Finally, a U.S. carrier – T-Mobile – touts the power of eSIM

Embedded SIM (eSIM) capabilities have been around for several years, but none of the major U.S. carriers have widely touted the benefits, until today.

T-Mobile announced that its app now lets people switch to the un-carrier in minutes “taking the process from an hours-long ordeal to a few simple steps.”

Consumers and businesses with unlocked eSIM-capable phones can switch from other providers to T-Mobile without having to visit a store or manually switch out a SIM card. They can do this using the new Easy Switch feature of the T-Mobile app.

To further entice customers to churn from other carriers, T-Mobile is offering its unlimited data service free for three months to give customers a chance to try T-Mobile before they make a final decision.

Another new feature of the T-Mobile app is Network Scorecard, which allows users to compare their current network to T-Mobile’s.

These new capabilities are available in the T-Mobile app for iOS today in the App Store and are coming soon to Android via the Google Play Store.

“T-Mobile Easy Switch is a simple new way to switch your phone or your entire family – up to five lines via the app – to T-Mobile without calling or making a trip to a store,” said the company in its announcement. “Easy Switch uses the latest technology to switch your current compatible phone and number to T-Mobile, and the whole process can be completed in as little as a few minutes.”

One catch is that a user’s phone must be unlocked, which it may not be if it was provided from another carrier via a purchase plan. The customer may have to pay off the phone with their current provider before it will be unlocked.

T-Mobile says, “AT&T customers will have an extra hurdle because Big Blue keeps their phones locked even after they’re fully paid off. #lame.”

eSIM landscape

T-Mobile says most of the latest smartphones work great on any network and have eSIM technology.

That’s true, but until now, none of the big three carriers have marketed the benefits of eSIM.

As part of its permission to purchase Sprint, T-Mobile agreed to support eSIM, which it has been doing for over a year, but with no fanfare.

Apparently, the carrier’s behemoth marketing department determined the time was ripe to start telling consumers about the benefits of easy switching.