Nepal Telecom (NTC) kicked off its eSIM service a couple of months ago. And on November 25, 2022, Nepal’s second-largest telecom operator, Ncell launched eSIM to its customers as well. As expected, the company has made the process of upgrading to eSIM completely free. So in this post, we’ll be discussing everything about Ncell eSIM upgrade in Nepal, including the process of getting an eSIM, device compatibility, and more.
What is an eSIM?
Before moving forward, let us first understand what an eSIM is. Short for Embedded SIM, an eSIM does everything a regular, physical SIM card does. The only difference is that its chip is embedded (hence the name) into the circuit board of your phone, smartwatch, M2M (machine to machine), or other devices. So unlike the traditional micro and nano SIM cards we’re used to, you can’t physically remove this digital SIM from a device. But since this is a relatively costlier chip-level implementation, eSIM is predominantly supported only on flagship handsets.
Anyway, with a compatible device, setting up an eSIM is as easy as downloading an eSIM profile and then installing it onto your phone. And because the information on an eSIM is rewritable, you can store multiple eSIM profiles with multiple phone numbers or operators on your phone. That means you will now technically be able to switch between multiple Ncell and NTC numbers on one phone without having to physically carry all their SIM cards.
Advantages of eSIM
- Easier to switch between networks
- Better device security
- Frees up space in a device
Disadvantages of eSIM
- Easier to track
- Only available on high-end devices
- Limited global availability
Ncell eSIM implementation in Nepal
As I mentioned, Ncell officially initiated its eSIM service on November 25, 2022 in Nepal. And NTC required you to physically visit one of its offices to upgrade to eSIM, Ncell has made this process incredibly more convenient. And sensible (shots fired). If your SIM is registered under your name, you can simply send an SMS (for free) in the following format requesting the eSIM upgrade.
- <citizenship number>,<email id>
- So your text should look something like this:
- 00-00-00-00000,[email protected]
- And send the SMS to 17125
And once a Ncell representative verifies your information, you will be notified if your current SIM can be converted to an eSIM or not. After that, a QR code with your eSIM profile will be emailed to you. On the other hand, you can also choose to visit your nearest Ncell Centre to upgrade to eSIM.
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What if I have a corporate Ncell SIM?
For corporate numbers, the process to get a Ncell eSIM is a bit different. You’ll either need to submit a letter requesting eSIM conversion using your employing company’s letterhead to a Ncell Centre. Or you can send a scanned copy of the request letter to your Ncell account manager as well. And make sure that the request letter covers information like your current number, email address, and an alternate number (if available).
Does my phone support Ncell or NTC eSIM?
As I mentioned earlier, eSIM support is usually restricted to flagship smartphones. That too of certain brands only. To verify whether your phone is eSIM compatible or not, you can dial *#06#. If you see an EID (Embedded Identification Information) value besides your phone’s IMEI number(s), then that means it supports eSIM. This information is also available on your phone’s settings or the product page itself. And according to Ncell, the following smartphones are guaranteed to support its eSIM:
- Apple: iPhone XS, iPhone 11, iPhone 12, iPhone 13, iPhone 14 series
- Samsung: Galaxy S21, Galaxy S22, Galaxy Z Flip, Galaxy Z Fold series
- Google: Pixel 4, Pixel 5, Pixel 6 series
There’s no word on whether high-end smartwatches like Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 5 series or the Apple Watch Series will be compatible with a Ncell eSIM. But the company should be rolling out support for eSIM on other devices like smartwatches shortly as well.
How to install a Ncell or NTC eSIM profile?
To set up an eSIM (whether you have an Android or iOS device), open up the Settings menu and search for “Add Mobile Plan” (Android) or “Add Cellular Plan” (iPhone). This option might have a different name depending on the Android smartphone manufacturer, but you should find it under the “SIM Card Manager” menu inside Settings. Now, you will get an option to scan a QR code with your eSIM profile. Just follow the on-screen instructions to customize the plan name if required. And voilà, your Ncell eSIM is ready!
- Check out our video guide on eSIM and the process to get an NTC eSIM