ExpressBasics: Convert your Airtel, Jio or Vodafone Idea SIM to an eSIM

Whether it is for the new iPhone 14 or some other premium phone you have that supports eSIM functionality, switching from a physical to an eSIM or embedded SIM may seem like a long and tedious process, but it is actually easier than you think.

Here’s how you can switch your existing physical SIM to an eSIM without changing your number on Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea.


Begin by sending an SMS containing “eSIM<>registered email ID” to 121. You will receive an SMS again from the same number, and will be required to reply with “1” to confirm a conversion to eSIM. This reply will have to be within 60 seconds of receiving the message.

Note: If you have not included the correct email id in the SMS, you will receive a reply asking you to re-initiate the process with the correct email id, along with a guide on how to update the email id.

After receiving a confirmation, users will receive another message asking them to confirm the same over a call with an Airtel representative. This step is necessary to confirm your identity and after this is done, you will receive a QR code on your registered email ID.

You can now use this QR code to register your phone’s eSIM. On Apple, you can head over to Settings/ Mobile Data/ Add Data Plan/ Scan QR code to proceed. Make sure your phone is connected to a WiFi network during the process.

Reliance Jio

Assuming you have a registered email id with your existing Jio number, you can simply convert your SIM to an eSIM by sending an SMS. Before that however, you will need to get your iPhone’s EID and IMEI number. While the EID number can be found by heading to Settings/ General/ About. The 32-digit number here is the EID number you will need while the 15 digit IMEI will also be visible below.

Once you have both numbers, SMS “GETESIM <space><32 Digit EID><space><15 Digit IMEI>“ and send it to 199. You will also receive a 19-digit virtual eSIM number on SMS and registered email id.

You will now have to send another SMS “SIMCHG <space><19 digit eSIM Number>” to 199 and wait for up to two hours to process your eSIM request. Within two hours, you will get another message to confirm your request.

Vodafone Idea

Users on Vodafone Idea can send an SMS “SMS eSIM< space >registered email id” to 199 after which they will receive another SMS asking users to confirm their consent. A final SMS will then be sent confirming the switch along with a QR code on the registered email ID.

You can now use this QR code to register your phone’s eSIM by heading to Settings/ Mobile Data/ Add Data Plan/ Scan QR code to proceed on iPhones.

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