Android 13: Two mobile carrier connections may be allowed on one eSIM

The backbone of our mobile as well as digital lifestyles is of course SIM cards. Until the future of the SIM card is universally supported by all carriers, it will remain in use for many generations to follow. eSIMs (embedded SIMs) are now available in some smartphones, which can be used in place of regular SIM cards.

Android 13

A lot of people are now tired of switching between SIM cards and eSIMs to transfer carriers, however it seem Google is bringing solutions to this problem in Android 13 and could prevent eSIMs from taking over completely.

A senior technical editor for Android developer platform Esper, Mishaal Rahman, alleges in an article published on Thursday that Google is working on a solution to support multiple profiles on one eSIM in Android 13.

When it comes to eSIM chips, which can only handle one subscription line at a time, it’s difficult to provide functionality equivalent to dual-SIM. Many active SIM profiles can be supported on a single eSIM using Google’s method, which is described by Esper’s Mishaal Rahman as “multiple enabled profiles” (MEP). To put it another way, the same eSIM element can be used for two distinct networks at once.

The fact that everything happens on a software level is what makes Google’s MEP method so intriguing. While keeping just one actual physical connection between the components, many logical interfaces function as independent communication routes between a SIM profile and the phone’s modem. A new API class is being added to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) by Google. This class will let carrier apps get information about the phone’s logical and physical interfaces, as well as the SIM profiles that are stored on them.

eSIM evolution

However, eSIMs can now store and switch between several profiles on a single chip, but only one profile can be active at any given moment. It’s only possible to get a device with multiple eSIMs or multiple physical SIM cards, or both an eSIM card and a physical SIM card, if you want to use two SIM cards at the same time.

Everything leads to Google releasing Android 13 with improved eSIM compatibility. According to Rahman’s research, AOSP mentions the technology, and the Android Developers website says Android 13 may include it. Some new MEP APIs are currently available in Android 13 DP2 (Developer Preview 2). Right now, all we can do is wait for any semblance of it to go live – fortunately, Android 13 beta updates are just around the corner.

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