interfaces (Image: Play/Wait)

How does the system to adapt the eSIM work?

The solution revolves around a patent registered by Google in 2020 and that appeared in the Android 13 code. Rahman explains that technology uses a single physical eSIM module to enable virtual chips. That is, if the smartphone has only one unit for the virtual chip, then it will be possible to use two lines.

For this to happen, the system creates multiplexed logical interfaces: these are interfaces that combine two communication channels in a single transmission medium. Thus, it is possible to configure independent channels for SIM profiles that take advantage of a single physical connection with the modem to make the connections.

“There is no need for rewiring. Therefore, existing devices with a single eSIM chip connected to a modem can theoretically support multiple enabled profiles,” explained Rahman. “From a modem point of view, there is no difference between a logical and a physical interface, allowing for compatibility with current implementations.”

But the presence of the feature in Android 13 is not confirmed yet. In addition, the new version of the operating system has not been officially announced by Google either. The update is expected to be released soon.

Activating eSIM on iPhone (Image: Paulo Higa/Tecnoblog)
Activating eSIM on iPhone (Image: Paulo Higa/Tecnoblog)

But is all this really necessary?

eSIM reminds me a little of the time when operators did not use SIM cards in Brazil. Those from Rio de Janeiro (RJ) must remember that if you bought a cell phone at Telefônica (currently Vivo), you couldn’t just go out using an ATL line (currently Claro) as it is today. This is because the phones still did not use chips, technology that facilitated the exchange of devices without depending on the operator for everything.

Since then, many advances have emerged, especially with the arrival of Oi and TIM in the country. But, even if there was the physical chip, some operators blocked the devices. There was even a memorable campaign with a choir singing the song Who loves blockswhen Oi Móvel started selling unlocked cell phones to be used by any provider.

eSIM is part of this evolution. After the physical chip implemented a few decades ago, cell phones started to adhere to virtual chips to gain more internal space. But without the shackles of the 1990s and 2000s: if you have an iPhone 13 on Carrier A and want to migrate to Carrier B, no problem.

And it is no wonder that technology has great prospects. A 2021 study by consultancy Juniper Research showed that eSIM would jump 180% by 2025 with a push from Apple and Google. Even so, the current scenario is not a bed of roses, as not all operators facilitate activation.

I take my case as an example. When my line was Vivo Easy in 2021, I went to three operator stores and was not successful in qualifying. I was only able to activate the eSIM at the BarraShopping store, which is a place that is often difficult to get to without a car: Barra da Tijuca, in the West Zone of Rio de Janeiro (RJ).

With information: Esper and XDA-Developers

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